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Welcome to the OTHS Social Studies Department

The Social Studies Department is committed to preparing students to become informed citizens who participate in democratic decision-making. We want them to understand and to appreciate the principles of government and historical experiences of the United States. We want our students to respect the opinions of others but to have the conviction to stand up for their own ideas.

We believe it is important to recognize how the events in one location affect people and events in other parts of the world. We want to provide students with an educational background that will enable them to understand local, national, and international events. We want our students to develop an appreciation for different cultures while providing them with the opportunity to develop a sense of patriotism and pride in their own culture.

Social Studies Clubs and Activities

  • History Club -- Sponsor: Mr. Chris Kazmierczak (
    • The History Club is an activity for individuals who are interested in expanding their knowledge of all forms in history; American, World, Contemporary, Ancient, etc.  It is a forum that will provide a different approach to understanding history where a classroom setting is limited.  The club will watch historical films, take field trips, research holidays and historical events, and conduct interviews of family members. All students are eligible to participate in History Club. 
  • Mock Trial Club -- Sponsors: Mrs. Caitlin Mueller,  (
    •  The Mock Trial Team allows interested students to acquire knowledge of careers and topics related to law.  Students can learn about trial procedures, case analysis, and trial strategy.  A team of ten students to represent OTHS at the Illinois High School Mock Trial Competition sponsored by the Illinois State Bar Association.  The team receives guidance from a teacher coach and local attorneys but all of the arguments, questions and theories are the original work of the students.  
  • Model UN -- Sponsor:  Mrs. Karen Turner (
    • Model United Nations is a simulation of the United Nations that helps educate students about diplomacy, global policy, and public speaking. Students take on the role as diplomats and represent nations from across the world and participate in simulated sessions within certain United Nations committees. This activity involves research into international issues, debate, and communication skills and can greatly enhance a student’s understanding of international relations and global affairs.  We meet after school several times throughout each semester. Also, we have two required Model UN conferences held at McKendree University -- Fall, Spring. All students are eligible to participate in Model UN.
  • Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society -- Sponsor:  Mr. Doug Riddle (
    • Rho Kappa is a national organization for high school juniors and seniors that recognizes excellence in the field of Social Studies.  The application process for the OTHS Rho Kappa chapter requires candidates to meet minimal GPA requirements, show participation in activities that demonstrate civic engagement in school or community, and demonstrate their desire and aspiration to be a member of the organization. Applicants must also have a recommendation from a current social studies department faculty member.