Tumwater school official resigns

Her niece awaits trial on misconduct with minor

Staff writerMay 9, 2013 

A Tumwater school administrator has resigned amid a district investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct between a former paraeducator and a student.

Black Hills High School assistant principal Darice Bales was put on leave in mid-April.

“She remains on paid leave,” said Kim Howard, a spokeswoman for the Tumwater School District. “She resigned effective the end of the school year.”

Meantime, district officials are still conducting their own investigation into allegations that the school’s former detention supervisor, Courtney Keller, 28, had a sexual relationship with a former student, starting when he was 16.

The student is now 18, and he disclosed the alleged sexual relationship to Bales and police in late February after someone sent an anonymous letter dated Jan. 31 outlining the relationship to the Tumwater School District.

Keller is Bales’ niece. She resigned from the district Feb. 23.

She pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree criminal misconduct with a minor and awaits trial.

Bales began working for the district in 1999.

She was previously put on administrative leave in 2006 for taking alcoholic beverages to the taping of a mock high school party where two students took a few sips of beer.

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