In keeping with the philosophy of St. Thomas, the Social Studies Department prepares students to become participatory citizens of their communities, of the United States, and of the world. To that end, four credits in Social Studies are required for graduation.
St. Thomas students begin their Social Studies program in the ninth grade by studying Ancient World History. Sophomores study Modern World History. The emphasis in both the freshman and sophomore years is placed on political, economic, social, cultural, and geographical concepts and relationships. In the junior year, U.S. History and the role of the United States in world events becomes the focus. Seniors will build upon that knowledge by taking U.S. Government and Economics.
World Geography and Culture or Advanced World Geography and Culture
Grade 10: Modern World History/Geography II or AP World History
Grade 11: United States History or AP United States History
Grade 12: Government/Economics or AP Government/Advanced Economics
Electives: U.S. In World Affairs, U.S. In Conflict, Introduction to Legal Studies, War in Antiquity
(B.A., History/PSC, University of Montana, M.A., Military History, American Military University) is the Dean of the Social Studies department. He spent six years in the United States Army and eight years teaching Texas history, U.S. history and leadership at Twin Creeks M.S. in Spring ISD and U.S. History at San Jacinto College before joining the St. Thomas faculty in 2002. Mr. Mills has published numerous journal and magazine articles, book reviews, and encyclopedia entries. He has received a number of academic fellowships, with the most recent in Scotland, where he studied at the University of Edinburgh. He is the director of the Hamilton and Jefferson History Institute, which provides professional development opportunities for history and government teachers. Mr. Mills currently teaches U.S. in Conflict, U. S. in World Affairs and U.S. History and has held the Gerald T. Coleman Master History Chair since 2002.
Mike Adair (B.B.A., Southern Methodist University; M.A., University of Houston) has taught and coached at St. Thomas since 2005. He currently teaches Advanced World History/Geography II and U.S. History and serves as the Director of the Intramural Program at St. Thomas.
Chrissy Gensheimer (B.A., Secondary Education/Specialization in Social Studies, University of St. Thomas; Master’s in Private School Administration, University of St. Thomas) has been at St. Thomas since 2001. Mrs. Gensheimer currently shares the J.S. Abercrombie Master Teacher Chair in Political Science at STH. She has completed several Advanced Placement Institutes at Rice University and regularly attends the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies seminars. Mrs. Gensheimer is also a certified Visiting Team Member for TCCED and co-chaired the most recent St. Thomas High School accreditation. Currently she teaches AP U.S. History, U.S. Government and Economics and serves as the faculty liaison to the administration.
Philip Gensheimer (B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame, ’93; B.S. in Secondary Education-Social Studies from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, ’95; M.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston, 2008.) Mr. Gensheimer has been at St. Thomas High School since 1995 teaching all levels of U.S. Government and Economics. Mr. Gensheimer currently shares the J.S. Abercrombie Master Teacher Chair in Political Science at STH. Additionally, he sponsors the STH Houston Area Model United Nations club and assists in the Drama program on set builds. He has been an AP United States Government and Politics Reader and Table Leader since 2000. Mr. Gensheimer has served on the Houston Chronicle “Chronicle in Education” advisory board, the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Student Board of Directors advisory council, and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. He is also currently a Harris County Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar and a U.S. Selective Service System Registrar. Mr. Gensheimer was awarded a James Madison Fellowship in 2004 which includes the designation as a Teacher-Scholar of the Constitution.
Grover Green (B.A. Theology/History, M.Ed. Catholic Education and Leadership, University of St. Thomas) teaches World History & Geography I and Advanced World History & Geography I. He is a graduate of St. Thomas (2004) and taught for three years at Corpus Christi Catholic School. Mr. Green is the Faculty Co-Coordinator of Round-Up, Head Coach of Eagle Quiz Bowl Team, Faculty Leader for the Father/Son Retreat, and Faculty Co-Sponsor for the STHS Columbian Squires. He is currently working on a Masters in Theology from the Augustine Institute.
Kirk Jopowicz (B.A. History, University of Houston) began teaching at St. Thomas in 2015. He spent a total of 8 1/2 years teaching at international schools in Kuwait, Costa Rica, Panama, and China. He currently teaches World History/Geography II and United States History.
David Maner (B.A. History, Texas A&M University) joined the St. Thomas faculty in 2015. Currently he teaches Economics, U.S. Government, World History/Geography II, and is an assistant soccer coach here at STHS. Mr. Maner was previously an academic advisor and instructor at the University of Houston for 8 years prior to joining St. Thomas.
Holly Sanders, Ph.D. (B.A University of Texas, Asian Studies, M.A. Osaka University, Nihongakubu, Department of Japan Studies, Ph.D. History, Princeton University). Joined the faculty in 2017. She teaches U.S. History and Ancient World History. Dr. Sanders previously served as an assistant professor at both Villanova University and Grambling State University where she taught a wide-range of history courses. She has also taught in Japan and is fluent in Japanese.
Rod Takacs (B.A., Government, University of Texas at Austin) began teaching at St. Thomas in 1997. He teaches U.S. History and U.S. Government and Economics. Mr. Takacs currently serves as the Dean of Students at St. Thomas.