|Dean Zeigler has resigned|
|Written by By MARIE THOMAS Sentinel Education Editor|
|Monday, 17 August 2009 11:24|
JERRY CITY - Beleaguered Elmwood High School teacher Dean Zeigler has resigned his post with the school district.
In a letter dated Thursday, Zeigler, of Bowling Green, cited personal reasons for his resignation request; the school board accepted the resignation this morning during a special session.
Asked whether the board's action brings to an end the eight-month investigation into alleged misconduct by Zeigler, Superintendent Steve Pritts responded, "for us, yes."
A written statement provided by Pritts indicated that at the time of Zeigler's resignation, investigations relating to his employment with Elmwood were being conducted by the sheriff's department as well as the district. However, with this morning's actions by the board, "the district has suspended further investigations in light of this resignation."
Zeigler, a business teacher at the high school, was placed on paid administrative leave Jan. 5 pending the investigation into possible misconduct with a female student. He had been with the district since 1999.
There was no answer this morning at the telephone number listed for Zeigler.
During the past eight months, the board did not take action to terminate Zeigler's employment with the district. According to Pritts' position statement, Zeigler, through his attorney, continues to deny any wrongdoing.
As required by state law, Pritts will forward to the Ohio Department of Education the information from the district's internal investigation.
"I cannot comment on those," he stated when asked what that information would entail.
According to the superintendent's official statement, "It is our understanding that the department will make a determination as to whether or not any action will be taken regarding Mr. Zeigler's teaching license."
Pritts did say, however, that "from the start" he didn't believe there was any criminal action on Zeigler's part, which is why, he said, he has limited his comments on the matter. He has maintained over the months that the investigation would be dignified and would protect the privacy of all those involved.
Pritts did say in January that he had called the Department of Job and Family Services after interviewing the student in question and determining "possible mental abuse. We found no physical abuse at all," he said at that time.
Over the course of the investigation, the district interviewed at least 15 individuals, he said this morning.
Phone calls this morning to the sheriff's department and county prosecutor's office for updates on their investigations were not returned by press time.
Zeigler also held at least three supplemental positions with the district - head football coach, athletic director and weightlifting supervisor; he was paid for those positions until they were automatically non-renewed in April.
Michelle Story has been named the new athletic director, Kristine Lotycz was hired in June as high school business teacher, and Vic Meyer has replaced Zeigler as varsity football coach.
|Last Updated on Monday, 17 August 2009 11:38|
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