Dr. Diane Kelley

Okaloosa County School Board Member

District 5
Elected 2018 - 1st Term Ends 2022

Prior to running for school board, Diane served more than 36 years in the Okaloosa County school system as a classroom teacher, a school principal, and a district-level leader.  In every position she held, she had one singular focus: that of improving conditions for student achievement.

Just before her retirement from the Okaloosa County School System in 2016, she formed her own educational consulting company, and has served other districts and outside entities in a number of related capacities, ranging from training school principals and teachers to conducting learning walks, to creating evaluation tools, writing educational plans and grants, and numerous public speaking engagements.

Diane is a life-long resident of Okaloosa County, and she has been always been active in her community, serving as volunteer tutor of writing and Language Arts, pianist at local churches, and as an elected member of the Valparaiso City Commission.  In addition, she serves on the board and is a member of several local charities.

Academic Credentials

Doctorate: Educational Leadership/Curriculum & Instruction, University of West Florida
Specialists: Curriculum & Instruction, University of West Florida
Master's: Educational Leadership, University of West Florida
Bachelor of Arts: English Education, University of West Florida
Educational Media Certification, Florida State University

Education Experience

Principal of Laurel Hill School, Bruner Middle School, and Destin Middle School
Director of Technology and Educational Media
Director of Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction
Director of Principal Evaluation, Training and Support

Selected Awards

Learning Forward, 2015-present
Commissioner's Leadership Academy member/participant, 2014-2015
Honorary Commander, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron, Eglin AFB 2010-2011
Okaloosa County Women's Wall of Fame Honoree, 2008
University of West Florida's "FOCUS on 40" Honoree, 2007
Manchester Who's Who Executive and Professional Registry, 2006
University of Virginia grant recipient to produce a video documentary on The School of the Air in Australia, 2001
International Who's Who of Professional Management, 2000
Who's Who Among American Students of Universities and Colleges, UWF, 1997-1998
Writer of and recipient of one of the first Distance Learning grants offered by the Florida Distance Learning Network and the Department of Education, for Project HEART, 1996
Forever Omer Award from Florida Odyssey of the Mind Association, 1996
District Odyssey of the Mind  coordinator, 1994-1996
F.A.M.E. Award, for documentary video, Second Place - State Level, 1995
Teacher of the Year, Richbourg Middle School, 1995
Outstanding Graduate Student in Curriculum and Instruction, UWF, 1994
F.A.M.E. Award, for documentary video, First Place - State Level, 1994
Northwest Florida Press Club Award for Best Video, 1994
F.A.M.E. Award, for documentary video, Second Place - State Level, 1993
F.A.M.E. Award, First Place, 1992
Cable Television Award for Creative Use of Instructional Television, 1992
Who's Who among America's Teachers. 1992 (nominated by a student, Katrina Stakely)
Northwest Florida Press Club Award, First Place, Overall Middle School Yearbook, 1990
Museum Award, Best Display of a Historical Place, 1983


Diane is married to Dr. Bill Smith. Their children are Kristin Kelley Rizzo, who is a physician at the VA Hospital in Orlando, Florida; and Ryan Smith, who is a data scientist with McKinsey and Company in Boston, Maryland.


Contact information

Dr. Diane Kelley - District 5
Okaloosa County School Board
120 Lowery Place
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548

Office number: 850.833.5895
Fax number: 850.833.6384

Email: kelleyd@okaloosaschools.com