Dear School Families,
Last Monday Mrs. Creach notified me of her decision to retire from her position with Fr. Tolton Catholic High School. We all love and appreciate Mrs. Creach very much and want nothing but the best for her. Her last day with us will be this coming Friday, November 1. Below is a message she wants to share with all of you.
Mrs. Gwenn Roche
A heartfelt message from the front office:
When I started this job more than eight years ago, I had no idea I would come to love this school and the community it represents so much. The students and families of Tolton have been very good to me through these years. The best thing you have done is send your students here to grow and develop into young women and men who will become contributors to their communities.
I appreciate the kindness and generosity shown me to me by students and families. Though it has given me purpose and pleasure to serve you, I have decided it is now time for someone else to have the privilege of serving this community as the front office person. I will be retiring on November 1 and begin a new phase of my life, taking with me the many wonderful memories I have of being a part of Tolton. I hope that this community will continue to support the good work of this school by looking at all the amazing things that happen here and celebrating what God is doing through the leaders and faculty. I have loved these students and will continue to observe from afar how they become all that they can be because of the education they have received at Tolton.
Thank you for the ways you have enriched my life. I will continue to pray for my Tolton family.
God’s blessings to all of you,
Job Opening: Administrative Assistant
Due to Mrs. Creach’s retirement, Fr. Tolton Catholic High School has an exciting opportunity for an administrative assistant in the front office, reporting to the Principal. Key attributes for success in this position include the ability to stay on task after being interrupted numerous times by students, teachers and parents, excellent time management skills and a congenial personality as this role could also be defined as the “Director of First Impressions”.
Performs a variety of assigned general office duties, receives telephone calls and visitors and directs them to the appropriate location; responds to questions and requests for information and/or routes calls and visitors for appropriate responses; assists teachers and other school personnel in order to accomplish tasks or projects; compiles and distributes information; prepares correspondence, reports, and form letters; maintains and updates files, records, and logs; uses a variety of assignment-specific computer applications, software, and peripheral equipment to accomplish task; processes incoming and outgoing mail; maintains time and attendance information; schedules appointments and meetings; maintains calendars as necessary; uses the computer system effectively to enter, organize, sort, store, and disseminates materials and data for students, staff, and parents.
Fr. Tolton Catholic High School is proud to announce a new exciting option for our upper-class students, Jump Start. TCHS is partnering with Moberly Area Community College and Lincoln University to provide college credit options for students who are completing their graduation requirements.
To sign up, please CLICK HERE!
The increasing interest in offering more college credit options led us to the dual enrollment programs at MACC and Lincoln University in Jefferson City. This is intended to compliment and expand upon our AP and dual credit class offerings.
The courses are dual enrollment:
Dual enrollment is different than dual credit classes. Dual-credit classes are taught by high school teachers using the college curriculum. Credit is dual, so given at both the high school and college levels.
Dual enrollment is different in that the high school credit is not given. Students are taking college classes for college credit during their time at high school without gaining high school credit. College credits are built to transfer to the student’s choice of college following high school graduation. All of these classes are taken online.
There is one exception to the no high school credit option in the area of math. Students taking math classes above AP Calculus will be given high school credit since TCHS does not offer anything beyond Calculus. There are a few students each year who would benefit from this option.
How does it work?
- Eligibility is determined first through credits remaining to graduate. There needs to be time in the student schedule to take the class.
- Students are eligible automatically if they have are a junior or senior with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Students with a 2.5-2.99 GPA require a counselor letter and parent permission.
- The classes are not to be taken instead of TCHS graduation requirements. For instance, a student cannot take a jumpstart English class in lieu of a senior level English class. Classes are not reported on the TCHS transcript or calculated into the GPA.
- Classes are taught on the regular college semester for MACC and Lincoln, with grades published by those schools.
- The Lincoln University cost is $150 a credit hour. MACC charges $78 a credit hour unless the student lives in Moberly, in which case the cost is $45 a credit hour. Students of MACC employed parents attend free. These costs are very reasonable compared to MU at $299 a credit hour and regular MACC classes at $105 a credit hour.
- Students are responsible for all coursework, meeting all deadlines and completing all assigned requirements.
Dear Parents and Students,
From time to time we will share information regarding specific school policies. This may serve as a reminder on a policy and how it is enforced, or it may be an opportunity to provide information regarding an update to a policy.
