Diehl resigns as SKSD board president

District 4 director to remain as a board member

PORT ORCHARD — South Kitsap School District Board of Directors President Rebecca Diehl resigned as board president at the directors’ scheduled meeting on Wednesday night.

The board of directors voted unanimously to elect director Keith Garton as board president and Greg Wall as vice president.

Diehl will remain on the school board as a director, the district said in an Aug. 8 news release. The move came as a result of community reaction following a news report in the Independent July 26 that stated the board president was in the process of serving a day in Pierce County Jail after being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

The board director had been ordered to serve one day in jail, with 364 days of jail time suspended. She also was required to obtain a state-certified chemical dependency evaluation within 30 days and not consume any alcohol or controlled substances as part of the court order.

In April, Diehl was arrested in Pierce County for a DUI. Her conviction on that charge violated terms of a pretrial diversion agreement she signed after being convicted in 2016 of an earlier DUI incident.

According to court documents, Diehl’s initial DUI report stated she provided breath samples with blood alcohol content (BAC) readings of between 0.145 and 0.161. In the state of Washington, a driver is legally driving under the influence with a reading of 0.08 BAC or higher.

“The board met in executive session at our summer work study session on August 3 and again last night to discuss recent events,” Garton said in the news release. “We considered input from our community and feel the board reorganization is the right thing for South Kitsap School District.

“While Ms. Diehl is stepping down as president, we look forward to our continued work as a board on behalf of South Kitsap students and staff.”

Diehl, who serves as a director for District 4, was elected to the board in 2013 and re-elected in 2017. Her current term expires in 2021.

In an interview with the Independent after serving her sentence, Diehl said she regarded the incident as “embarrassing,” but viewed the aftermath and punishment as revelatory and restorative.

“I am facing all of the consequences for a very, very bad decision,” Diehl said of the ordeal. “This has been a challenge, but it has also been a good thing in my life. I am better today as a result of these challenges and I am so thankful for that.”