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Social Studies

The Social Studies Program at Notre Dame High School requires three courses in History-- World History, US History I and US History II.  One of the goals of these courses is cultural literacy with regards to our country and the world.  However, a quote from Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, “what is past is prologue,” conveys the idea that what has happened in the past is an introduction for what is to come.  Another goal of our History courses is to recognize and explore themes that are relevant to the present that teach lessons in matters such as ethics, Gospel values and citizenship.  

In addition to content, the required History courses are vehicles for building skills in critical thinking and communicating in structured, supported ways.  Students will learn to gather, evaluate and use facts to draw conclusions, take positions, argue opinions, and communicate these in writing, orally, and with technology utilized appropriately.  Honors track and Advanced Placement course offerings allow students to achieve at challenging levels as their skills develop.

The academic discipline “History” comes under the broader category “Social Studies” because it is more than a recitation of things that have happened.  Studying history is an attempt to understand past societies using as tools various principles that collectively are known as “the Social Sciences.” These are each separate disciplines that have been developed to analyze cultures and societies.  Principles from these disciplines will be used throughout the required History courses.  To allow students to further pursue their curiosity and interest in these disciplines, the Social Studies Program has a variety of elective courses that provide students with a chance to investigate possible college studies and career paths.

Charles Kroekel

Department Chair, Social Studies and Physical Education

Courtney Ashe


Mary Ellsworth


James Gibilisco

Manager of Summer Programs, Faculty

Donna Grabowski

Vice President of Finance and Operations/Faculty

Eileen Palazza


Jason Patton


Margaret Wroblewski