• The Social Studies Division Welcomes You!

    DHS has amongst the best Social Studies teachers in Illinois. The division has a combined 100 years teaching experience, 14 academic degrees, and has traveled to 25 countries.

    Students take World History (including Honors), United States History (including AP), and Government (including AP). We are happy to offer a wide variety of electives including Modern World Issues, Minority History, Political Studies, Western Civilization (dual credit), Micro and Macro Economics (AP), Geography (including AP Human Geography), Psychology (including AP Psychology), and Sociology.

      Ted Houpt

      Mark Bacys

      Nicholas Bialeschki

      • Nick Bialieschki
        American Studies - Political Studies - Government
        bialeschkin@danville118.org - 217-444-1648

        I started teaching at DHS in the fall of 2019. Since that time, I’ve taught the New Tech sections of Political Studies, American Studies, and Government. I love the project-based learning opportunities that are provided by the New Tech curriculum! Prior to moving up to DHS, I spent 8 years at North Ridge teaching 8th grade Social Studies. Most of my time outside of school is spent watching sports and hanging out with my family. I’m a die hard fan of the Dallas Cowboys. I also root for the Illini, and the St. Louis Cardinals. My wife and I have two little girls. Emmalynn was born in 2018, and Elayna was born in January of 2020, and they both keep us pretty busy!

      David Covey

      Brian Golish

      • Brian Golish
        Sociology - Intro to Psychology - Advanced Placement Psychology

        golishb@danville118.org
         - 217-444-1568

        I came to Danville to teach US History and Government in 2009.  Since then I have taught 8 different classes in two difference divisions.  I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio and as such am I huge Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers fan.  Additionally, I am an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, so I root for the Irish as best as I can which can be tough in Illini country.  My wife and I were married two weeks before I started working for District 118.  We have amazing children who I love spending my free time with.  In addition to sports and family, I’m also a fan of most anything Science Fiction or Fantasy with a special affinity for Star Wars, Game of Thrones, and nerdy board games.  With what little spare time I have, I am a tech head - I build custom computers on the side and serve as the DHS Webmaster and a Computer Resource Person.  

      Gary Gritton

      • Gary Gritton
        US History - AP US History
        grittong@danville118.org - 217-444-1707 

        My name is Gary Gritton and I have been a teacher at Danville High School since 2001. Within this time, I have taught numerous subjects and grade levels. I graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Science Education and have a Master's degree in Education from Olivet Nazarene University. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, my wife Meridith and I are busy raising our 3 young children.

        One of the main goals of my classroom is to share my own passion for history. It is my hope that students will truly enjoy history and not just see it as a bunch of dates and dead people. I believe that history is an integral part of student's education. History teaches students life lessons, and I am dedicated to the development of my students as responsible citizens of the world. I hope that my students will understand the big picture about each topic in history that we cover, and learning how to connect to the people of the time rather than just memorizing key terms.

      Matthew Jachimiec

      • MJachimiec

        Matt Jachimiec
        World History - AP Human Geography
        jachimiecm@danville118.org - 217-444-1643


        Hello! My name is Mr. Jachimiec (pronounced Jack-i-Mick), and I have been teaching social studies for seven years, with the last five spent at Danville High School. I lived my entire childhood in Aurora, IL with my parents and two younger brothers. Upon graduating from Waubonsie Valley High School in 2009, I majored in History at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with the intention of becoming an educator or lawyer. During my undergraduate years, I interned at the law firm Williams, Bax & Saltzman, P.C. in downtown Chicago and taught an introductory course to university freshmen in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. After graduating early from UIUC in 2012 with honors and high distinction, I enrolled in North Central College’s esteemed teacher preparation program to become licensed in secondary social studies. I am currently endorsed in history, political science and middle school social studies. My first two years of teaching were in part-time and temporary positions in the Chicago suburbs, before being hired by District 118 in 2016.


        Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my cat Barnaby and partaking in a range of interests and hobbies. First, I am a musician who plays guitar, saxophone and piano. My primary musical tastes include hard rock, heavy metal, jazz and classical music. I am also heavily invested in my Catholic faith and American politics, with potential plans to one day run for political office. Lastly, I am a movie, T.V. and entertainment buff, with a particular obsession for Star Wars. If you ever want to chat, feel free to stop by Room 231 when you get a chance!

      Justin Lesuer

      • Justin Lesuer
        US History, Government, World Geography
        Lesuerj@danville118.org

      Slawomir Podraza

      Susan Sadler

      • AP Government - Government
        sadlers@danville118.org - 217-444-1622

        My name is Sue Sadler and I have been teaching in the Social Studies department at DHS since 2016. I have bachelor's degrees from both Illinois State University and Lincoln Christian College. I have taught World History, Government, AP Government, and World Geography. Before coming to DHS, I worked at a health insurance company for many years. Outside of school I spend time with my family,, am active at my church, read and travel. I have a love of all things Disney, including the Star Wars and Marvel franchisees. References to these characters and movies will often come up in class.

      Amanda Wernert

      • Amanda Wernert
        US History - World Geography - Modern World Issues
        wernerta2@danville118.org - 217-444-1553

        "Hello! My name is Amanda Wernert and I have taught a variety of Social Studies courses over my teaching career. I have lived in Illinois for most of my life, though I love to travel and visit new places. I graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for my bachelor's degree, and I am currently completing my master's degree in History at Eastern Illinois University. Both my husband and I are teachers here at DHS and have two wonderful children. I enjoy listening to 90’s music and watching movies, which I often reference in daily conversation."

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