Movers and Shakers: Kentucky K12 district leader establishes office for educating minorities

By: | Issue: January, 2019
December 20, 2018
Manny Caulk, Superintendent, Fayette County Public Schools, Kentucky.


Superintendent Manny Caulk of Fayette County Public Schools has established the first grant-funded office for educating minorities in a Kentucky school district. During his first year as superintendent, Caulk also created 100 strategies for students to obtain academic excellence. He has worked with local business leaders to redesign the district’s high schools and launched the Give 10 volunteer campaign. 

During Destiny Rutzel’s five years as principal, South Ripley Junior High School has received a Promising Practice award for its advisory program from the Indiana Department of Education, and has been recognized by athletic associations for working with Special Olympics student-athletes. For her efforts, Rutzel was named 2018 Indiana Middle School Principal of the Year by the Indiana Association of School Principals. 

Principal Lucas Clamp of River Bluff High School in South Carolina has raised English language and math scores from 42.9 percent to 68.6 percent for all students in the last three years, including going from 65.8 percent to 87.9 percent for black students. Graduation rates also increased from 81 percent to 94 percent, and he’s encouraged more education experiences for black students. 

Superintendent John Gaddis of Somerset County Public Schools developed and launched the first all-day preschool program in Maryland. The program—which accommodates 90 percent of 4-year-olds in the county—has led to 57 percent of kindergarteners performing well on readiness assessments. Gaddis also spearheaded a federal meals program that provides free meals to every student, and oversaw the district’s highest graduation rate in 2018.