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Letter From Our Director of Student & Residence Life

Welcome to Cotter Schools and the Cotter Residence Center! We are an international boarding high school in Winona, Minnesota. We are excited you are looking into becoming a part of our international boarding school and dormitory.

Our staff are committed to helping make The International House a “home away from home” while students are with us. It can be challenging to live away from family, friends, and what you have grown accustom to at home. The International House is not just a place to stay while you study at Cotter Schools, it is your home. We are here to support you in this transition.

Our family structure surrounds you with support through a small group of peers and one staff member that consistently meet, share, and grow as a family. You will have the opportunity to meet new friends and form friendships that will last a lifetime! We have confidence in your ability to grow and lead a life of love and respect.

Just as different families have different guidelines and rules, so do we. Any time you live within a community it is very important for everyone to know the guidelines and act in a respectful manner to all those around us.

Cotter could be an experience you will not soon forget! We are honored, excited, and pleased to have the privilege of walking with you through this journey. You are not alone. We are your support system and work with each child individually to find their niche, work through any struggles, and grow as a whole person. From grocery shopping to learning how to do laundry, wiping tears when there are frustrations to celebrating birthdays, we surround you in love and work very hard to support your goals, dreams, and aspirations.

I very much look at our boarding students as my own children while they are here and stay connected with them once they leave. We are a family, always. I am more than willing to answer any questions you may have about dormitory life, structure, activities, options, accommodations, or other questions you may have specific to the daily life within our boarding family! You can contact me at


Marie Barrientos

Marie Barrientos

Director of Residential Life, 5-8 Student Life