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School board kicks off superintendent search to replace Caulk

Fayette County Board of Education members met for the first time Jan. 11 to discuss the process of selecting a leader to replace Superintendent Manny Caulk, who passed away in December. During a work session prior to its regularly scheduled monthly planning meeting, the board affirmed a commitment to collaborate with stakeholders and work as a team to find the best candidate to shepherd the district into the future. 

“Your board of education team is committed to conducting this search in a way that builds upon and strengthens employee, student, family, and community engagement in order to attract a leader who will help us achieve our mission of ensuring all students achieve at high levels and graduate prepared to excel in a global society,” said Chair Tyler Murphy. 

The work session included a review of the superintendent selection process outlined in state law and discussion of a draft timeline for the search. The board hopes to have a new superintendent in place on July 1. 

According to state law, school boards in Kentucky must seat a Superintendent Screening Committee within 30 days of determining a vacancy. Statute requires the committee include two certified employees elected by their peers, one classified employee elected by their peers, one principal elected by their peers, one parent/guardian elected by PTA presidents from each school, and one board of education member appointed by the board chair. 

The process of seating that committee began with the opening of nominations for those interested in serving. Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Jan. 15, and voting will be Jan. 18–22. People may nominate themselves or someone else:

Murphy appointed colleague Tom Jones to serve as the board member representative on the screening committee. Jones has more than 43 years of experience in the field of education not only in Kentucky, but nationally. His service includes 16 years as principal of Bryan Station Middle School and 16 years with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/AdvancED/Cognia, a national nonprofit committed to accrediting, evaluating and supporting school and district improvement. 

The board also agreed to begin advertising for superintendent search firms or executive recruiters to support the selection process, specifically noting the need for an organization with a track record of recruiting a slate of diverse candidates to ensure an applicant pool mirroring the diversity of the students and families served by Fayette County Public Schools. 

“We recognize that the five school board members cannot adequately capture the breadth and depth of diversity represented by our students, employees, families, and community,” Murphy said. “But we will be intentional and creative in finding ways to ensure that the voices of all stakeholders will be heard and valued.”

Information hub: Visit the Superintendent Search webpage for regular updates.

(Posted Jan. 11, 2021)

Lisa Deffendall, district spokeswoman
(859) 699-1441