LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Fayette County Public Schools was honored recently by the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County as the 2019 Community Service Award winner.
P.G. Peebles, Urban League President and CEO, presented the award to Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk at the Urban League's 51st annual empowerment banquet.
Caulk has been with Fayette County Public Schools for just four years, but he has already left an indelible mark.
"We are all working to make a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve," Caulk said.
When he took over in 2015, then education commissioner Terry Holiday put FCPS on warning saying if the district did not close the achievement gap, they faced state takeover. Four years later, he is being honored for accomplishing just that.
"It was a surprise first of all," Caulk said of receiving the award that recognizes efforts to enhance equal life opportunities for all. "It's a reflection of the power of we have and our core value that we believe it takes an entire community to ensure the success of our public schools."
Caulk has put into motion his motto of listening, learning and leading. He says, along with help in the district, he has identified barriers to help close the achievement gap and has put into place things like the state's first office for Educating Boys of Color.
"It speaks to the fact that this is the right work, we have the right plan, we need to stay the course."
Caulk said the award is the representation of the hard work that all 8,000 district employees and all who support then in the community have been doing, to prove that a child's neighborhood zip code does not equal their destiny.
"The future is bright for Fayette County, and I'm just again humbled to be the servant leader of this school district," said Caulk.