Tolton Catholic principal resigns after six years building school

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COLUMBIA – The first principal, president and key founding figure of Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School will resign this week to take time off to rest.

"If you till the crops and you plant without ever stopping, that soil becomes worn out and useless,” Kristie Wolfe said. “I am determined not to work myself until I hit the point where I am no good anymore.”

Wolfe announced her resignation on June 24, just six days before her resignation will take effect on June 30. She said she made the decision last week and decided to part with the school at the end of the fiscal year.

At a news conference, some people asked if there were any tensions leading to the resignation.

“I wouldn’t say there were conflicts that led to this decision," Wolfe said. "I would just say the things that I am naturally gifted at accomplishing are not the things that need to be accomplished now.”

Wolfe has helped build and develop the school since its inception six years ago, including completion of the school's construction, furnishing, staffing and fund raising efforts. The school’s growth led to an expansion only two years after its initial construction.

“I’ll never be the same. It’s that life changing for me to have been a part of it,” Wolfe said.

This is the second Catholic school Wolfe has helped build from the ground up. She left her position as a high school principal in Pennsylvania before coming to Missouri.

“When the opportunity to open a new Catholic high school in Columbia landed on my desk, I was at that time much like I am now, at a point of feeling like my work there was finished,” she said.

Bishop John Gaydos appointed Sister Julie Brandt, associate superintendent of Catholic schools for the Jefferson City diocese, as acting administrator of the high school. Brandt said she isn’t the best person to hold the position permanently, though.

“I don’t think I’m qualified for that as a full time position,” Brandt said. “I have another job that I’m really highly excited about and energized by and I don’t have the high school administrative experience that I would want.”

School officials said they are working to fill the opening before school starts in the next 50 days.

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