Green Leaf Elementary students

Providing leadership and support for academic achievement

The Teaching and Learning Department at District 196 strives to ensure a high level of learning, opportunity and expectation for each student. The Teaching and Learning Department provides instructional leadership and support across the district by collaborating with staff in developing and sustaining a shared vision of k-12 research-based curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development to maximize student learning.

The district’s comprehensive core curriculum is grounded in state and national standards and builds upon the work of the district’s curriculum committees, made up of teachers, administrators, teaching and learning department staff, and members of the district Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Council (CIAC). The curriculum defines what the district expects students to know and be able to do at each grade level and in each content area.  The core curriculum is complemented with a variety of electives and co-curricular opportunities to ensure the students’ academic and social-emotional learning needs are met at each school.

Inquiry and formative assessment data drive student-centered instruction, and collaboration is key for staff. Each curriculum area and instructional methods/approaches are reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis as part of a continuous improvement approach to ensure alignment with standards and research.

Each school is committed to the success of each and every student.  Additional programs provide support support for English learners, special education, students at risk and gifted students all with the goal of providing students access to and success in the core classroom.  

Technology is utilized as a tool that can enhance learning; as students access and analyze information, collaborate and communicate, publish their work, and as they live out digital citizenship.  All students have access to sets of laptops and Chromebooks in classrooms and access to computer labs.  In addition, each student in grades 7-12 is also provided a district-owned iPad as a learning tool to use both at school and at home aligned with the district’s learning and technology framework.

Explore the sections below to access specific information related to the district’s strategic work in Teaching and Learning:

  • Curriculum/Standards
  • Equity
  • Learning-Technology
  • Magnet Schools
  • Additional Support Services
  • Assessment
  • Advisory Committees
  • State Reports
  • World’s Best Workforce
GLE students working on an assignment

Our Mission

Educating our students to reach their full potential.

Our Beliefs

  • Students come first
  • All students can learn
  • High expectations inspire students and staff to excel
  • Learning is maximized in a safe, respectful and inclusive environment
  • A well-rounded education includes opportunities in academics, the arts and athletics
  • Learning is a lifelong pursuit
  • Effective management of resources is critical
  • Partnerships and collaboration enhance educational programming
  • A culture of innovation and continuous improvement prepares students to be college and career ready
  • An informed and engaged community guides effective decision making



Phone #

Email address

Steven Troen

Director of Teaching and Learning


Amy Denneson

T&L Coordinator:  HS English-language arts, HS social studies, K-12 English learners, K-12 specialists/electives, K-8 gifted-talented, Q Comp


Beth Swenson

T&L Coordinator:  K-8 literacy and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, K-8 Integrated Units of Study


Carita Green

Integration and Equity Coordinator – AVID, cultural family advocates


 Dr. Cathy Kindem

T&L Coordinator:  K-12 Math, science, STEM, Magnet School Programs, Innovative Programs, Business and Community Partners


Jenny Huling

T&L Specialist:  Learning and Technology, 1:1 Learning, Schoology


Megan Pershica

T&L Specialist:  K-8 literacy and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, K-8 Integrated Units of Study


Michelle DeMers

Assessment Coordinator


Nandi Rieck

State and Federal Programs Coordinator: Grants, Title Program, Career Development, Homeless Liaison