Cotter community service inaugurates Blessed Brother James Miller awards



Cotter students have long had a community service requirement to fulfill and this year, for the first time, students were recognized for exceptional commitment in this area by being awarded the Blessed Brother James Miller Award.  An assembly was held on April 20, where student council was recognized, new National Honor Society members were  inducted, and community service awards were given out.

Brother James Miller was a graduate of St. Mary’s College (now University) in Winona, who was martyred during his service in Guatemala in 1982.  Read more about his inspiring story here.

This year there’s an app. which has helped Cotter dramatically increase the number of hours students are working.

Marisa Corcoran, who oversees the community service program, felt that the FACTS program that Cotter uses for many parent communications, was lacking functionality when it came to the community service program.

“I did some research and after checking with campus ministers and community service advisers at other schools we settled on the Helper Helper app and it has made a huge difference,” Corcoran said.

Helper Helper app has streamlined the process for connecting workers to projects and tracking student service hours. Teachers, coaches, or other Cotter community members who need volunteers can post what they need on the app and students can check the app and sign up for opportunities that fit their schedules.  The app also features a simple tracking feature that has the event superviser confirm the volunteers hours and it also tracks hours by individuals and by groups.

The Student Council was recognized for their work on events such as Homecoming, blood drives, 10 Days of Giving, Winterfest, student concerns, and the talent show.  Executive members of the council are Adam Dilks, Hannah Casselman, Savanna Loken, Coco Costello, and Jase Vafaei.  General members of the Council include Anna Piechowski, Sara Glodowski, Lucy Fitch, Lily Olstad, Patrick Morgan, Ava Koopman, Maddie Lemmer, Ellie Casperson, Kaiden Diaczun, and Ella Hoeger.

Congratulations to the following students who were inducted into the Marian Chapter of the National Honor Society. Membership is based on Scholarship, Service, Leadership, and Character.  Karianna Barrientos, Jessica Beguin, Izzie Biesanz, Sophia Carlson, Ellie Casperson, Lily Corcoran, Lucy Fitch, Hazel Freyre, Peyton Gish, Sarah Glodowski, Claire Heiring, Elizabeth Hinz, Francis Koll, Ava Koopman, Carson Korder, McKenna Laschenski, Maddie Lemmer, Jackson Loomis, Patrick Morgan, Selena Nguyen, Lily Olstad, Macy Piechowski, Carson Roeder, Josselyn Rolfson, Joseph Row, Sonja Semling, Julia Tienter, Katelyn Ubl, Sydney Williamson

The Helper Helper app has tracked Cotter students working over 7,500 hours and doing work with a value of over $214,000.  Volunteer work was done for St. Mary’s Parish, recreational youth sports programs, Cotter Schools, Winona Volunteer Services, Grace Place and Grace House, individuals in need, and many other partners.

The following were recognized for the Blessed Brother James Miller Service Award:

9th grade; Erica Beckman, Mallory Biesanz, Emily Blumers, Eric Geng, Brayden Novakoski, Barrett Schmidt, Lauren Jewison, and Elizabeth McGlaun

10th grade: Peyton Gish, Ava Koopman, Maddie Lemmer, Patrick Morgan, Carson Roeder, Lily Corcoran

11th grade: Finn Blagborne, Audrey England, Abbey Gardner, Luke Gardner, Mary Hoeger, Taiya Gilbertson, Alex Matuska, Jack Spiten, Victoria Glasspoole

12th grade: Hannah Casselman, Anna Piechowski, Andrew Troke, Makenzie Wong, Olivia Moore

Faculty and Staff: Mary Hansel-Parlin, Evan Howard, Jeff Novakoski, Eric Paulsen, Tom Reigstad

Cotter has been climbing the national service charts and is currently 7th in the nation

Here’s a Winona Daily News story from February about Cotter’s student service.