UPDATE: Superintendents' death could remain mystery for months - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Superintendents' exact cause of death could remain mystery for months

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Osseo-Fairchild (WQOW) - Police say it could be months before we know the exact cause of death of an area school district leader.

Thursday, WOQW News 18 learned about the death of Osseo-Fairchild Superintendent Dennis Geissler.  The Barron County Medical Examiner says a full toxicology screen is being done, which could take several months to get back.

Wednesday, Geissler's body was found in a car in a closed garage at his lake home near Chetek.  Investigators say his death appears to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

The school district says he sent an email Monday and Tuesday saying he would not be in, but did not give a reason why. Wednesday, they didn't hear from him and started to worry. Staff members say the circumstance of his death has left them baffled.

"Part of the hard part about this is, you know a superintendent job is a stressful job and difficult job like everyone knows in every district. But, no, things were running really quite well this year. He was so good at what he did, and was greatly appreciated. So, there was really nothing out of the ordinary," says Osseo-Fairchild Middle/High School President, Bill Tourdot.

Geissler had been in the district since July of last year. Investigators believe his death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, but the autopsy will determine the exact cause. For now, other administrators will take over his duties.  Surrounding school districts have also offered to help.  

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Osseo-Fairchild (WQOW) - Feelings of sadness and confusion are being felt tonight inside an area school district.

The Osseo-Fairchild Superintendent has died.  Dennis Geissler's body was found in a car in a closed garage at his lake home near Chetek. 

Investigators say his death appears to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.  Geissler was 58 years old.

WQOW News 18 was in Osseo Thursday where staff members are trying to deal with this unexpected blow. They say the news surrounding his death has left them baffled.

Geissler had been in the district since July of last year. Before that, he was Superintendent of Colfax Schools. Osseo-Fairchild district leaders say he was a calm voice at a time when the community needed one. 

"The community was always unstable, you know, and a lot of it came out of the logo issue. But, he stepped in at the end, when most of it was done, but the way his process took it out to the new logo, I felt it calmed the whole community. I believe the whole community is growing back together," says Osseo-Fairchild School Board President Barry Kostka.  

Bill Tourdot, Osseo-Fairchild Middle/High School Principal, says, "His leadership style, the ability he had to talk to people, make people feel like they were being heard, and just giving us good solid direction that we all needed and appreciated."

Principal Tourdot says Geissler called in sick on Tuesday. When the school didn't hear from him Wednesday, Tourdot went to Geissler's cabin in Chetek, where he found his body in a car.  Investigators believe his death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, but an autopsy is being done to determine the exact cause.

For now, other administrators will take over his duties, and surrounding school districts have also offered to help. 

WQOW News 18 heard from the Colfax School District where Dennis Geissler was a principal and district administrator for several years. The current superintendent says Geissler will always be remembered for being someone with a huge heart, his generosity and well-known infectious laugh will be missed.  

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Osseo-Fairchild (Press Release) - Osseo-Fairchild School District officials have been informed about the death of Dennis Geissler, the school district's superintendent.

Geissler, 58, was found dead Wednesday at his lake home near Chetek, Wis.

"Mr. Geissler will be missed by everyone in the district," said Osseo-Fairchild Middle/High School Principal Bill Tourdot.  "He stepped into the position during some challenging times for the district and became a calming voice within our schools. He was a great friend to public education in this district and throughout his career."

There are grief counselors available for the district's staff and students within the schools and in the community. Other area school districts and communities have offered counselors' support.

Tourdot said the district will be following the district's crisis plan for grief counseling and for day-to-day school operations. School administrators will be managing day-to-day school business under the direction of the Osseo-Fairchild School Board.

"Our hearts go out to his wife, Patty, and the rest of his family," said Osseo-Fairchild School Board President Barry Kostka. "May peace be with Mr. Geissler, his family, friends and co-workers as we process this loss."

Geissler became the Osseo-Fairchild superintendent in July, 2011. He previously worked as a principal and superintendent in the Colfax School District and as a teacher and principal in the McFarland School District.

Barron County Sheriff's Department officials are handling details about Geissler's death.

Press Release from the Barron County Sheriff's Dept:

On 11-28-12 at 2:01pm the Barron County Sheriff's Dept received a call from Bill Tourdot who was at 1065 22 7/8 St Chetek St.  Bill advised that she stopped at this residence looking for Dennis who he had not heard from for several days.  Bill advised that he located Dennis deceased in his car in the garage.  Detectives from the Barron County Sheriff's Dept responded to the scene and located Dennis deceased.  Initial investigation shows that Dennis has injuries consistent with Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  Toxicology evidence was collected and is being analyzed by the Barron County Medical Examiner and the Barron County Sheriff's Dept to determine the exact cause of death.

 

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