BLANCHESTER — Blanchester High School Principal Rick Hosler, who has been on paid administrative leave since November, returned to work at the school Thursday.
Blanchester Board of Education President Chuck Shonkwiler and Hosler’s attorney, John Concannon, said the investigation is finished, although there are still details to be worked out.
“There’s some things that we’re still working through, but I’m happy to tell you that Mr. Hosler and the district agreed it’s time for him to get back to work,” Concannon said. “He was well received by the administration and staff and students, and he’s happy to be there.”
Shonkwiler added that he hopes things will work out now in the steps toward finalizing the agreement. Until then, he said it’s difficult to discuss the matter due to the board’s general policy of not discussing personnel issues.
“The investigation’s completed. We have not finalized everything with Mr. Hosler yet,” Shonkwiler said. “Hopefully things will work out now.”
Hosler, through his attorney, declined additional comments.
Facebook users shared their feelings about Hosler’s return on the News Journal’s page:
“So happy to have him back at the school where he belongs!” commented user Elizabeth P. Hinkle.
“Welcome back Mr. Hosler!” commented Kelly Lynch. “So happy for the students, staff, and community! Can’t wait to see him @ the next sporting event (most likely wrestling ) I go to cheering on the kids!”
“It’s about time is my exact thoughts!” wrote Ashley Florea. “He never deserved this chaos in his life and the students and staff never deserved it either! Karma will make her rounds to the ones who deserve it!”
Also happy to have Hosler back is a community group called Community Alliance for a Responsible Education.
“The Community Alliance for Responsible Education (CARE) is thrilled to have Rick Hosler back in the halls of Blanchester High School where he belongs with the students he loves,” wrote Rob Massey, CARE’s executive director, in a prepared statement. “The support from the community has been overwhelming and has endured through a difficult process and proved to the world that Blanchester is a community that cares and supports our first-class educators.”
Massey also wrote that CARE is left with unanswered questions.
“The process that brought us to this situation is clearly broken,” Massey wrote, adding that members will attend every board meeting to insure the system “gets fixed and that we don’t find ourselves here again.”
Massey said CARE encourages everyone to attend the next board meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Shonkwiler said that because attorneys are working out the final details, he doesn’t anticipate that the board will discuss Hosler publicly or in executive session at its Tuesday meeting.
“Our schools are good schools, high-performing schools, and we trust that that hasn’t been affected,” Shonkwiler said.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-556-5766, or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.