Okaloosa School Board Member Resigns to Lead Destin High School

In Brief:

  • Dr. Diane Kelley, a current Okaloosa School Board member and lifelong educator, has been appointed as the new principal of Destin High School, starting on August 2, 2024.
  • Kelley will resign from her school board position to take on her new role, with the governor appointing a replacement for her term ending in 2026.
  • Kelley brings over 35 years of experience in education within Okaloosa County and is highly regarded for her dedication, vision, and commitment to educational excellence.

Destin High School has a new principal – and it’s a familiar face around the World’s Luckiest Fishing Village.


The Sharks Board of Directors announced that current school board member Dr. Diane Kelley will take over the school as it enters its fourth year of education.


She will start officially on August 2, 2024.

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To take the job, Kelley must resign as an Okaloosa School Board Member before starting her new job. Kelley told Mid Bay News she will turn in a resignation to the governor effective August 1.


The governor will then appoint a person to serve the remainder of Dr. Kelley’s term – which ends in 2026.


Kelley will still attend regular meetings and budget hearings for the district through July.


“I am just so excited and feel so passionate about working on the ground floor with students and staff. I’m just looking forward to getting out there making things happen that will be in their best interest,” Kelley said in an interview with Mid Bay News


“After careful consideration of each principal candidate’s credentials and the needs of the Destin High community, Dr. Kelley was chosen to serve as principal. It was important to find an educator who embodies our core values and shared goals to lead Destin High into the next chapter,” said Donald “Willy” Williams, Executive Director of Destin High School, in a Facebook post on the school’s page. “Her dedication, vision, and commitment to educational excellence align perfectly with our vision, mission, and goals. We are confident that under her leadership, Destin High School will continue to thrive and excel.”


More About Dr. Diane Kelley

Dr. Diane Kelley is a lifelong educator who grew up in Okaloosa County. She served more than 35 years as a teacher, principal, and administrator in the Okaloosa County School System.


Kelley retired from the district in 2016 and served as a Valparaiso City Commissioner before running for and winning the district five seat on the Okaloosa County School Board.


Diane is married to Dr. Bill Smith, an administrative professional at Okaloosa County School District. They have two children.

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