January 2019 Minutes

Trustees present: Jake Biesanz, Carol Ehlinger, Mike Hansen, Don Nitti, Will Gibson

Maureen Speltz


Trustees absent: Fr. Berning, Fr. Arens, Dan Arnold, Jeanne Franz, Paul Morgan, Ted Reilly, Sandi Blank, Fr. McNea


Others present:  Steven McGlaun, Sr. Judy Schaefer, Sue Savat


The meeting was called to order by President Mike Hansen at 7:00 pm.


Due to a lack of quorum, secretary’s and treasurer’s reports will be approved at the next meeting.


Fr. Jim has been reassigned to Rochester so St. Mary’s Parish is without a priest representative at this time.


Schools update

Sr. Judy spoke to the group about the current situation of international student enrollment at Cotter. Nationally, international student enrollment is down 43% from 2016. Historically, Cotter draws about 8% of the market of Minnesota international students. Due to the decline in overall international students Cotter is working to capture a larger percentage of the market. A larger percentage of currently enrolled international students will be graduating in the spring. Locally, Cotter has a 14% share of local students (over the national average of 10% for private schools). Additional written comments from Sr. Judy were shared with the board and are attached to the minutes.


Pat Bowlin was unavailable for the meeting, but had sent a written report that was available to the board members and is attached to the minutes.


Treasurer’s Report

The treasurer’s report showed a loss in December.  The markets were not good.


Annual Appeal

The Annual Appeal is coming to an end.  Steven McGlaun presented a list of donors from last year who have not responded this year.  The board was asked to take names of people they knew and make a gentle reminder call.   Cotter’s hard deadline is Feb. 4 but it was discussed that CSF could continue to receive gifts for the appeal after that deadline.


Board Workgroups

Discussion was held regarding the organization of the board.  Working groups were planned to focus our attention on the major activities of CSF:

Annual Appeal

CSF dinner

Fr. Paul Nelson Legacy Society

Recruiting and Onboarding of New Members


Mike will work with members for working group assignments and will be scheduling a working meeting for all groups.


Legacy Award

We need to be looking for nominees for the Legacy Award.  Steven will pass along to Mike the list of part nominees.


Next Meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for MONDAY, APRIL 15, due to the normal meeting date falling on Holy Thursday. A request was made to try a different evening.


The executive board will set a meeting midpoint between board meetings.



Respectfully submitted, Maureen Speltz

October 2018 Minutes

Trustees present:  Carol Ehlinger, Don Nitti, Sandi Blank,  Rev. Arens,  Will Gibson,  Paul Morgan,  Mike Hansen,  Maureen Speltz


Trustees absent:  Jake Biesanz, Dan Arnold, Jeanne Franz, Rev Berning, Ted Reilly


Others present:  Sr. Judith Schaeffer, Pat Bowlin, Steven McGlaun, Sue Savat


Father Arens opened the meeting with prayer.


Minutes of the last meeting were approved.  Motion by Sandi, second by Paul.


Approval of the agenda was moved by Carol, second by Will.


School updates

Sr. Judy presented events going on at Cotter.  Founder’s Day was celebrated with a vignette at the cemetery.  Sr. Judy interviewed Bishop Heffron/ Steve McGlaun and Bishop Cotter/Mark Roeckers about the origins of Cotter High School. Cotter’s speech team received recognition as being in the top 20% of national debater teams. In soccer, though the girls did not go as far as they hoped to, the coach, Marie Barrientos, was named Coach of the Year in Minnesota. Cotter’s ACT test scores are in and Cotter students averaged above the state average.


Pat Bowlin spoke about WACS.  The Readathon was a great success this year. WACS enrollment is 52 students above last year’s total.  The preschool offering this year includes 4 sections in the morning, and one afternoon.  Morning is much more popular. The WACS Halloween party is this Saturday.


Treasurer’s report

Financial statements were presented showing last year’s income and expense for WACS and Cotter.  Cotter shows a deficit, mainly due to the lower number of international students.  WACS also shows a deficit.


Sue then presented the results of the audit from June 30,2018.  In the last year, CSF took a loss in selling REIT shares. The auditing group found control deficiencies in our operation.  As this is due to the small number of trustees, little can be done.  New accounting procedures are in the works, and Sue will keep us apprised as they go into effect.


