McFarland 2021 Year in Review | McFarland Thistle – – DC Initiative on Racial Equity
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In 2021, McFarland saw the return of students to in-person learning in schools, a push toward sustainability in village buildings and the continued emphasis on equity work in the village.

The village broke ground on a new public safety center to house the village’s police and fire departments, which is set to become the first sustainable public safety center of its kind in the state.

McFarland began an equity audit with outside consultants, underwent training and made its holiday festivities more inclusive.

Within the school district, administrators began the search for a new superintendent. The school board continued to weigh COVID-19 protocols and practices. And students began a new school year in-person, with many previously cancelled activities, after a tumultuous 2020-2021 school year.

Here is a look at this year’s biggest headlines.

A McFarland resident eagerly awaits curbside pick-up hours at E.D. Locke Public Library after the building closed to the public for COVID-19.


Gym owners at Total Body Training in McFarland help local residents keep their fitness New Year’s resolutions through a new program. Thirty McFarland High School students come out against the McFarland School Board’s decision to return to a hybrid in-person learning model in early 2021.

Forward Pharmacy, a Cottage Grove-based pharmacy with a McFarland location, begins administering COVID-19 vaccines. Sun-Prairie bath and body company Restoration Soaps & Body Care sells products at the McFarland Farmers’ Market. The McFarland School District considers offering virtual instruction for students through the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, as an alternative to in-person learning. Village of McFarland officials raise concerns over a proposed reconstruction of U.S. Highway 51 through the village, saying it could impact access to the highway, turning movements and access to local businesses. Farmers from West Star Organics and Vitruvian Farms near McFarland say they’ve changed their business models in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to more directly connect with consumers, as Dane County extends funding for food pantries. McFarland School Board members Tom Allen and Ann Molitor announce they will not seek reelection in the spring 2021 election. Village Board member Carolyn Clow will run unopposed for village president.

McFarland Village Board member Eric Kryzenske announces he will not run again, with Clair Utter, Stephanie Brassington, Carrie Nelson and Christopher St. Clair running for three village board seats.

The McFarland School District chooses to allow all students in grades 3-12 to opt to stay fully virtual as schools move toward reopening for in-person learning. The nutrition department in the McFarland Schools continues to prepare free meals for more than 400 students a day, distributing them through pick-up stations, deliveries to homes and deliveries to five local daycares. Former McFarland Police Chief Craig Sherven reflects on his retirement, as the law enforcement industry sees a rise in early retirements and resignations.

Laetitia Hollard is named the McFarland Optimist Club Senior of the Month. The village of McFarland will now require property owners to clear snow around fire hydrants near their properties.

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