Chuck Kelley Recognized For School Board Service

Outgoing School Board member, Chuck Kelley, was recognized by the Okaloosa County School Board for his eight years of service at the November 13 board meeting.

“Chuck is so even tempered,” said School Board member Cindy Frakes.  “You all have never seen him in a discipline hearing but I wish you could hear some of the things that he says to the kids.  It is so genuine and so much what these kids need to hear. I am going to miss hearing his words of wisdom.”

Frakes also commented that Kelley is a CPA and is “the one they look down the table to” when there are tough financial questions to be answered.  “He asks some very insightful questions and we all listen to what he has to say.”

“What Chuck has brought to the table as far as the School Board is concerned has meant volumes to me,” said School Board member Cathy Thigpen.  “He has spoke through his heart but has done his homework and research. He knows to ask the tough questions. I love the way he presents himself as far as in our School Board meetings he is like that quiet guy that takes it all in and then it is like beware, it is coming. He speaks his mind and has always made good decisions and we are going to miss seeing him down there.”

Frakes and Thigpen presented a crystal vase to Kelley that said, “In grateful recognition of the commitment, achievement, and leadership of Chuck Kelley, School Board member November 17, 2004 to November 19, 2012. Okaloosa County School District.  Admired, respected, and dedicated. Advocate for students and friend to education.”

“My journey in all this started about sixteen years ago when a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in running for City Council for Fort Walton Beach and I said yes,” said Kelley.  “I was elected and served two terms there before deciding to run for School Board. I had an appreciation for the principals and the teachers, but now it is a much more respected and informed appreciation for all that they do.”

Kelley thanked his wife, Lori, for supporting him throughout the last eight years. He also thanked the School Board, Dr. Alexis Tibbetts, and the district staff by saying, “Getting to know you and to work with you has made my job easier and made me appreciate the commitment that all of you have for the students and the school district.”  

Kelley will step down as the School Board member representing District 2 on Tuesday, November 20, when Dewey Destin takes office.