COLUMBIA – Hickman's former principal, Bob Nolke, is leaving retirement to serve as Interim Administrator for the regional Catholic high school in Columbia. The school was originally scheduled to open fall 2010 but has been pushed back due to shortfalls in funding. Nolke hopes that he can help make the plans for the school a reality.
"I've always enjoyed education and thought I could be of help. I will do what I can to help the Catholic community make it possible. This has been on the horizon for a long time, and I agreed to help," Nolke said.
Nolke worked for Columbia's school district for 30 years. He retired in 2001 after serving for four years as the principal of Hickman High School.
"I've always been involved in education, even in retirement," Nolke said.
Since his retirement, Nolke has mentored principals around the state and served as adjunct principal at Central Methodist University, he said.
Nolke's duties as Interim Administrator will include providing information about the plans for the high school, marketing and securing additional funding, he said. Nolke said he will be working with several committees to organize a plan to raise additional funds.
"Hopefully the experiences I've had as an administrator will help me organize what needs to be done to bring this, in a sense, out of the ground," Nolke said.
Nolke will look at other Catholic high schools across the state, such as Helias in Jefferson City and Sacred Heart in Sedalia, as a guide for putting together Columbia's Catholic school.
However, Nolke does not feel as though he is "switching" from public school to Catholic school.
"I'm a firm believer in public schools; I've also been Catholic all my life," Nolke said. "I don't think it's a one or other type of thing. I think it's giving people an option."