Motion to accept the audit made by Paul, and seconded by Don.


New Business

Annual appeal

The annual appeal this year will be from November 5, 2018 until February 4, 2019. Our theme this year is “Connect, Believe, Invest”. This year, WACS, Cotter, and CSF will have a joint appeal. Mailings will go out early November.  Mike and Steven gave an explanation and discussion of the work being done. Cotter has new computer capabilities and will be able to give lists of donors to specific schools. Cotter will be contacting all Cotter grads since 1960. Donors may give to a specific cause, or to a general fund that will be shared by the three. Donors may use the mail or donate online on the Cotter website. Mike stressed the need for every one of the trustees to be out talking to people about the appeal and find ways to spread the word about what we are doing in the Catholic Schools.


Father Paul Nelson Society

Mike told the trustees that new material was needed to promote this method of giving and Steven and Ted Biesanz are working on developing that material.  As trustees, we need to be more proactive in recruiting new donors.


Baptism fund

Pat shared an idea that he has to invite families with recently baptized children to consider WACS for the child’s ongoing education by setting up “accounts” for families. Using this method of drawing attention to our schools was discussed.  There are many ideas about how to work with this idea. 1) Sending letters to new parents “You have an account with WACS” 2) Giving a voucher to use when enrolling.  We will continue to discuss this.


Executive Board Meeting will be held December 6, 2018 at 7am in the Cotter Board Room.


Next regular board meeting will be January 17, 2019.


Motion to adjourn made by Will, second by Sandi.


Respectfully submitted    Maureen Speltz

July 2018 Minutes

Trustees present: Jake Biesanz, Carol Ehlinger, Mike Hansen, Paul Morgan, Ted Reilly, Sandi Blank, Maureen Speltz


Trustees absent: Fr. Berning, Dan Arnold, Will Gibson, Jeanne Franz, Msgr Hargesheimer, Barb Pozanc


Others present:  Steven McGlaun, Pat Bowlin, Sue Savat


The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm.   The meeting began with a prayer offered by Fr. McNae.


The minutes of the last meeting were approved, with a correction in the Treasurer’s report.  The amount of $120,000.00 was recommended by the financial committee for the preliminary advance to the schools, not $120.00.  Motion by Ted, second by Carol.


The agenda was approved for this meeting.  Motion by Paul, second by Sandi.


Schools update

Mike introduced Steven McGlaun, Cotter Schools Director of Development.  He will work with our board as our liaison to Cotter and will represent Sr. Judy at our meetings.

Cotter’s update was presented by Steven. He also told the board that Eric Christianson has been hired by Cotter to work on International Recruiting and Alumnae Affairs.  He will be based in the Twin Cities, but will spend several days a week in Winona.

Pat Bowlin spoke to the group about the changes at WACS.  Progress is being made in remodeling the two schools in order to accommodate the larger classes anticipated in the fall.  He was most pleased with the retention of most of our families and the growth in new families.  Enrollment is at 445, there will be 4 kindergartens and new teachers have been hired.


Transition of Board Members

Mike reviewed the end of each board member’s term. Barb Pozanc’s term has ended. Discussion followed, relating to end of term for those who had stepped in to fill a vacant spot.  A nominating committee will be formed to suggest candidates for filling open slots.

Final distribution

Sue presented the thoughts of the Finance Committee regarding the final distributions to the schools.  Numbers were given for varying percentages, and the finance council recommended a 4% distribution:  total donation to schools then being $247,000.00.  The motion to accept was made by Paul, second by Sandi.

A lively discussion followed, fueled by a question from Jake.  There are several endowed accounts for Cotter. Education regarding defining each and the role they play in Cotter’s budget is needed. Many activities/funds are out of our jurisdiction, and while this board does not control those other accounts, we do have means to direct a specific fund to a designated cause.  A donation specified for WACS would be held in that account. Funding received by WACS from the area parishes was also discussed.

Executive Board Meeting

The executive board will meet 6 weeks after the regular meeting at 7 am, Friday mornings.


Next meeting will be October 11, changed due to MEA week.   Finance committee meeting will be at 6:00 pm prior to the Board meeting at 7:00 pm.


Respectfully submitted, Maureen Speltz


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