School Board Approves New Administrators

Dr. Diane Kelley was named Director, Special Programs/Schools and Principal Evaluations; Steve Bolton was named Director, Facilities, Planning and Maintenance; and Richard Norris was named Program Director, School Food Services at the October 12th Okaloosa County School Board Meeting.

Dr. Diane Kelley Named Director, Special Programs/Schools and Principal Evaluations

Diane Kelley, Ed. D., graduated from Laurel Hill School and earned her B.A. in English Education from the University of West Florida. She holds certifications in five areas (English/Communications, Social Studies, Gifted, Media, and Educational Leadership).  She earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and a Specialist degree in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of West Florida, where she also completed her Doctorate Degree in Educational Management with a focus on Curriculum & Instruction. 

Dr. Kelley began her career in Okaloosa County as a language arts and social studies teacher at Laurel Hill School. She also taught at Richbourg Middle School before becoming the media specialist at Richbourg and, later, at Davidson Middle School, the namesake of her family.

She has held administrative positions as district coordinator of Technology & Media Services, Principal of Laurel Hill School, Principal of Bruner Middle School and Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment for the Okaloosa County School District and served as Principal of Destin Middle School at Regatta Bay. Currently, she serves in the capacity of Director of Principal Evaluation, Training & Support for Okaloosa schools.  She has also taught at the university level in both graduate and undergraduate programs of study.  She has been and is involved in many community and civic committees; among them are serving on the articulation committee for the teacher preparation program at Northwest Florida State Community College, and has served as an elected official for the city of Valparaiso, in a four-year term as a Commissioner.

Dr. Kelley was responsible for franchising Okaloosa Online from the Florida Virtual School, licensed four channels from the FCC for the creation of an ITV service for the district, and has written many important grants, including the first distance learning grant to assist homebound students. She also wrote one of the earliest Technology Plans for the district, previous versions of the district’s K-12 Reading Plan, the current Principal Leadership Plan, and led the District team in achieving its first five-year SACS accreditation.

Dr. Kelley has always remained involved in her community, serving as pianist in local churches and with myriad local committees and organizations. She enjoys reading and writing, antique-collecting, hiking, kayaking, and travel, as well as spending quality time with family and friends.

She was recently honored to be included in the Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame and the University of West Florida’s “Focus on Forty.”

She is married and has one daughter, Dr. Kristin Kelley, who is a physician on the staff of the VA Hospital in Orlando, Florida.

Steve Bolton Named Director, Facilities, Planning and Maintenance

Steve Bolton attended Crestview High School and graduated in 1982.  He received his B.S. in Business Management from the University of West Florida in 1986 and his M.A. in Business Management from Webster University in 1991.

A retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel, Steve served 23 ½ years of both active and reserve duty that included four deployments – Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, and the Gulf War.  He began his employment with the Okaloosa County School District as a Buyer in the Purchasing Department where he served for 5 years.  For the last 11 years, he has served as the Program Director, Maintenance.  Steve is also an Ordained Minister and Pastor of Cornerstone Faith Tabernacle.

Steve has been married to Chris Bolton for almost 30 years and has two daughters, both married, and one grandson.      

Richard Norris Named Program Director, School Food Services

Richard Norris, a native Floridian, attended Pryor Junior High School and graduated from Choctawhatchee Senior High School.  Mr. Norris joined The United States Marine Corp during which time he received Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Economics from Chapman College.  He also received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his Masters of Science in Public Administration from Troy University.  He has worked for the Okaloosa County School District as a distribution coordinator, payroll accountant, school food service accountant, accounts payable manager, finance officer, assistant purchasing agent, purchasing agent and became the Director of Purchasing and School Food Service in 2007.  In 2013, he returned from his retirement to work as a specialist in School Food Services.

Rick has two sons Jeff who lives in Milton and Scott who lives in Mississippi.  They both work for Bobcat Company International.  He is the proud grandfather to Savannah, a sophomore at Troy University and John a 4th grader in Bay County.

Richard is married to his beautiful wife Janet Hays Norris, an educator, in the Okaloosa County School District. They enjoy traveling, watching FSU and Saints football, movies, playing with their cat Pumpkin, and spending time with their families!