St. John’s Social Studies Department, through a wide variety of academic disciplines, strengthens students’ knowledge of the past and their understanding of their place in the world today. Whether studying human behavior through psychology and economics, gaining an appreciation for art and music or studying the history of the world from the earliest civilizations to current political debates, students observe, analyze and evaluate the many connections across time, place and subject matter, both in and outside of the classroom. 

Students develop strong critical-thinking skills and the ability to express their ideas in a variety of ways. From informal class discussions to individual and group presentations, essay writing and research papers, students are expected to articulate their interpretations of the historical past and the modern world around them. 

Course Offerings

  • World History and Geography 1
  • World History and Geography 2 
  • U.S. History 
  • U.S. Government
  • Economics 
  • Global Studies 
  • AP Art History
  • AP World History
  • AP U.S. History 
  • AP European History 
  • AP Psychology 
  • AP U.S. Government and Politics 
  • History of American Music
  • Introduction to Psychology 
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • The American Experience: 1900 to Today

Course Requirements

Students must complete three credits of social studies to graduate. Geography and Human Interactions, World History and U.S. History are required. More than 80% of seniors complete a fourth social studies elective.

Typical Course of Study
  • 9th Grade: World History and Geography 1
  • 10th Grade: World History and Geography 2 or AP World History 
  • 11th Grade: U.S. History or AP U.S. History
  • 12th Grade: Optional elective year 

Extracurricular Opportunities

  • Model UN: Students research and debate current or theoretical issues facing the UN from the perspective of one or several particular nations involved. Club members are expected to conduct research regarding these issues and develop position papers that detail the specific position their nation might take on those issues. St. John's participates in conferences at St. Anselm’s, George C. Marshall High School, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, Columbia University and Georgetown University. 
  • Girl Up: An innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up gives American girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise awareness and funds for United Nations programs that help some of the world’s hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. 
  • Debate Team: Speech and debate are consistently recognized as fundamental activities in promoting student leadership, raising standardized test scores and distinguishing applicants to elite universities. This club focuses on policy debate and student congress. Events that emphasize knowledge of governmental policy and action on both the domestic and international levels are also hot topics.

Social Studies Faculty

List of 14 members.

  • Photo of Colin Crawford

    Colin Crawford 

    Department Chair, Social Studies; Jazz Instructor; AP Government, The American Experience
    202-363-2316 x1969
    University of Scranton - B.A.
    Manhattanville College - M.A.T.
  • Photo of Bro. Paul Avvento, FSC

    Bro. Paul Avvento, FSC 

    Interim Assistant Principal for Student Affairs; World History and Geography 2
    202-363-2316
    Manhattan College - B.A.
    St. Mary's College of California - M.A.
  • Photo of Patrick Behan

    Patrick Behan 

    Head Boys' Basketball Coach; World History and Geography 1
    202-363-2316 x1094
    Bucknell University - B.A.
  • Photo of Bro. Mark Brown, FSC

    Bro. Mark Brown, FSC 

    History of American Music, Jesus and Church, Music Department Moderator
    202-363-2316 x1967
    Towson University - B.S.
    La Salle University - M.A.
    Johns Hopkins University - M.L.A.
  • Photo of Scott Camillo

    Scott Camillo 

    AP US History, Introduction to Psychology
    202-363-2316 x1968
    University of Rochester - B.A.
    University of Rochester - M.A.T.
  • Photo of Breana Carter

    Breana Carter 

    AP Psychology, Introduction to Psychology
    202-363-2316 x1970
    University of South Carolina - B.S.
    George Washington University - Ph.D.
  • Photo of Jay Egan

    Jay Egan 

    AP US History, World History and Geography 1
    202-363-2316 x1966
    State University of New York, Cortland - B.A.
    Touro College - M.S.
  • Photo of Anna Garland

    Anna Garland 

    Dean of Academic Services; Director of the De La Salle Scholars Program; Introduction to Sociology
    202-363-2316 x1095
    Baylor University - B.B.A.
    Baylor University - M.A.
    Baylor University - Ph.D.
  • Photo of Suzie Kowalewski

    Suzie Kowalewski 

    Director of the Entrepreneurial Center; Economics
    202-363-2316 x1060
    Washington College (MD) - B.A.
  • Photo of Chris Maloney

    Chris Maloney 

    World History and Geography 2, Global Studies
    202-363-2316
    Purdue University - B.A.
    College of William and Mary - M.A.
    American University - M.A.T.
  • Photo of Joseph Petraiuolo

    Joseph Petraiuolo 

    World History and Geography 1, US Government
    202-363-2316 x1916
    University of Dayton - B.A.
    Johns Hopkins University - M.Ed.
  • Photo of Kellie Prendiville

    Kellie Prendiville 

    AP World History, World History and Geography 1
    202-363-2316 x1971
    University of Maryland - B.A.
  • Photo of Jason Smith

    Jason Smith 

    AP World History, US History
    202-363-2316 x1962
    University of Mississippi - B.A.
    Christian Brothers University, Memphis - M.A.
  • Photo of Christopher Themistos

    Christopher Themistos 

    Principal; AP European History
    202-363-2316 x1030
    College of the Holy Cross - B.A.
    University of Maryland - M.A.