The policy provided below is taken from our Family Handbook. Please note that students are not to use their cell phones or other electronic devices during class without specific permission from a teacher for a purpose related to a class. Should students need to contact a parent they are welcome to come to the office and use the school phone or their own phone in the office. That communication should not take place in the classroom, hallways, restrooms, etc. We would ask that parents not contact students during the day by calling or texting student cell phones. Parents are welcome to call the school office and we will relay messages to students. The excessive use of electronic devices is creating a distraction in our learning environment. Please be aware of the consequences for not following this policy, as the policy will be strongly enforced moving forward.
As always, we welcome your questions and feedback. We appreciate your support and assistance with this issue.
Acceptable Use Policy
The school provides computing and network resources for the use of the students, employees and others affiliated with the school. Fr. Tolton Catholic High School provides internet access to all students and staff. Internet access allows classrooms and individuals to have access to information, software, news and opinion, and communication by electronic mail that originates from any point in the world. Members of the school community are encouraged to use electronic devices, software packages, and email for educational or school related activities and to facilitate the efficient exchange of useful information. However, the equipment, software, and network capacities provided through the school computer services are and remain the property of the school.
Appropriate or acceptable educational uses of these resources include:
- Accessing the internet to retrieve information from libraries, databases, and internet websites to enrich and expand curriculum is encouraged
- Use school issued email to post and share information
- Use proper email and internet etiquette
- Use electronic devices to complete classroom activities as directed by the teacher
- Use of personal computing devices to take notes during class
- Use of personal computing devices during study hall for studying or completing homework
- Use of Chromebook/Laptop to listen to music with headphones during study hall
This agreement applies to all electronic devices used at school. Once any student or staff connects to the school WIFI – regardless if using a school or personal device – any expectation of privacy is gone. The school has the right to confiscate any electronic device that violates the acceptable use policy of the school. Users consent to the confiscation and/or search of their device by the Administration or their agents should any suspicion of inappropriate or unacceptable uses arise. The decision of Fr. Tolton Catholic High School regarding inappropriate use of the technology or telecommunication resources is final. Monetary remuneration will be sought for damage necessitating repair or replacement of equipment.
Only students who have a signed Acceptable Use Policy Form on file are allowed to use any electronic device, including personal devices and devices owned by Fr. Tolton Catholic High School. Students must be working on a school-related assignment to be able to use any electronic device either provided by the school or brought from home. Any violation of the Acceptable Use Policy will result in the student losing the privilege of working on the computers in our building. This would cover electronic devices used both during study hall time and during any academic course in which the student is enrolled where the teacher has integrated technology into the curriculum.
Cell Phones and Personal Electronic Devices
Cell phones, smart phones, I-pods and other personal electronic devices are to be turned OFF from 7:50am to 3:15pm. Students are not permitted to call, text, check the time or otherwise use their phone or other electronic devices in the classrooms, hallways or restrooms during the school day, with the exception of lunch periods. Students are allowed the use of cell phones during their assigned lunch period. Use of the cell phones during this time should be limited to school appropriate activities. Students are not to wear earbuds or headphones, and they should not be visible, during times that students are not allowed to use their phones or other electronic devices.
Students who are ill and wish to consult with their parents or to go home are to report to the school office to report their illness. Students will be permitted to use their phones from the school office in order to speak with their parents. Students are NOT to call their parents regarding an illness without reporting to the school office.
The normal consequences for having cell phones or personal electronic devices turned on at unauthorized times are as follows: the phone/device is confiscated and turned in to the Principal. The phone can be retrieved after payment of a $20 fine.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2019
New leadership team for Tolton Catholic to be Doug Callahan, Jill McIntosh, Gwenn Roche
COLUMBIA — Bishop W. Shawn McKnight, bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City, announced today the leadership team for the Fr. Augustine Tolton Regional Catholic High School. Doug Callahan, Scout Executive of the Great Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America, will serve as president; Jill McIntosh, currently Tolton’s director of Advancement, will serve as vice president, a new position for the school. They join Gwenn Roche, the current principal of the school.
In announcing the appointments, which are effective Sept. 1, Bishop McKnight said they were made on the unanimous recommendation of the search committee which had been charged with selecting a president.
“I am grateful to the search committee for their thorough review of all the candidates and for their vision in setting Tolton on a sure path for a great future, not only for the school, but most importantly, for our students,” Bishop McKnight said. “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.”
