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SHEPHERDSVILLE - Rob Fulk met the Bullitt Lick Middle School Site-Based Decision Making Council with a comprehensive five-year school plan tucked under his arm.
“I put a plan together from data I personally researched,” said Fulk. “I don’t go into anything blindly.”
The 30-year-old’s commitment and drive were among the many reasons the SBDM team named him Bullitt Lick’s new principal.
A Louisville resident, Fulk graduated from St. Xavier High School in Louisville. At the University of Louisville he earned a Bachelors’ Degree in English and a Masters in Special Education. He also achieved Rank 1 status and an Ed.S in Public Administration.
Fulk’s teaching experience includes three years each at North Oldham and Buckner Alternative High Schools in Oldham County.
He comes to Bullitt Lick following a one-year stint as assistant principal at New Haven School in Nelson County, where he learned administration skills from principal Jason Detre.
“(Detre) did a tremendous job helping me in administration,” said Fulk. “We worked side-by-side. I’ll be forever indebted to him for that.”
Fulk credited Detre for being a “detail-oriented” principal and showing how to read and apply numerous data while making school-based decisions.
“He taught me the process, the nuts and bolts of it,” Fulk said. “He wanted teachers to be fired up. He really believed they’re here to make a difference. I want people here fired up to make BLMS the best school it can be.”
Fulk also credited Detre for showing him the available position at Bullitt Lick.
“I thought it was an interesting school on the upswing,” he said. “I called around about it and then applied. I have family living in this area and it’s a community I’m invested in.”
Once Fulk applied, further research led to his personal five-year plan. Though he admitted the plan did not yet involve critical teacher input, he wanted to show the SBDM he was totally committed to the task.
“I want Bullitt Lick to be the best middle school in the state of Kentucky,” he said. “I believe with this staff, the district support and the programs here, that’s possible.”
Bullitt Lick Art teacher Amy Rucci, a member of the school’s SBDM team, called Fulk a very driven and prepared individual.
“He came with questions for us,” she said. “He had questions about the school, how we work, how we were looking to the future.”
Rucci noted that Fulk came from a school that was parallel to Bulliitt Lick in size and structure. She mentioned Fulk’s experience in dealing with behavioral disorders and students with special needs.
“He has a great passion for special education,” Rucci said. “He wants to reach those goals. He wants to be here.”
“I want to focus on positive behavioral discipline support,” said Fulk. “We want high expectations and to show students how to do it. We’ll show what respect and character mean. That impacts our students, it’s social and self-accountability.”
Fulk said a positive behavioral plan helped teachers apply similar expectations in each classroom.
“There’s more structure for the teacher,” he said. “They can be more engaging with students.”
Rucci felt Fulk would make a good fit as principal for Bullitt Lick parents, especially those who may have bad experiences or have felt unwelcome in the past.
“We want consistency for our students and parents,” Rucci said. “We want someone that will stay. We need to work with parents as a team. (Fulk) wants to strengthen that team.”
“We’ll make this a safe school, student-centered,” said Fulk. “Students are going to be safe when they come to Bullitt Lick.”
Rucci mentioned Fulk already contacted all staff members asking their input in preparing strategies for the upcoming year.
“He’s there to improve everyone,” she said. “He wants to challenge the top teachers, too. He’s going to push us and strengthen our weaknesses. He wants to get everyone to the next level.”
“I sent out teacher surveys,” Fulk said. “I asked fiscal and non-fiscal needs. I scheduled individual appointments with everyone. My intent is to meet every staff member one-on-one and get their perspective.”
Fulk was excited to move into a district he believed was accomplishing many goals, crediting superintendent Keith Davis for leading schools in a positive direction.
“Fulk seems very excited to be in Bullitt County and brings to us some excellent experiences as a teacher and administrator,” Davis said. “He has worked in schools in a variety of capacities and appears to be an excellent communicator.”
Along with district improvements, Fulk was highly impressed with the number of Bullitt Lick instructors that are either members of the National Board of Certified Teachers or currently going through the rigorous training process.
“Knowing they want that tells me they have the students’ best interests at heart,” he said. “They seem to encourage one another here. They’re fighting here to improve teaching and get to the next level.”
Fulk’s wife, Natalie, works as an administrator with Kenwood Montessori School in Louisville. The couple has two children, Brigid (5) and Atticus (3).
“I live in Louisville but I have many relatives in Bullitt County,” said Fulk. “I’m close to Bullitt County. If something’s going on at the school I want to be able to get here. I’m a supporter of community involvement.”
Rucci said Fulk’s style of positive reinforcement, along with his challenges for success, will make Bullitt Lick a school to watch this year.
“We are going to be one of the best schools in the district,” she said. “(Fulk) is committed to this school. The kids, the parents and the community realize we’re where we need to be and that it’s time to move forward.”
“Wanting to be a principal was a personal goal,” Fulk admitted. “I’m excited to put my name on it and watch the kids do some amazing things.”