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 
  • 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 
  • Geography and Human Interactions
  • 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: Geography and Human Interactions 
  • 10th Grade: World History 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.

  • Colin Crawford 

    Department Chair, Social Studies; Jazz Instructor; Lasallian Animator
    202-363-2316 x1969
    University of Scranton - B.A.
    Manhattanville College - M.A.T.
  • Patrick Behan 

    Head Boys' Basketball Coach; Geography and Human Interactions
    202-363-2316 x1094
    Bucknell University - B.A.
  • Bro. Mark Brown, FSC 

    US History, 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.
  • Scott Camillo 

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

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

    AP US History, Geography and Human Interactions
    202-363-2316 x1966
    State University of New York, Cortland - B.A.
    Touro College - M.S.
  • 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.
  • Suzie Kowalewski 

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

    World History
    Purdue University - B.A.
    College of William and Mary - M.A.
    American University - M.A.T.
  • Joseph Petraiuolo 

    Geography and Human Interactions, World History
    202-363-2316 x1916
    University of Dayton - B.A.
  • Kellie Sikorsky 

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

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

    US Government, US History
    202-363-2316 x1965
    Catholic University - B.A.
    University of Maryland - M.A.
    University of Maryland - Ph.D.
  • Christopher Themistos 

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