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Caulk announces new principals at Liberty and Athens-Chilesburg elementaries

With the selection of two new principals, all the top leadership jobs in Fayette County’s 37 elementary schools are now filled for the 2019-20 school year. Announced June 28 were  Lisa Kear for Liberty Elementary and Mark Rose for Athens-Chilesburg Elementary. “Each new hire strengthens our team,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. “Our students and families are counting on us, and we need leaders who are committed to being difference makers.”

Lisa Kear   Mark Rose

Kear was a member of the team that helped open Liberty in 2008 and has more than 16 years of experience in education. She taught special education for 4½ years at Julia R. Ewan Elementary and then served three years as a professional staff assistant, first at Ewan before it closed, and then at Liberty. At Liberty, Kear also spent four years as the administrative dean and five as the professional growth and effectiveness coach. She holds a bachelor’s degree in K-12 special education and K-5 regular education from Eastern Kentucky University, where she also earned her master’s degree in educational leadership. Kear, 58, and husband Brad have three adult children – Chelsea, Evan, and Clarie – and three grandsons – Jude, Pierce, and Finn. 

“Lisa Kear is deeply committed to the students, families, and staff at Liberty Elementary School and the SBDM made an excellent choice in selecting her as the school’s next leader,” said Elementary School Chief Lisa Smith, who served as the superintendent’s liaison on the Liberty principal search. “Lisa is a leader who believes that improving student learning must be the guiding principle for every educator. Building relationships and advocating for others is second nature for Lisa, and she has a heart for ensuring that each child receives the support he or she needs to excel in school and in life.”

Rose has 29 years of experience, including 20 years of teaching in the Clark County Schools at Shearer, Hannah McClure, and Providence elementaries and Clark Middle School. After a year as the professional growth and effectiveness coach at Glendover Elementary in Fayette County, he became the principal of Providence Elementary in 2011. When Providence closed in 2014 with consolidation, he became principal of Shearer Elementary. Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in elementary education from Morehead State University, and his Rank I in instructional leadership from EKU. Rose, 51, has two German Shorthaired Pointers named Agnes and Avery Ann.

“First I would like to commend the SBDM council of Athens-Chilesburg for their hard work, dedication, and diligence in ensuring that they worked on behalf of every student, family, and stakeholder group of the school,” said Elementary School Chief Faith Thompson, who oversees Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and served as the superintendent’s liaison on the ACE principal search. “With that stated, they selected a candidate who is a champion around instructional leadership, equity, and inclusivity and is great at building relationships. Mark Rose has a proven record at moving high-performing schools to even higher heights, so I am confident the rich traditions at ACE will not only continue but they will be extended.”

Kear and Rose will assume their duties on July 1, 2019.

“Every school deserves a transformational leader who will keep students first in every decision,” Caulk said. “With the selection of these two sensational individuals, I am confident that Athens-Chilesburg and Liberty elementary schools will remain in good hands.”



Lisa Deffendall, district spokeswoman
(859) 381-4101 or 699-1441