National search announced for new president of Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, Columbia

COLUMBIA — Bishop Shawn McKnight, bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City, announced today a national search for the next president of Fr. Tolton Catholic High School. The school, which opened its doors in 2011, currently has 262 students in grades nine through 12.

The national search will be coordinated by School Sisters of Notre Dame Sister Julie Brandt of the diocesan Catholic School Office and led by a search committee composed of representatives of the Tolton High School community and the diocese. Search committee members include Father Chris Cordes, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Columbia and chair of Tolton’s board of directors; Msgr. Robert Kurwicki, diocesan vicar general and Tolton board member; Jay Burchfield, chair of the Tolton Advisory Council; Kenya Fuemmeler, principal of Helias Catholic High School in Jefferson City; and Jim Schauwecker, a community leader in Columbia. In addition, another search committee member will be chosen by members of the Tolton Advisory Council.

“A Catholic school is a place where young people receive not just academic lessons, but lessons in how to be better disciples, to contribute in a positive way to the Church and society,” Bishop McKnight said. “We need the best caliber of people to be inspirational leaders of our school communities, and we hope our vision for the future of Tolton will encourage great candidates to consider the position.”

The school has benefitted from recent multi-million-dollar gifts to the diocese and is utilizing its advisory council and committees to solidify the school’s future. Deacon Dan Joyce, who has been serving as president this school year, will complete his term June 30, allowing the possibility of a transition period for the new leadership.

“It has been my privilege to have served as president at Tolton in this transitional year,” Deacon Joyce said. “I’m very proud to have been part of establishing a very skilled and active Advisory Council, as well as enhancing Tolton’s collaboration with various stakeholders and increasing operational transparency.”

The Fr. Augustine Tolton Regional Catholic High School, known as Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, develops students in spirit, heart, mind, and body, providing a rigorous academic program and expansive extracurricular offering in a Christ-centered environment. The school is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, which includes 38 counties in northeastern and central Missouri and is led by Bishop McKnight.