Superintendent of Fayette County Schools
A champion for children committed to helping every student reach their potential, Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk has a record of success in urban school districts that spans two decades. He has held leadership and teaching positions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in some of the nation’s largest and most impoverished school districts. Caulk has consistently advanced policies and procedures based on research and best practices to support high expectations and accountability, create effective organizational and governance structures, and establish metrics to define success.
In his first year at the helm of the second-largest school district in Kentucky, Caulk launched an entry plan that included five external audits, site visits to every school and program, and listening sessions and surveys that drew input from more than 12,750 students, staff, families, and community partners. His “Blueprint for Student Success: Achieving Educational Excellence and Equity for All,” outlined 100 specific strategies in eight pillars of focus. The community was able to track progress and hold leaders accountable through a first-of-its-kind online monitoring tool.
Under Caulk’s leadership, FCPS developed its first strategic plan in a decade, worked in partnership with local business leaders to redesign its high schools through the Ford Next Generation initiative; launched a volunteer campaign called “Give 10;” placed education in the center of community discourse through a highly successful Superintendent’s Book Club; and was the first school 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.
In March 2017, the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) conducted its fourth and most exhaustive audit of the district in as many years. After the review, KDE issued a report, which concluded that Caulk “has brought stability to the district.” It highlighted dozens of accomplishments from the Blueprint for Student Success and affirmed that the district has capacity to lead future improvements.
Before joining FCPS in August 2015, Caulk served as superintendent of Portland Public Schools, Maine’s largest school district. Prior to that, he 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.
Caulk’s experience in education includes time as a special education teacher in a juvenile detention facility, an elementary principal, and a high school principal. He also practiced law, serving as an education law attorney and former assistant prosecutor for the state of New Jersey.
Caulk earned his bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Delaware and a law degree from Widener University School of Law. He is completing his doctorate in education.