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Published: Wednesday, 3/2/2011 - Updated: 3 years ago

Rossford principal is suspended over child-porn arrest

BY CARL RYAN AND JULIE McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITERS

The principal of Rossford's Glenwood Elementary School was suspended with pay indefinitely Tuesday after he was arrested for allegedly downloading and sharing child pornography.

Buzzell Buzzell
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William H. Buzzell, 45, was taken into custody after Perrysburg police, with the assistance of the FBI and the Toledo police computer crime unit, searched his home in the 28000 block of White Road and his office at the school.

Evidence was found at both locations, Perrysburg Deputy Police Chief Mike Gilmore said.

Mr. Buzzell was held in the Wood County jail Tuesday night in lieu of $90,000 bond, charged with three counts of pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor.

His arraignment is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Bowling Green Municipal Court. The three counts are second-degree felonies.

Chief Gilmore declined to describe the photographs investigators found on the computers. He said the investigation began with the Perrysburg Police Division, but would not say when. The search warrant officers executed was under seal.

The Rossford Board of Education convened a special meeting Tuesday night so Superintendent Susan Lang could fill members in on the situation. Board members went into a closed session for about 30 minutes, then adjourned without taking action.

After the meeting, Ms. Lang described herself as "appalled and very, very disheartened with the situation."

She said extra counselors were available for Glenwood students. In addition, she sent home a letter with students describing the arrest and charges and emphasizing that the district was cooperating with authorities.

Susan Lang, Rossford school superintendent, speaks with Heather Heffran, whose 10-year-old son is in the fourth grade at Glenwood. Susan Lang, Rossford school superintendent, speaks with Heather Heffran, whose 10-year-old son is in the fourth grade at Glenwood.
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"The entire board and district are taking this very seriously," she said after the meeting.

News of the arrest spread through Rossford Tuesday, and some parents said they wanted more specifics before passing judgment.

The only Glenwood parent at the board meeting was Heather Heffran, whose 10-year-old son is in the fourth grade.

She said she knew Mr. Buzzell and had dealt with him one-on-one. She described him as an advocate for her son.

"I'm just kind of shell-shocked and want more information," she said. "I don't want to act too hastily. He's a good man."

Mr. Buzzell's current salary was unavailable Tuesday. Records show he made $105,720 in 2009. The school board hired him as the Glenwood principal in August, 2000, with a three-year contract paying $67,000 annually.

He came to the Rossford district from Olmsted Falls Middle School in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, where he was assistant principal and before that, taught third, fourth, and fifth grades. Before moving to Olmsted Falls, he taught in the Lakewood City Schools in Ohio, where he was Teacher of the Year and Coach of the Year in 1991, according to a first-person profile he wrote for the district's Web site.

That profile states he earned bachelor's degrees in education and psychology from Marietta College and a master's in educational administration from John Carroll University. He is married with three children.

Beth Stolar, who has a daughter in preschool at Glenwood, said she didn't want to jump to conclusions and didn't believe her child ever was alone with Mr. Buzzell. She said she was more concerned about older children at the school.

Ann Klatt of Northwood was at the Rossford Public Library Tuesday with her son, who is in first grade at Northwood Elementary, when she learned of the arrest.

She said there could be a fine line concerning what is considered child pornography, especially given what is shown on television.

"It's scary that it's this close to home because you always hear about it in different states," Ms. Klatt said. "Wow -- that's a little bit of a shocker."

Mary Beth Hornyak, president of the Glenwood Parent Teacher Organization, Tuesday declined to comment on the arrest.

"We don't have any more details," she said.

Contact Carl Ryan at carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6050.



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