Callahan comes to Tolton after serving for 20 years as the Scout Executive for the local Boy Scout council. “I always considered that work a calling, a vocation,” he explained. “But now I consider this role a higher calling. I am excited about this new opportunity to serve the families of Central Missouri, especially in making quality Catholic education more affordable and accessible to them,” he said.
Callahan, a native of St. Louis, has been involved in supporting Tolton High School since its founding; he is a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Columbia and his daughter was a member of Tolton’s first graduating class.
In addition to serving as vice president, Jill McIntosh will continue in her role as director of advancement. McIntosh holds degrees in marketing and management from the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business and has worked as a major gift fundraiser for the university. She continues to oversee fundraising, corporate relations, events, alumni programs, marketing and admissions for the high school. She is an active member of Sacred Heart Parish and has children enrolled at Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School.
Principal Gwenn Roche, also a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, has been involved in Catholic education for more than 20 years. A graduate of Avila University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, she has served in Catholic schools in the dioceses of Kansas City-St. Joseph and Peoria.
“This leadership team brings many gifts and talents to Tolton,” said Kenya Fuemmeler, interim superintendent for the diocesan schools. “They will enable the school to build the capacity of our students to be 21st century Catholics who are willing to solve problems for our communities through a Catholic lens and a Catholic education.”
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, which opened its doors in 2011, currently has 250 students in grades nine through 12. 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.
CONTACT: Helen Osman
email@example.com | 573.635.9127 or 512.785.3006
Please see the following notes from Mr. Scherrer about the 2019-20 Schedule.
Schedules will be available on Renweb on the morning of Monday the 29th of July. I will send an email letting everyone know they are accessible. They are under “student information.”
Schedule changes: I did the best I could to get everyone into the classes they requested. This doesn’t always work out. Here are some notes on scheduling this year that can explain some of the class assignments:
Classes not offered this year:
Speech-Communication does not have an available teacher so it is not offered.
American Literature had such a small number of requests so it will not be taught this year. Students requesting American Literature will take British Literature this year and American Literature their senior year.
Spanish 4 is combined with Dual Credit Spanish.
New class offered this year:
Private Music: Private Music is a rehearsal based class that permits students that are playing instruments that are not a part of the Tolton Band to play their instruments at school. Students must bring their own instruments and music to school and will be graded on their progression through the music as well as a performance each semester. For instance a student who plays the violin could practice during the school day and receive credit. It is offered two periods during the day and only three students may take it period.
Lunch this school year will be during 5th period. The latest a B lunch starts on a school day is 12:43 with the exception of the weather/10am late start school day which has lunch at 1:04. Your lunch time will be announced closer to the start of school.
Schedule change instructions including parent signature.
The procedure for schedule changes is different for this year. All schedule changes require a change of course form signed by a parent. This includes courses not requested but assigned by me. Emails from parents are not acceptable. Students and parents must be diligent in getting this done because of the narrow add/drop window of one week after school starts. The form is attached HERE. I also have copies in my office but will need to be taken home for a parent signature.
Per my earlier guidance, all Freshman schedule changes must be accompanied by a joke. A real joke, a funny joke. It must be verbally told upon submitting the form. Start working on these now. This is no joke.
I will not do schedule changes by email because there are just too many options. It goes much better in person. An in person meeting takes just as long as drafting a single email reply.
I will be available during upperclassman registration day on Tuesday, July 31and Freshman 101 on August 1. I will be around other days as my schedule permits. I will email times each week I am available until the end of add/drop.
Valid reasons for schedule changes are changes in interest in courses, changes in desired or scheduled electives, etc. Social engineering for putting friends into classes or lunch assignments is not a valid schedule change.
Add/drop is the time where schedules can be changed. The add/drop window for the fall semester will end on Monday the 19th of August at the end of school. That gives students a half-day and four full days of class.
CACC schedule pickup at TCHS will be held on August 7th from 1pm-3pm. I will give a talk about how this will work at 2pm.
Students taking CACC classes will have “CACC” on their schedule. They are taught in blocks which cover 2 periods of the Tolton school day.
- 1st block covers 2nd and 3rd period.
- 2nd block covers 4th and 5th periods. There is time for lunch for these students
- 3rd block covers 6th and 7th periods.
- 4th Block covers 8th period and ends at 4:05pm. That is 45 minutes after the Tolton school day ends.
CACC classes have A and B days. Some students are scheduled for just an A or a B day. If this is the case you will have a CACC-GSH listed on your schedule for your off days which will tell you where to go during your alternate day.
