Arnold High School Athletic Director Resigns Amid Sex Scandal

By: Jamie Burch & Cameron Taylor Email
By: Jamie Burch & Cameron Taylor Email

PANAMA CITY BEACH - Arnold High School Athletic Director Karisa Wesley, who was suspended after allegedly sleeping with a student, has resigned.

Wesley submitted a letter of resignation to Principal Keith Bland on Thursday. In it, she says “I wholeheartedly enjoyed my eight years with Arnold and the opportunity to work with talented and enthusiastic students advancing both their athletic and academic pursuits.”

The resignation is effective October 16, which includes 12.5 days of accrued time off.

“These are days she earned,” said Bay County School Superintendent Bill Husfelt. “Those are vacation days she had coming to her.”

Husfelt suspended Wesley August 21 following a News Channel 7 investigation into the allegations. He also recommended the school board fire Wesley. But the school board chose to hire a private investigator to look into the allegations before making a decision.

Husfelt says that investigation is not complete, but they will no longer pursue it.

“She’s no longer an employee of Bay County Schools,” Husfelt said. “But, the information is being turned over to Professional Practices.”

The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Professional Practices will decide whether to revoke Wesley’s teaching certificate.

The sex scandal came to light on August 5 when a former Arnold High School teacher sent an email to the school district. The e-mail contained a letter from a former student, identified as Student #1, that says he and his best friend, Student #2, smoked with Wesley and another teacher on multiple occasions, stayed the night and drank with them. He also says he heard Student #2 "pound (Wesley) more than 10 times."

The alleged relationship began in 2011, when the two teenagers were students at Arnold High and before Wesley was named the Athletic Director.

At the time, Sharon Michalik, Executive Director of Human Resources and Employee Support Services, said Wesley maintained her innocence.

As part of their investigation, the Bay County Sheriff's Office tells News Channel 7 they spoke to both students and that Student #2 denies having sex with Wesley before he turned 18.

Wesley, who also had a relationship with the boys’ basketball coach, which is a violation of district policy, was a teacher and volleyball coach at Arnold for several years before she was named Athletic Director in June of last year.

News Channel 7 contacted Bland for reaction to Wesley’s resignation. He declined to comment and referred us to Michalik.

Husfelt says the school district will now turn their attention to teacher #2.

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