BLANCHESTER, Ohio -- Rick Hosler, the principal of Blanchester High School, returned to work Thursday after spending about two months on paid leave.
Hosler was ecstatic to be back, his attorney, John Concannon, said.
"That's where he wants to be. I know a lot of people that would be happy to stay home and get paid. He would much rather be with the students he loves," Concannon said.
The district put Hosler on leave in November after an investigation was opened into an unspecified complaint about him. Letters in his personnel file detailed what Superintendent Dean Lynch called “unprofessional behavior” including, most recently, a “meltdown” during a meeting with an employee Nov. 11.
Concannon said the investigation isn’t over and Hosler is still denying all the allegations.
"As we maintained all along, it was nothing to end his career over," Concannon said.
During his leave, Hosler received outspoken support from some members of the Blanchester community, who rallied for him outside the school and at school board meetings. Online, people also shared messages supporting Hosler in the “team hosler” Facebook group.
“Surprise! I walked in and I saw him standing in the auditorium and I honestly started crying," senior Sara Abirached said of Hosler's return.
Also, a group called Community Alliance for Responsible Education (CARE) released a statement supporting Hosler and pledging involvement at future school board meetings:
“CARE is thrilled to have Rick Hosler back in the halls of Blanchester High School where he belongs, with the students he loves,” the wrote.
Concannon said Hosler was overwhelmed by the support of the students.
Hosler was also debating legal action and wants all the disciplinary action removed from his record, Concannon said.