Dear Parents and Students,
We want to share with you some changes that have been made to the AP program.
To begin with, starting with the Fall of 2019, all students taking an AP class should plan to take the AP exam in May. This decision comes from research which shows students get more out of the AP class when they have a goal and purpose while taking the AP class. The goal is to do well on the AP exam. AP classes are some of the most rigorous offered at Tolton and students can earn college credit and placement for a good performance on the AP exam. AP classes also can provide deeper content to carry forth into college, regardless of the test score.
Students who wish to continue in an AP class and not sign up for the exam will have the class relisted on their transcript as an unweighted class without the AP tag. That means there will not be a GPA weight applied. Doing well on the AP test requires a commitment on a steady basis throughout the school year versus just earning good grades in a class.
Recent policy changes will require registrations to be done in the fall, with a deadline of November 1, 2019. Parents should budget for the $94 per exam fee which will be due by the November deadline. If students qualify under Tolton’s free and reduced lunch program, Mr. Scherrer will work to get fee waivers for those students to reduce the financial burden.
This schedule shows the dates and times of the AP exams in May. Please block out those dates.
Also note that there is a change to the spring final exams for seniors. Senior privilege for the past 3 years has included an out for seniors taking final exams during the spring semester. Because AP exam scores are not returned until July, well after report cards are completed, seniors will be required to take final exams. This gives students another opportunity to show their knowledge and possibly raise their class grades.
We hope these courses will provide rigor and challenge for students who want to adequately prepare for their college experience. Please contact Mr. Scherer if you have questions about the AP courses.
God bless you,
Mrs. Gwenn Roche, Principal
Mr. Tim Scherrer, Academic Dean
In recent months I’ve been working with the Academic Committee of the school’s Advisory Council to review and revise the school uniform dress code, where needed. A thorough review, including student input, determined that very few changes were really necessary.
Probably the biggest change concerns shoes. I realized that students needed to have some flexibility in the style and type of shoe worn in school. Therefore, approved shoes now include dress, casual, or athletic styles, as long as they have a closed toe and heel/back. In keeping with the current uniform policy, shoes are to be in good condition and clean. Boots may be worn inside the pant leg. Slipper-style shoes, sandals, croc style shoes, and heels higher than 1” are not permitted.
Major concerns were raised regarding pants and skorts. The committee compared what the handbook required and what students were actually wearing and found several areas where the existing dress code policy was appropriate, but simply not actually being adhered to by the majority of students.
For instance, many of the skorts/skirts currently being worn are easily rolled and worn too short. Skorts/skirts should be no more than 3” above the knee. (Less accurate, but helpful, is to have a student stand with shoulders relaxed and extend the fingers at the bottom of the skirt. If their fingers extend past the skort/skirt it is too short.)
Also, trouser style pants are required in the uniform dress code policy. However, students have been wearing “trendier” pants that are tight to the hip, leg and ankle. These are not considered trouser style.
Our teachers are charged with verifying that students in their classrooms are dressed according to dress code. In the past, one of their biggest frustrations has been determining proper skort/skirt length and proper “cut/fit” of pants. To lessen this burden on our teachers, eliminate the confusion and frequent conversations related to the dress code, and help parents and students to choose items that are uniformly appropriate and in compliance, the committee is providing a list of recommended vendors for academic year 2019-2020: Snow Creek, Land’s End and Tommy Hilfiger.
I have samples of pants, skorts (with and without pockets), and polo shirts from some of our vendors in the school office. One vendor has even supplied sizing kits which includes information about our school account and how to order from the website. Parents and students are welcome to come and see the sizing kits and samples in the school office. We will certainly notify families of any coupon/sale opportunities that come to our attention as well.
While compliance can be assured through the use of these preferred vendors, returning students will be allowed to use existing uniform items from other vendors as long as they fully comply with the uniform standards outlined in the handbook and appropriately reflect the style/fit of the items being provided by the preferred vendors. If you are in doubt about compliance of any existing uniform piece, feel free to stop by the office to have me take a look!
Finally, the academic logo is being added as an option for tops. All of the designated uniform vendors will have the academic logo available. Snow Creek and Tommy Hilfiger will also have the script Tolton Catholic available. Either logo is acceptable.
Please understand, the teachers and I want to spend as much time as we can focusing on academics and building positive relationships with our students, and this past year’s issues related to dress code were an undue distraction to that end. With your help and acceptance as a parent community, we can all work together to make the uniform dress code policy a non-issue next year and in future years to come.
