Education

See which Lexington schools are getting new principals

Fayette County schools have seen growth and successes

Fayette County public schools Superintendent Emmanuel "Manny" Caulk discusses improvements and changes seen in the past few years in a State of the Schools address at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.
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Fayette County public schools Superintendent Emmanuel "Manny" Caulk discusses improvements and changes seen in the past few years in a State of the Schools address at the Embassy Suites in Lexington.

The Fayette County Public Schools district announced that the new principals have been chosen for two Lexington elementary schools.

Lisa Kear is the new principal of Liberty Elementary School and Mark Rose is the new principal of Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School. All top leadership posts in Fayette County’s 37 elementary schools are now filled, a school district statement said.

Gerry Brooks, the former principal of Liberty whose comedic videos get millions of views and speeches get hundreds of fans, said he will go back into the classroom in Lexington for a year as an intervention specialist so he can travel on the weekends.

Athens-Chilesburg Elementary principal Peggy Henderson is retiring.

Kear was a member of the team that helped open Liberty Elementary in 2008 and has more than 16 years of experience in the field of education.

She taught special education for four-and-a-half years at Julia R. Ewan Elementary and then served three years as a professional staff assistant, first at Julia R. Ewan before it closed, and then at Liberty after the new school opened.

At Liberty Elementary, Kear also spent four years as the administrative dean and five years as the professional growth and effectiveness coach, a district statement said.

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.

“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 Elementary 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 in the field of education, including 20 years of teaching in the Clark County Schools at Shearer, Hannah McClure and Providence elementary schools 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 due to consolidation, he became principal of Shearer Elementary, where he has been ever since.

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 a rank I in instructional leadership from Eastern Kentucky University.

Elementary School Chief Faith Thompson, who oversees Athens-Chilesburg Elementary and served as the superintendent’s liaison on the ACE principal search, said the school council 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,” she said.

“Every school deserves a transformational leader who will keep students first in every decision,” Fayette Superintendent Manny 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.”

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