We are deeply saddened by the passing of Emmanuel Caulk. Manny was a tireless champion for students and families. Through his work as a special education teacher in a juvenile detention facility to his leadership of schools and districts, he was an advocate for all children, especially the most vulnerable. Manny believed strongly in the tremendous power schools have to transform children’s lives. As he said, schools help young people “overcome disparities that exist well before they enter kindergarten.” Under his leadership, Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) was the first district in Kentucky to establish a grant-funded Office for Educating Boys of Color with an intentional focus on meeting the needs of primarily Black and Hispanic male students.
Manny was recognized for the stability he brought to FCPS and joined Chiefs for Change in June 2018. In all of the conversations I had with him, one theme was clear: He saw his role as supporting a team—a team of teachers, principals, other school staff, and families. Manny truly listened to his community and empowered parents and caregivers by, among other things, creating districtwide learning guides in multiple languages that allow families to see what children should know and be able to do at each grade level, so they can determine if their child is on track.
We are grateful for the difference Manny made in the lives of countless children and extend our condolences to his family, the FCPS community, and all those who loved him.