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For the contributions they've made to society since graduating from high school, the treasurer of the Rossford school district and a local bishop were honored with the Rossford Award of Distinction last weekend.
James Rossler, Jr., of Rossford and Duane C. Tisdale of Toledo will join six others who have received the award since it was established in 2004 to honor some of those who have graduated from Rossford High School more than 20 years ago.
Two are inducted from nominations each year. A committee of Rossford graduates who are still involved in the school chose the two men for the award from a list of five people nominated this year, said Lisa Spotts, administrative assistant to the superintendent.
Sen. Randy Gardner (R., Bowl-ing Green) introduced the pair to the community Friday just before Rossford's varsity football team took on Perrysburg High School at Rossford's Jackson-Ferguson Stadium.
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On Saturday, Rossford Mayor Bill Verbosky, Jr., presented Mr. Rossler and Bishop Tisdale with their awards during a 1 p.m. ceremony in the school's George Wolfe Field House.
Mr. Rossler is a life-long Rossford resident who has served as the district's treasurer since 1991.
He graduated from Rossford in 1977 and holds a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Toledo and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Findlay.
Professionally, he is a member of the School Employees Retirement System Board of Trustees, is past president of the Ohio Association of School Business Officials, and has served on the state and national associations of school business officials as well.
In 2006, he was honored for 10 years of service on the executive committee of the Wood County Economic Development Commission, representing the longest period of continuous service by anyone in the organization's history.
That same year, he was presented with the 2006 Spirit of Wood County Award for his contributions to local industrial economic development.
Mr. Rossler's wife of 22 years, Kelly, nominated him for the award without his knowledge.
"It was a complete out-of-the-blue shock to me," Mr. Rossler said. "From the thousands of people who have passed through the halls of the high school, to think I could even be part of that fraternity is quite humbling."
Bishop Tisdale echoed Mr. Rossler's sentiments of surprise.
"I was highly shocked," he said.
Bishop Tisdale became the youngest of 14 children when he was born in Rossford in 1958.
Mr. Tisdale was nominated for the award by his sister, Margaret Tisdale of Rossford, because, among other reasons, during high school "his greatest gift was his compassion for people."
While attending Rossford High in the 1970s, he was a wrestler, a runner, and a football player.
When he was just 15, he answered his call to the ministry and began preaching at his home church, Rossford First Baptist, in 1973.
"My dad and I come from a line of pastors, and so I kinda accepted my calling early," he said.
Three years later, he graduated from Rossford and then became an ordained minister in 1978. He served as assistant pastor of his home church for five years before becoming senior pastor of Friendship Baptist Church, where he presently serves.
He said he takes a holistic approach to his ministry. In addition, he serves as the chief executive of Friendship New Vision, the outreach ministry of Friendship Baptist Church that ministers to the community through several drug and alcohol outpatient treatment programs.
In 1995, Bishop Tisdale became affiliated with Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship International. Since then, he has served as the northern district overseer in the state, as the first administrative assistant to the state bishop, and in the pastor's division on the national advisory board.
Last year, Bishop Tisdale was promoted and consecrated as bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship in New Orleans, with the affiliation of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International.
He is now a presiding bishop over 22 churches in the state.