Instructional Services



"Good teaching is an act of generosity, a whim of the wanton muse,
a craft that may grow with practice, and always risky business.
It is, to speak plainly, a maddening mystery. …
Good teaching cannot be equated with technique. 
It comes from the integrity of the teacher, from his of her relation to subject and students,

from the capricious chemistry of it all.
A method that lights one class afire extinguishes another.
An approach that bores one student changes another’s life. …
Good teachers dwell in the mystery of good teaching until it dwells in them.
As they explore it alone and with others, the insight and energy of mystery
begins to inform and animate their work.
They discover and develop methods of teaching that emerge from their own integrity –
but they never reduce their teaching to technique.”

       - Parker Palmer



McFarland’s Instructional Services Office supports teaching and learning through collaboration, service, and leadership.

The Office provides district-wide leadership for a thoughtful, coherent approach to the ongoing development, implementation, and evaluation of rigorous curriculum, assessments, and instruction.  We work in collaboration with the Office of Integrated Student Services and with the district’s Administrative Council to identify research- and best practices-based strategies, programs, and models, and to support all staff as they engage students in learning experiences that increase their connection to one another, to important and interesting ideas, and to the world around them.

Conversations and/or requests for resources are welcomed; please contact Kelley or Melissa for additional information or an appointment.

Director of Teaching and Learning for Literacy and Humanities:  Kelley Novak, Ed.D
District Office, 5101 Farwell St., McFarland WI 53558
Office: 608/838-4570

Director of Teaching and Learning for STEM: Melissa Pfohl
District Office, 5101 Farwell St., McFarland WI 53558
Office: 608/838-4510

Representative responsibilities of the Instructional Services Office include providing:

  • Insight, energy, and leadership for the District’s administrators and teachers in examining and revising the PK – 12 curriculum to ensure alignment with Academic Standards and State Assessments;
  • Structure and support for the District’s teacher evaluation process, a partnership process that is based on respect for the integrity and serendipity of the teaching-learning process and on the belief that reflection and collaboration can work together to improve the practice of every professional, every year.
  • Direct support and collaborative leadership for the District’s PK-12 literacy and gifted/talented programs and services, encompassing both direct service to students and teacher professional development;
  • Design and structure for the District’s professional development work;
  • Leadership of the District’s instructional coaching model, where trained and qualified coaches work hand-in-hand with excellent teachers to positively impact student learning;
  • Consultation to teachers, teams, and/or departments regarding best practices, differentiation strategies, policy updates from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and personalized professional development requests; 
  • Direct support and collaborative leadership for the District's data and assessment needs, including envisioning and moving forward with a data-based formative assessment model; 
  • Leadership of the District’s Mentor and New Teacher Induction Committee to ensure that teachers new to the profession and/or the District are connected with a trained mentor and receive on-going support for their first two years to improve their professional practice.;
  • Collaborative leadership with the Administrative Council for the design, implementation, and evaluation of the District’s school improvement process and teacher leadership work;
  • Vision, design leadership, and implementation strategies for District-wide teaching-learning-assessment activities and processes, such as the Teacher Study Group (TSG) process, the Curriculum Review Teams (CRTs);
  • Support for organizations and activities that link the school district with the community through the District’s school-to-career program, including the Business-Education Partnership (BEP) and the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Council; and
  • Collaborative support for the District’s instructional technology initiatives.


Please see subcategory links on left menu for more information


  • McFarland School District
  • 5101 Farwell St., McFarland, WI 53558
  • Phone: 608 838-4500 | Fax: 608 838-3074
  • Email