Gwendolyn Roche will be the principal of Father Tolton Regional Catholic High School, and Deacon Dana “Dan” Joyce will serve as interim president, both effective July 1, the Diocese of Jefferson City announced in a press release Tuesday.

As principal, Roche will focus on supervising the school’s academics, while Joyce’s role as interim president will involve overseeing financial matters, strategic planning and community relations, according to the release.

This is the first time since the school opened in 2011 that the roles of principal and president are being split between two people. Most recently, the school has been led by Bernard “Bernie” Naumann, who announced in February that he would be retiring at the end of this academic year to be closer to his aging parents in St. Louis.

Roche and Joyce were appointed by the Most Rev. W. Shawn McKnight, the bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City. Joyce’s interim appointment lasts for one year.

“We are very fortunate to be able to obtain someone of Gwenn’s caliber on such a short hiring timeframe,” McKnight said in the release. “She has a long history in Catholic education and we are happy to have her at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School.”

Roche has worked in Catholic education as a teacher or administrator for 20 years. Until she moved to Columbia in January, she had been the principal of a Catholic school in Bloomington, Illinois, since 2013. She has previously worked as a principal in Philo, Illinois, and a teacher in Liberty, Kansas City and Champaign, Illinois. Roche, who is from Kansas City, earned her master’s degree in educational administration from UMKC.

Joyce has been the communications director for the Diocese of Jefferson City since 2011 after over 30 years working in state government in various budget, legislative, management and legal roles. He holds a law degree from St. Louis University and has been a deacon at the Cathedral of St. Joseph parish in Jefferson City since 1999.

Supervising editor is Jared Kaufman:, 882-7884.

  • Formerly an assistant city editor & reporter on the public health and safety beat. Reach me at or on Twitter @Jaredography.

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