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Social Studies

group of students in suits in front of NY Stock Exchange wall, gavel  in front

Courtroom drama and psych experiments encouraged here.

Budding entrepreneurs and war game enthusiasts are welcomed and challenged by the social studies department at De Smet Jesuit. Committed to college readiness and real-world application, our teachers focus on communication and collaboration skills both in the classroom, on trips to  New York and civil war battlegrounds, and in clubs such as Mock Trial, History Club, and Ignatian Business Leaders. 

Business Students

Shark Tank

Investors wanted! Tired of muddy cleats? You need the Cleat Ace.  Intro to Business students design a prototype, create commercials, and make their sales pitch to see who's in.

Room 210

World Domination

In room 210 students conquer AP US History by day, then take over the world in strategy board games on Friday nights.

3 students watch 2 students looking at papers, phone timer in view

AP Psychology Students

Quasi-experiment Project

To learn the full process of psychological experimentation, students recruit, interview, obtain consent, and carry out research studies on willing participants.

  • Real World
  • Life Skills

taught to ensure success outside the classroom

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  • 60+%
  • students in college credit classes

Seniors love AP Psychology and sophomores can take AP World Studies.

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  • Essay Masters

We emphasize solid writing skills and notetaking to prepare students.

AP Essay Scoring Guidelines

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  • $4,429
  • concession stand profits

earned by students in Ignatian Business Leaders

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  • ACT success

We closely adhere to ACT reading and writing standards.

ACT Readiness Standards

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  • $2
  • Rent a tie

Business students help with dress code responsibilities.

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  • NYC
  • Wall Street

New York and beyond for business and history field trips.

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  • Class of 2019
Nick Blattel

The business classes at De Smet gave me a solid foundation for understanding the basics of accounting and economics. These concepts were pivotal for me in choosing to go to Indiana's challenging business school. I attribute my success in my first college level accounting course, which had a 30% drop rate, to taking business classes at De Smet Jesuit.

  • Class of 2019
Jake Angus

If you have a passion for business, De Smet is a great place to be. I was given the opportunity to manage the concessions stand and literature retail projects where I learned a lot about the concessions business such as setting margins and keeping an inventory. Personal finance taught me the fundamentals of how to properly manage my finances and the economics course was challenging and gave me enough knowledge to easily get an A in my first college economics course.

  • Class of 2021
David Stephens '21

Every history class I have taken at De Smet has given me a plethora of knowledge, not only about events and how they transpired, but also how they came to be and their implications today. They are so in-depth when discussing their relative time periods.

  • Class of 2019
Thomas Hubeli

My experience with business classes at De Smet was fantastic. I took two classes in my last two years and they influenced me greatly. Both classes related the business world to everyday life giving me knowledge such as managing my own finances and starting my own small business. The classes were very hands-on and a great stepping stone to learning how to properly network and act in a professional environment. De Smet’s business classes were very influential with the knowledge and connections they gave me to the business world as well teaching me how to become a better man.

  • Class of 1976
Bud Schreiber, Senior VP at Brown Brothers Harriman

Aside from family, I feel that my four-year experience at De Smet Jesuit served to solidify my value system and my relationship with God and others in my life.  Any chance I have to talk about my Jesuit education and how it has helped form who I am is a chance I cannot turn down.  To talk about it with fellow future alumni - priceless.  Giving back is part of “Men for Others” and the chance to give back to my high school, even in this small way, was very enriching for me.  I welcome the opportunity to help the seniors I met in the future in any way I can.  Hopefully, the NYC trip will happen again next year and I will be part of it.  Thanks again!

  • Class of 1980
Dan Kramer, Managing Director at Kramer Financial Group, LLC

Hosting the De Smet Jesuit seniors and chaperones at my office this past week was a real gift to me. My memories of De Smet Jesuit have faded over the years but with these annual visits from current Spartans the memories are getting better over time. I’m thankful to God for His grace that has saved me and for the promise in Jeremiah 29 that God will give us a hope and a future. I am already looking forward to your next visit. AMDG

Social Studies Curriculum

Sophomore Year

  • AP Honors World Studies
  • World Studies

Junior Year

  • America Comes of Age
  • AP/ACC Honors American History
  • Economics
  • Foundations of American Society
  • Psychology

Senior Year 

  • AP/ACC Honors Government Studies
  • ACC Honors International Studies 
  • AP/ACC Honors Psychology 
  • Economics
  • Modern American Society
  • Psychology

Summer Electives

  • Civil War
  • Modern European History
  • Vietnam War
  • WWII

Mock trial is a teacher’s dream, and it’s a really powerful experience for the boys. There’s a lot of critical thinking. They have to collaborate to create a strategy. They have to anticipate and create contingency plans, and in trial they have to think on their feet. It’s a wonderful alternative to the STEM focus because it provides a lot of great academic extracurricular balance. We have really bright kids and they have great enthusiasm. Tom Sothers, history teacher and Mock Trial Coach

Social Studies Faculty

Bryan Traughber

Bryan Traughber

Class of 1997
Teacher, Department Chair, Head Cross Country Coach
MA, History, University of Missouri-St. Louis
BA, History, Truman State University
Josh Klein

Josh Klein

Class of 1997
Teacher, Head Soccer Coach
MS, Sports Psychology, Florida State University
BA, Psychology, Rhodes College
Andy Lange

Andy Lange

Class of 2002
Teacher, Textbook Coordinator
MBA, Business Administration, St. Louis University
BA, Finance, St. Louis University
Matt Mohan

Matt Mohan

Class of 1982
Teacher, De Smet Depot Bookstore Manager
BA, History, University of Missouri-St. Louis
BS, Secondary Education, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Tony Plein

Tony Plein

Teacher
MSE, Curriculum & Instruction, University of Kansas
MA, Theology, University of Notre Dame
BA, Theology, St. Louis University
Tom Sothers

Tom Sothers

Teacher, Spartan Association Moderator, Scholar Bowl Coach
MLA, Washington University
BA, History, St. Louis University
BA, Education, St. Louis University
Chris Welling

Chris Welling

Teacher
LLM, De Paul University College of Law
JD, St. Louis University
BA, St. Louis University School of Law