History


The goal of the History Department is to foster curiosity, empower students with the critical skills necessary to engage in the study of the past, cultivate the ability to make evidence-based analysis of the impact and significance of history, and enrich contextualization and communication in order to act as responsible citizens of the community and the world.


List of 13 items.

  • Early Childhood (PK-K)

    In Pre-K and Kindergarten, children are introduced to the notion of the self as related to a community (town, village, city, state, nation), and different cultures around the world. The conceptual framework suggests a way for children to understand the relationship between themselves and their families to a wider world. Children become familiar with maps and globes, visual arts and music of the United States and world cultures, and learn about themselves and others through stories, films, and guests.
  • Grade 1

    Children explore what it means to be part of a community through a variety of topics and units. Citizenship in the Academy community is introduced as a way to draw on children’s experience of their first communities (families, classrooms, play groups, etc.). Children begin to understand the similarities and differences among people in their communities and around the world. The focus is on the interdependent nature of people and cultures and the concept of working together toward a common good. The adaptive nature of communities and the unique role of each individual person, including rights and responsibilities, are emphasized.
  • Grade 2

    Children learn that many different groups of people come to live and work in the USA. Focus is on the relationships among one’s self and family and one’s neighborhood, town, state, and country, as well as an awareness of the different cultural and ethnic groups in the USA. Students also learn about the natural resources available to human beings and the responsibility to conserve and sustain them.
  • Grade 3

    In Grade 3, students learn about the ecosystem of their country including natural resources, climate and weather, land forms, regions, and agriculture. They also begin to study and understand the differences among regions of the USA and each of the 50 states.
  • Grade 4

    Starting in 2016, Grade 4 will be the beginning of a three-year global studies sequence. Students will integrate their study of geography with inquiry into issues of global importance. Each global issue will be examined through case studies in two different regions of the world. Grade 4 students will investigate the challenges of health, food supply, water resources, and pollutionThrough their investigations students will focus on developing skills of discussion, research, inquiry, writing argument, and reading informational text.
  • Grade 5

    Starting in 2016, Grade 5 will be the middle of a three-year global studies sequence. Students will integrate their study of geography with inquiry into issues of global importance. Each global issue will be examined through case studies in two different regions of the world. Grade 5 students will investigate the challenges of habitat preservation, population growth, climate change, and energy resources. Through their investigations students will continue to develop skills of discussion, research, inquiry, writing argument, and reading informational text.
  • Grade 6

    Grade 6 is the last of a three-year global studies sequence. Students integrate their study of geography, world cultures, and history with inquiry into issues of global importance. Each global issue is examined through case studies in various regions of the world. Grade 6 students  investigate the challenges of Migration, Standard of Living, Globalization and Human Rights. Through their investigations, students develop skills for discussion, research, inquiry, writing an argument and reading informational text.​
  • Grade 7

    Grade 7 history is a comprehensive study of American history beginning with early migration to the Americas and culminating with the Civil Rights movement. Students focus on various themes throughout the year such as expansion and globalization, citizenship and identity, and protests in America. Embedded in these themes are the concepts of cause and effect and how history has affected America’s place in the world. Course goals are to focus on the application of critical thinking skills, the objective evaluation of different perspectives, and ultimately an appreciation for American history.
     
  • Grade 8

    Students in the Grade 8 civics course study the processes, consequences, and competing values of American government and politics, particularly as they relate to citizenship and action. Students study the foundations of the Constitution, political elections, the three branches of government, and foreign policy.  The course material reflects current events and themes of justice, equity, and participation. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify the means by which citizens influence or resist government policies.
  • Grade 9

    All students in Grade 9 will take World History to fulfill their history requirement.

    World History

    The Grade 9 history course will take a thematic approach to world history from the pre-agricultural era through 1450CE. World History will be framed by questions around global topics such as: migration, environment, development, world views, culture, security, and justice. These questions will apply to the study of historical events and artifacts, as well as current events throughout the year that support unit topics. Through these questions, students will have the opportunity to examine the historical patterns of continuity and change over time. Specifically, students will analyze historic moments such as the Neolithic era, settlement of river valleys, development of major world religions, the democratic foundation of the Greek and Roman Empire, and the military strategies of the Mongols.
     
  • Grade 10

    All students in Grade 10 will take either Modern World History or AP European History to fulfill their history requirement.

