'No one can make it on their own'

The late Mike Caudill, former superintendent of Madison County Schools, talks with students at Glenn Marshall Elementary. Photo courtesy of The Richmond Register The late Mike Caudill, former superintendent of Madison County Schools, talks with students at Glenn Marshall Elementary. Photo courtesy of The Richmond Register


Mike Caudill liked to compare himself to a turtle on top of a fence post. That turtle didn't get there on its own — it had to have help. And he often credited those who helped him reach his fullest potential.

During his 25-year tenure as a teacher, principal and superintendent in the Madison County School District, he paid that help forward by working tirelessly to provide students with the tools they needed to succeed. He wanted all Madison County students to have help reaching their fullest potential. After his death in 2007, Mike's Kids Education Foundation was created to keep his dream alive.

Friends remember him for always looking out for others' best interests.

“In whatever decision Mike always made, number one, his heart was always in the right place. Number two, it was always about the kids. There was never, ever any doubt about that.” — Lon Hays, Caudill’s best friend, Richmond Register (2007)

Mike CaudillMike was a graduate of Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University. He started his career with the Madison County School System as a math teacher at Foley Middle School in Berea. After teaching nine years, he became assistant principal in 1992 and principal at Foley Middle School in 1994. In the fall of 1998, Mike became the director of districtwide services for Madison County and then an assistant superintendent in 2000. Mike was appointed superintendent of Madison County Schools by the Madison County Board of Education in July 2001.

In addition to his position as superintendent, Mike served on the board of directors for the Richmond Chamber of Commerce and the Berea Chamber of Commerce. He also was an active member of several advisory boards including: EKU College Advisory Board, Chemical Destruction Citizens Advisory Board, ASAP Advisory Board for Madison County, the State Advisory Council for Gifted and Talented Education and the Kentucky Education Distributive Cooperative. Mike was a member of the Bell South/Schllecty Center Superintendents Leadership Network, which is a network of 50 school districts from across the Southeastern United States.

Mike was a member of several professional organizations including: Kentucky Association of School Administrators, Kentucky Association of School Superintendents, Kentucky Association of School Business Officials, Kentucky Education Association, Madison County Education Association and Superintendents’ Leadership Network. Mike also served as an elder at First Christian Church and was a member of the Berea and Kingston Masonic Lodges.

Mike’s commitment to education and community earned him recognition as 2005 Educator of the Year by the National Association for Gifted and Talented Children, Berea Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year, Richmond Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year and Berea College Young Alumnus of the Year.

Mike Caudill