Congratulations to the school board for a successful search and to Superintendent-elect Emmanuel "Manny" Caulk for recognizing the huge untapped potential in the Fayette County Public Schools.
Caulk, 43, will bring to Lexington varied and impressive experience as an educator and administrator.
And he will probably need every bit of it.
A pair of state audits revealed troubling weaknesses in both the financial and educational management of Kentucky's second-largest school district.
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The Fayette board, the interim superintendent and a consultant have been working to correct problems and put better systems in place.
But ultimate responsibility for making the most of public dollars and serving all youngsters falls now to Caulk.
To realize those goals, he needs the support of the whole city, but especially the support of FCPS' administrators and staff.
There's no place for the petty rivalries and infighting that produced what the state auditor last year called a "toxic" environment. That dysfunction in parts of central office undermined sound financial management and kept school board members and the public in the dark about district finances.
More recently, state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday laid out a long list of concerns about the administration's capacity to lead school turnarounds and close achievement gaps. Caulk must shore up those weaknesses or risk a state takeover of FCPS.
It's encouraging that Caulk was attracted to Lexington by the potential and doesn't seem put off by the problems.
Some, including us, had feared that recent discord and the resignation of former superintendent Tom Shelton might scare off good candidates. That appears not to have been the case, another vote of confidence in FCPS' potential and in Lexington.
Congratulations and thanks also to the more than 500 people who attended sessions with the superintendent candidates and the 4,375 people who filled out surveys about what they think is needed in a superintendent. That level of public engagement had to impress the candidates.
Finally, such "firsts" may not be as significant as they once were, but it's worth celebrating that Caulk will be Lexington's first black superintendent of public schools.
One of his biggest challenges will be making sure that children of color and those from less fortunate circumstances finally get the educations they need and deserve.
Lexington's future prosperity depends on better educating more of our youngsters — or, as Caulk put it, "ensuring their demography doesn't equal their destiny."