    Modern World History
    The Grade 10 Modern World History course continues to take a thematic approach, picking up where Grade 9 World History left off in 1450CE and continuing to present day. Modern World History will be framed by questions around global topics such as: migration, environment, development, world views, culture, security, and justice. These questions will apply to the study of historical events and artifacts, as well as current events throughout the year that support unit topics. Through these questions, students will have the opportunity to examine the historical patterns of continuity and change over time. Specifically, students will analyze historical moments such as the Enlightenment, global revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, the African Diaspora, WWI and WWII, environmental changes, the Cold War, and globalization.

    AP European History
    Prerequisite: B+ or better in Grade 9 history and teacher recommendation. This course is focused entirely on European History from the Renaissance to the modern era including the Enlightenment, political revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, World War I, and World War II to the fall of the Iron Curtain. Students enrolled in this class are required to take the AP European History Examination in May. This course is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and factual knowledge necessary to deal critically with the problems and materials in Modern European History. The course makes demands on students equivalent to those made by full-year introductory college courses. The AP course is a survey course in which a textbook, with supplemental readings in the form of documents, essays, or books on special themes, provides substantive and thematic coverage. Students must also be able to draw upon a wealth of systematic factual knowledge in order to exercise analytical skills intelligently. Students learn to assess these historical materials and develop skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. 
  • Grade 11

    United States History

    All students in Grade 11 will either take U.S. History or AP United States History to fulfill their history requirement.

    U.S. History
    This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the history of the United States by incorporating American literature and arts while applying analytical frameworks of anthropology, geography, gender studies, environmental studies, and political science. In addition to studying dates and important political figures, this course examines popular and dissenting cultural attitudes, historical patterns of continuity and change over time, and major turning points in American history. Students will approach topics of American history using both a thematic and chronological approach. Topics will include the Constitution & Civil Rights, Freedom & Mobility, American Identity, and Cultural Memory; additional topics may include Labor & Capital, Sports & Popular Culture, or other topics that help students contextualize and understand current events. In this course, students will move beyond simply identifying “what happened” throughout American history, and instead delve into the how, why, and ramifications of events. Accordingly, this course relies heavily upon primary sources (including, but not limited to, political documents, literature, political cartoons, paintings, maps, music, manifestos, protests, and material objects) in order to understand and interpret American history as it unfolded. Secondary readings from historians and textbooks will supplement student inquiry. Students in US History will read Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow and Celia, A Slave by Melton A. McLaurin. 

    AP United States History
    Prerequisite: B+ or better in Grade 10 History and teacher recommendation or B or better in AP European History and teacher recommendation. Covering the history of the Americas from 1491 to the present, the AP US History course is designed to help students continue to develop historical thinking skills and an understanding of key concepts consistent with the curriculum of the College Board. The AP course is a survey course in which a textbook, with supplemental readings in the form of documents, essays, or books on special themes, provides substantive and thematic coverage. Students learn to assess these historical materials and develop skills necessary to arrive at conclusions on the basis of an informed judgment and to present reasons and evidence clearly and persuasively in essay format. This course is generally offered to eleventh graders, who are expected to sit for the United States History AP examination in May and are encouraged to sit for the SAT Subject test in U.S. History in June as well. 
  • Grade 12

    The Grade 12 History program offers electives in a variety of topics. Typical offerings include African Issues in Historical Perspective, Current Global Issues: Focus on Human Rights, Contemporary World Issues: Emphasis on Global Environmental Issues, East Meets West: A Study of Thought Systems and Religion from around the World, Modern Asia, and Modern Latin America.

List of 7 members.

  • Michael-Ann Cerniglia 

    Chair History Department, Senior School History Teacher
    Clemson University - B.A.
    Clemson University - M. Ed.
  • Michael Cesario 

    Middle School History Teacher
    St. Vincent College - B.A.
    Carnegie Mellon University - M.B.A.
    Duquesne University - Masters in Education
  • Barrett Gough 

    Senior School History Teacher
    University of Kentucky - B.A.
    University of Alabama - M.A.
    University of Iowa - Ph.D.
  • Kate Lukaszewicz 

    Middle School History Teacher
    University of Pittsburgh - B.A.
    Johns Hopkins University - M.A.
    Duquesne University - M.A.
  • Walter Lee McGinn 

    Senior School History Teacher
    Johns Hopkins University - B.S.
    Duquesne University - M.S.Ed.
  • Christine Mulhollem 

    Middle School History Teacher
    Grove City College - B.A.
    University of Pennsylvania - M.S.Ed.
  • Jessica Peluso 

    Senior School History Teacher
    Bucknell University - B.A.
    University of Pittsburgh - M.A.T.

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Sewickley Academy
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Sewickley Academy is a nationally recognized Pittsburgh private school enrolling students in Pre-K through Grade 12 on a single campus.