Special Note from President Bernie Naumann

Bernie-NaumannDear friends and fellow Trailblazers,

When I came to Tolton I never imagined how attached I would become to the school and people in such a short time.  Almost at once, I knew I had made the right choice and was proud to be part of the Blazer community.  I am proud to be part of the faculty and staff that has worked with such incredible devotion.  I am amazed by the charity of time, talent and treasure I have seen from parents, colleagues, and many regional supporters.  That pride and ownership is what makes this such a difficult announcement.

Many, many years ago, a hard-working Catholic husband and wife volunteered in their parish and school for decades, worked multiple jobs, and sent six children through twelve years each of Catholic education.  Even during challenging economic times, they prioritized giving to the Parish, school, and their children – sacrificing their own personal needs.  They lived the belief that in any way possible; time, talent, and treasure were all necessary support of the Catholic community, parish and schools.  These parents were mine and they passed that passion for Catholic education on to me.

Christ’s message in our schools is one of love; love I have experienced through my family, and in my roles in Catholic schools.  Recent health events for my parents have created the chance for me to repay just a part of their sacrifice of love – a recompense delayed far too long by my own professional pursuits and vocational work in our schools.

After prayerful discernment it is with a very heavy heart I announce I will be retiring.  I will be resigning my position at Tolton at the end of the current school year to address those family needs.  I feel I would be unable to honor those concerns and perform my duties at Tolton at the standards I hold myself to; and I feel the Tolton community deserves.  This is certainly an emotional decision; Tolton itself has truly become family to me.

I will forever be grateful for the acceptance and support I have received from everyone I’ve worked with in our Diocese.  I am very proud to be part of a community that is so dedicated to the mission of Catholic education, despite its many trials and tribulations.  Catholic education has become more than a vocation for me; it has grown to be a personal mission for which I carry a strong passion.  My experience here in Columbia has only grown that passion.  In short, my time working at Tolton has been nothing but rewarding and a warmhearted experience.

Tolton has developed a momentum that will continue through the devotion of its hard-working faculty, dedication of its wonderful families and support from the regional Catholic community.  I will work very hard with our Diocesan leadership to aid in the leadership transition and keeps those forces in motion.

I will be communicating with our students this afternoon.  I am also attaching a copy of the Diocese of Jefferson City press release.  My prayers and thoughts for this will always be with Tolton. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the team.  I have been truly blessed.

I wish you Christ’s blessings in spirit, heart, mind, and body,

Bernie Naumann

To read the press release from the Diocese of Jefferson City, click HERE