President's Welcome

I want to personally WELCOME you to “The Cotter Experience”! On the pages of our website you will find information, photos, and contact information about our amazing community of students, teachers, staff, parents, alumni, and benefactors - with descriptions of all that Cotter has to offer! Every person in our community works to create a truly outstanding educational experience for each student.

The Cotter Experience . . . is, first and foremost, rooted in faith, hope, and love. We believe that each person is intrinsically good because they come from God. Our strongest hope is that each student will achieve their full potential physically, spiritually, and intellectually. And our basic operating principle is one of love - love that challenges, forgives, supports, welcomes, and heals. All are welcome and cherished in our community and each person is encouraged to seek to know God and God's love through the Cotter Experience.

The Cotter Experience . . . is about achieving academic excellence. Students are challenged to achieve their full potential. Advanced Placement courses, Honors courses, STEM courses, language courses, and multiple levels of Math courses ensure that students leave fully prepared to excel in college and beyond. Our outstanding college readiness scores attest to this confidence.

The Cotter Experience . . . is about personal growth in the fine arts and theater. Cotter students have multiple opportunities to experience and excel in choir, band, and theater. And our history of bringing home first place awards in multiple events demonstrates that our students DO excel. Our students love to do it all!

The Cotter Experience . . . is about performance in athletics and activities. Each season over 80% of our student body participates in one, two, or three sports or activities. Cotter students are on the move – constantly. From soccer to Nordic skiing to Math Team to volleyball to Speech to wrestling, a Cotter student can grow and learn in a variety of venues, fields, and courts.

In the end, The Cotter Experience . . . is about community. We are a community that welcomes students from across the globe, from a variety of religious perspectives, and from down the street. We strive to provide all with a safe and welcoming environment where each student can flourish. Cotter truly is a school community where standards, values, and YOU matter!

We would love to welcome YOU to The Cotter Experience! Thank you for visiting our website and do contact us if we can provide additional information.



Sr. Judith Schaefer, OP, PhD
President, Cotter Schools

Image of Sister Judith Schaefer, OP, PhD, sitting in a green chair in her office. She is wearing glasses, a navy blue blazer, white shirt, and a silk scarf with multi-colored flowers.Sister Judith Schaefer has served as President of Cotter Schools since 2012. Sister came to Cotter from Saint Mary’s University where she served as Professor of Theology. Sister Judith is a professed member of the Sinsinawa Dominicans. Sister completed her doctorate at Marquette University, and she holds a Master of Divinity degree and a Masters in Pastoral Studies degree. Her bachelor’s degree is in education from Northeastern Illinois University. Sister Judith is originally from Denver, Colorado, and has ministered in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Montana, prior to coming to Winona, Minnesota in 2000.