Students hold vigil for late FCPS Superintendent Manny Caulk

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A somber evening outside Fayette County Schools’ old central office building as the community gathered for a candlelight vigil in honor of Superintendent Manny Caulk.

People were encouraged to write cards, lay flowers, and candles as several shared their memories.

“He was one of the first people to ever see something in me, and push me to believe I can do anything in this world,” recalled one speaker.

The vigil was organized by students, one being Lafayette High School senior Micheline Karenga.

She says she met Caulk through the district’s Student Voice Team, and he encouraged her to speak up, even though she thought no one wanted to hear what she had to say.

“I spoke up and people were surprised,” Karenga said. “The whole point of that – he taught me that I can’t be silenced and my voice matters and that will always mean something to me.”

Another organizer, Bryan Station High School senior Caitlin Deffendall says this year has been tough on everyone and she hopes this public way of saying goodbye will help her classmates heal.

“I just tried to reach out to as many friends as I could,” Deffendall said. “Doing this, I think helps them focus their energy into something positive.”

Kimberly Chandler works for the school district and says Caulk was always student-oriented and wanted what was best for them at all times. With Caulk’s family behind her, Chandler shared this message.

“Thank the family for sharing him. And I would just ask for support to our students and our faculty.”

“We have such an amazing support system of teachers and so many people,” Karenga said. “We will get through this no matter what.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the visitation is a drive-thru from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Bracktown.

A celebration of life funeral will also be held at the church at 1, which is for family only in-person.

The service will be streamed ‘live’ for the public on Vimeo, YouTube and Facebook.

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