Mrs. Roche Announces Departure at End of School Year

Dear Tolton Families and Friends: 

Peace be with you!  We pray that you are having a blessed Advent!

We are writing to you this morning to inform you that Mrs. Gwenn Roche, principal of Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, announced her decision to not return for the 2020-2021 Ministry Year this morning.  This decision comes after months of discernment and prayer. Mrs. Roche will continue to serve as Tolton’s principal for the remainder of the 2019-2020 Ministry Year.

The Catholic Schools Office is engaging Partners in Mission to help identify and recruit high-quality candidates for this important leadership position.  While the diocese continues to be open to exploring different leadership structures, the search will focus on a Head of School model wherein the principal and president responsibilities are merged.  We will share updates with you as we search for a dynamic faith-based educational leader. Please join us in praying for the success of the search process.

Tolton will continue to have a Vice President of Advancement and Athletic/Activities Director to support our shared mission to develop students in spirit, heart, mind, and body.  Tolton is also considering the addition of an Associate Principal role to further enhance ministry.

We also want to communicate our excitement about the VISION 2020 strategic planning process.  Mr. Ben Potts, an independent consultant hired by the Diocese, has already received feedback from 223 students, met with 121 parents and community members, and discussed ministry with 26 faculty and staff members.  If you have not yet been able to participate, or if you would like to encourage alumni or other community members to participate, please use this link.

The participation rate has been absolutely tremendous!  These discussion sessions are providing valuable insights into the community’s hopes and dreams for ministry at Tolton.  A preliminary broad summary of some emergent themes was shared with the faculty/staff this morning. Click here to view a broad summary of some of the initial highlights.  While coding and studying all of the responses will take some time, we expect to be able to share a more comprehensive communication early in the second semester.

It is overwhelmingly clear that the community is passionately committed to high-quality Catholic secondary education in Greater Columbia.  Bishop McKnight, Superintendent Fuemmeler, the Board of Directors, the Advisory Council, and Tolton’s faculty/staff share this passion and commitment.  The evangelizing mission, academic excellence, and affordability and accessibility of Catholic schools are diocesan-wide priorities.

As VISION 2020 moves forward, we will develop a Steering Committee to shepherd the process and to engage the community in charting Tolton’s next decade.  Please expect further communications in the near future about the Steering Committee and the VISION 2020 process.

The legacy of Tolton’s founding decade will be a blessing for future generations throughout Greater Columbia.  Thank you to all those who have made the mission possible. With the continued commitment of students, teachers, families, and community members, we know that the sky is not the limit … Heaven is.

Fr. Tolton – Pray for us!  Go Blazers!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Ms. Jill McIntosh and Mrs. Gwenn Roche