NewsCovering Kentucky


FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk dies at 49

Posted at 12:11 AM, Dec 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-05 12:25:28-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk passed away unexpectedly on Friday. He was 49-years old.

FCPS Families were notified of Caulk's death via email by the Fayette County Board of Education.

At the end of November, the district announced that Caulk would be on temporary medical leave to focus on his health.

Dr. Marlene Helm has been serving as acting superintendent in Caulk's absence.

Caulk took over as FCPS Superintendent in 2015. According to his bio on, Caulk previously served as superintendent of Portland Public Schools, Maine’s largest school district, from 2012 until taking the superintendent position with FCPS. He previously was an assistant superintendent in the School District of Philadelphia, serving 167,000 students. He also was assistant regional superintendent and deputy chief for the office of instruction and leadership support, and was assistant superintendent for high schools of the 46,000-student East Baton Rouge Parish School System.

Back in 2015, Caulk had surgery for a malignant tumor from his sinus cavity. However, the email did not specify if Caulk's death was related to the surgery or tumor.

The full email that was sent to FCPS families can be found below:

Dear Fayette County Public Schools Families,

Tonight, I write with a heavy heart to inform you of the death of our Superintendent, Emmanuel Caulk, who has led our district since 2015. We are grateful for Manny’s servant leadership and passion for our two moral imperatives – to accelerate achievement for students who have not yet reached proficiency and to challenge students already proficient to achieve global competency.

Both current and incoming members of the Board of Education are working together to ensure a smooth transition. Once the new board members take office in January, we will begin the arduous task of finding a new Superintendent to continue our commitment to ensuring that all students reach their unlimited potential.

We ask that you keep Manny, his family, and everyone who loved him in your thoughts and prayers, while also respecting their privacy during this incredibly difficult time. Arrangements to honor his life and work are incomplete at this time, but will be sent out to our FCPS Family when finalized.


Stephanie Aschmann Spires
Chair, Fayette County Board of Education

Condolences poured in on social media on Saturday morning: