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Memorial set up in Lexington honoring Superintendent Manny Caulk

Posted at 7:10 PM, Dec 05, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A memorial of flowers and chalk messages in honor of Superintendent Emmanuel “Manny” Caulk is set up outside the Fayette County Board of Education building.

Superintendent Caulk passed away on Friday at 49-years-old. The district announced his death in an email to FCPS Families.

The memorial can be found at 701 E Main St.

“We are shocked, and we are saddened,” said FCPS Board Member Tyler Murphy. “Manny was passionate about education and in the opportunities I’ve had to work with him over the past two years, I knew his heart was in the right place. He was in it for kids. That was his passion. That was what motivated him.”

Local and state leaders offered condolences and recognized Caulk’s important role in the community on social media.

Governor Andy Beshear tweeted, “Superintendent Manny Caulk has passed. Superintendent Caulk was a tireless advocate for education and helping our children reach their full potential. His work greatly benefited students in Fayette County.”

On Twitter, Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said, “We will always remember Manny Caulk for his devotion to our children. He put their safety first, working as part of our stakeholder group to combat the pandemic. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

With the pandemic raging on, Caulk made the tough call to close district schools to in-person learning. The decision divided many parents and educators.

Teacher of the Year Donnie Piercey said even when faced with rising pressures from all sides of the conversation, Superintendent Caulk prioritized his students.

“I think he’ll be remembered as a leader. I think he’ll be remembered as someone who really put students first and you can see that through the decisions he was making.”

The school district announced Caulk would be on temporary medical leave to focus on his health at the end of November.

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

FCPS Board Chairwoman Stephanie A. Spires said in an email, the district won’t begin the search for a new superintendent until January when new board members assume office.