If you have any questions and concerns, please feel free to contact me.
God bless you,
Mrs. Gwenn Roche
Bishop McKnight hosted a reception for friends of Tolton Catholic on April 1st. He wanted long-time supporters gathered there to know it’s his long-term hope that local parishes will ultimately support our schools to make Catholic education accessible to all families. Until that vision becomes reality, he stressed that he is personally very committed to the success and sustainability of our Catholic schools, including Tolton, the newest institution in our diocese.
He reminded everyone that, in January, a donor supported Tolton’s long-term viability in a significant way, committing a gift of $1,000,000 specifically to reduce the school’s debt. He confirmed that the school’s debt obligation now stands at $6M and the paying down of that balance remains one of the school’s highest priorities.
He also announced that a second $1,000,000 commitment has been made by an anonymous donor for the purpose of establishing a scholarship and tuition assistance endowment for Tolton Catholic students. This asset will not only increase accessibility for students, but will positively impact the school’s annual budget, allowing leadership to re-allocate budget dollars previously used for tuition assistance toward other high-priority operational and academic program needs.
Bishop McKnight emphasized that there is wonderful momentum behind the school. He invited those gathered to follow the example of the anonymous donors’ generosity and encouraged them to take a long-term view when considering a gift commitment, calling special attention to the priorities of reducing the debt and building upon the existing operations endowment.
COLUMBIA — Fr. Tolton Catholic High School has filled all five of its available coaching positions for the 2019-2020 school year, Interim Athletic Director Gary Link announced this morning. The following coaches have been hired: Michael Egnew, Head Football Coach; Allison McGough, Head Girls Tennis Coach; Elizabeth Best, Head Volleyball Coach; Don Barnes, Assistant Volleyball Coach; Renee Hulshof, Head Dance Coach.
“I am excited to welcome all five of these coaches to the Tolton Catholic coaching family,” Link said. “Each of these coaches will bring positive energy and a passion for their sport. I very much look forward to working with each of them.”
Since Link’s hiring on March 5 he has consistently stressed the importance of each coach’s responsibility to make the experience for students and student-athletes the best possible. Link believes the five new coaches will be an excellent fit for Tolton Catholic and his vision for the athletic department.
“Our common mission for each and every coach must be to do our absolute best for our students and student athletes to help them grow, have fun competing in their sport, develop relationships and friendships with their teammates, and respect the game,” Link said.
Link says that his coaches will be evaluated on how well they treat their student-athletes, their sport, their opponents, and most importantly, how they prepare students for life after they graduate from Fr. Tolton Catholic High School.
Michael Egnew will take over as head football coach for outgoing coach and Athletic Director Chad Masters. Egnew played tight end for the University of Missouri football team from 2008-2011. He was an All-Big 12 first team selection in both 2010 and 2011, an All-American in 2010, and was selected in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. After his professional career, Egnew started API Project Fitness with fellow Mizzou football player Jerrell Jackson, a Tolton Catholic assistant coach in 2018. Egnew also served as a volunteer coach at Tolton Catholic in 2015.
Allison McGough has been involved in tennis for more than 30 years as a player, coach, parent, and administrator. She coached both high school boys and girls tennis in North Carolina and has been president of Booster Clubs and served on many more. She and her husband John are the parents of Tolton Catholic Junior Aaron McGough.
Elizabeth Best, a recent teaching hire and current assistant track and field coach, will be the next Trailblazers Head Volleyball Coach. Best graduated from the University of Missouri in 2018 and currently teaches History and British Literature at Tolton Catholic.
Best will be joined on her staff by assistant coach Don Barnes who served as a volunteer coach with the team last season. He and his wife Sherri are the parents of Tolton Catholic Junior Olivia Barnes and will have a freshman at Tolton Catholic next year.
Renee Hulshof will take on the role of Head Dance Coach for the Tolton Blazer Girls. After graduating from MU with a Bachelors of Journalism, Renee has worked in PR and communications for 28 years. She organized and assisted with the founding of Tolton’s Blazers Girls in 2014. Hulshof is in the process of hiring a choreographer while she manages and directs the team. She and her husband Kenny are the parents of Tolton Catholic sophomore Hanna Hulshof.
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.
CONTACT: Helen Osman
firstname.lastname@example.org | 573.635.9127 or 512.785.3006