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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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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