Hyman G. Rickover Naval Academy

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Social Studies Department

Our Mission
The Social Studies Department's mission is to ensure that students are prepared for the academics of post-secondary education and the politics of our time. Our staff is committed to helping students become better historical thinkers and writers.  
Our Goals
  • Help build the historical thinking skills of students, including analysis of primary and secondary sources
  • Help ensure students are comfortable debating historiography and politics
  • Give students the confidence in their history background to develop a clear thesis statement with accurate historical support
  • The end goal of the Social Studies Department is to create well-rounded global citizens that can write, analyze, discuss, and critically think about events both historical and current
Our Teachers
Ms. M. Kitchka
Mr. E. Smolen
Ms. M. Taylor
Mr. Luke Vander Pluym 
Ms. M. Kitchka - Department Head
Mr. E. Smolen Ms. M. Taylor Mr. L. Vander Pluym
"I became a teacher because I was fortunate enough to have a high school teacher that encouraged me to think outside the box and pushed us to further our thinking and thought processes. I hope that I'm able to inspire my students to look at problems from multiple perspectives and push their own thinking."
"Teaching is different every single day, and it keeps me on my toes. I have always had an interest in studying history and pondering "what if's". There are several careers for historians, but I was most interested in teaching; passing on the knowledge of the past can help us to avoid problems in the future, and build on the successes of those who came before us. Ideally, our students will be able to think critically and effectively for themselves, especially in the voting booth."
"I became a teacher because I wanted to make an impact and there is no greater impact that can be made than to influence and teach our future. I became a history teacher because I was frustrated with how history was being taught while I was in high school and wanted to change that. History connects to everything that is happening today and my goal as a teacher is to show students that connection."
"I foremost was inspired by two of my high school teachers to become a teacher; their energy, passion, and rapport with students was infectious.  I also became a teacher because I wanted to help the youth of our nation become active, educated, engaged citizens that will eventually, and hopefully, drive our society in the proper direction."
Visit Ms. Kitchka's Home Page Visit Mr. Smolen's Home Page Visit Ms. Taylor's Home Page Visit Mr. Vander Pluym's Home Page