Distinguished Alumni

2021 - Carole Mottaz

Carole Mottaz is a lifelong educator and has taught every grade from K-12, special education and at the university level. Her primary interest has been in working with children who are less fortunate than others and/or struggle in school. In 1999, she designed the Renaissance Charter Academy high school in River Falls and was its principal from 1999 to 2008. She has presented at many conferences on subjects including innovative reading strategies, mainstreaming alternative education students, positive discipline, assessing middle school programs, innovations in environmental education and alternative education programs. Mottaz is also an accomplished author. The scariest time of her long career remains the time she was a reading specialist and taught kindergartners. She was a Senator Herb Kohl Fellow-Wisconsin Teacher of the Year candidate and was recognized as a Stephen Skank Exemplary Mentor. 


In addition to teaching, Mottaz's passion is community service, especially when it benefits children. She was assistant chief of the River Falls Ambulance Service. During that tenure, she was the construction manager for the new ambulance building (scary, but not like teaching kindergartners) and taught CPR/first aid courses in the community. She was co-founder of Our Neighbor's Place homeless shelter for families with children and ran the homeless shelter. She designed and manages Sporting World, the first Big Brothers Big Sisters retail store in North American. She has also been a longtime member and president of the River Falls Rotary Club, regional board chair of Big Brothers Big Sisters, chair of the River Falls Police and Fire Commission and EMS Advisory Board. She is currently a member of the American Association of University Women and the River Falls Lions Club.



Carole Mottaz