LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The Fayette County community paid final respects to the late Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk on Saturday.
FCPS students lined the entrance of First Baptist Church Bracktown from 9 a.m. to noon during a drive-thru visitation for Caulk.
“He was about the kids, for the kids. Everything he did was to better their lives,” said Bryson Berry, who organized a toy drive in honor of Caulk.
Students told LEX 18 News they’ll remember Caulk as a fearless leader who made meaningful connections with those around him.
“Every time we had a group meeting, he would meet with everyone. I was like, ‘He has to be tired’. He would meet with everyone, go around, talk and never get tired,” said Berry.
“He was a really positive presence. He was a really important role model in the community to us. He really cared,” said Warren Wilson.
Caulk passed away unexpectedly at 49 years old on Dec. 4 after taking a medical leave from Fayette County Public Schools in the same week.
Fayette County high schoolers served as honorary pallbearers in the day’s ceremony.
A celebration of life followed immediately after the visitation. Due to the pandemic, the in-person service was limited to family and family guests, but hundreds watched a live stream of the service online.
In a nod to Caulk’s devotion and love for education and his students, a student choir filled the church with song during the service.
Fayette County continues to honor Caulk’s legacy through donations to the Manny Caulk Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Students from Bryan Station, Frederick Douglass, Henry Clay, Lafayette, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Tates Creek high schools are also hosting a toy drive to benefit FCPS elementary students in need this holiday season. Donations can be donated to any of the participating high schools through Dec. 16.