New dorm coordinator making a strong impression

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New dorm coordinator making a strong impression

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Carol Girard, the new dorm coordinator, is making a strong impression on all the residents of the dorm.

Carol has two grown children who live not far from Winona. She was a computer programmer for 21 years and last semester she also worked at Bluffview Elementary School.

Carol first heard about working at the Cotter dorm is through Mrs. Barrientos. They had known each other for quite a while. About one year before Carol actually moved into the dorm, she was invited by Marie and she laughed at this “crazy” idea but the second time Marie mentioned this Carol took the job because she felt “it just seemed right!”

Carol’s job is a little different than Marie’s, she is the dorm coordinator, so she is charge of the day to day logistics, of organizing all the arrangements for the workers and students at the dorm.

“Everything!” is great since she worked in Cotter, but  “when kids are sick, it is hard to decide whether they are going to school. “I describe my job mostly as being a mom to 87 kids. Coming to the dorm has been the best thing I’ve done in a long long time.”

Carol is  a “mom x 87” because there are 87 kids at dorm. She needs to help students arrange their money, make sure the transportation is scheduled properly, hold fun activities, take sick kids to the doctors and help with kid’s studies.

Students are responding well to Carol’s style of leadership. Holly Yi, a junior at Cotter from South Korea described Carol as the best listener of anyone she has met. 

“She listens to our stories well and respects our opinions. I can see she is always careful not to harm any body’s feelings,” Yi said.

Things are more organized to make students more self-driven. The piano in the practice room has been fixed so students can practice or play music for recreation.  There are bikes people can use to go outside. In her free time, Carol like to go outside and that’s why she is the adviser for outdoor club at Cotter. Hiking, biking are two of  Carol’s hobbies.

Shelving where Carol stores craft materials for students to use

Shelving where Carol stores craft materials for students to use






She listens to our stories well and respects our opinions.”

— Holly Yi










Ema Santos is a new RM at dorm this year from Peru. She met Carol on the first day she came to the dorm.

 “ It’s very easy to work with Carol. She gives me advice refer to her experience,” Santos said.

She was also impressed with  Carol’s kindness in her first few months on the job and has used Carol’s help to get used to living with students from all over the world.

Tom Reigstad is a chemistry teacher at Cotter and also a RM at dorm for 2 years. Tom met Carol at staff bonfire in Marie’s place before she became a RM. When talk about experience on working with Carol, Tom used phrases, “great, responsible, organized, works much harder than she should be”.


Mr. Reigstad appreciates the long hours Carol spent getting the dorm ready for students
















Mr. Reigstad  noted that long before any students had arrived at dorm, Carol started preparing for the upcoming year, and several times worked from 8 a.m until midnight.

William Lin, a junior at Cotter from China  appreciates how Carol’s approach helps the students and how she  handles their concerns.

William Lin enjoys his talks with Carol

William Lin enjoys his talks with Carol















“Carol and I have lots of conversation on different aspects of life in dorm, such as the air conditioner, internet and food. I noticed the changes in dorm compared to last year. We expressed our opinions and Carol listened. She is such a kind, benign, persistent lady who really cares about how we live our lives,” Lin said.





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