Huntley High School has been recognized as a 2017 Illinois Democracy School by the Illinois Civic Mission Coalition (ICMC).
Democracy Schools are recognized for providing students with authentic experiences in the rights, responsibilities and tensions inherent in living in a constitutional democracy. Through these experiences, participating schools strive to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for informed, effective engagement in our democracy.
“We’re excited as a department to continue to grow and explore as we prepare students to be active members of our democracy,” said Brian Truax, chair of the HHS Social Studies Department.
Democracy Schools foster a school climate that nurtures and models civic dispositions and builds strong relationships within the surrounding community. Recognized schools provide students with various opportunities to participate in the democratic process, such as engaging in current and controversial issue discussions, participating in democratic simulations, and providing service-learning opportunities. Though these practices, students see first-hand the critical role they play in shaping government and society.
Social studies teacher Renee Fowler spearheaded the effort to earn recognition. She led an interdisciplinary team of staff members from departments including math, science, social Studies, and CTE to evaluate the school. She worked directly with the McCormick Foundation to organize team meetings, plan school surveys, evaluate data from the surveys, and write a detailed analysis of, and plan for, the school’s academic offerings, student involvement, community involvement and our overall culture and climate at HHS.
Since 2006, 67 Illinois high schools have successfully completed a school-wide civic assessment and have been subsequently recognized as Democracy Schools.
Huntley High will receive a stipend from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which convenes the ICMC, to invest in high quality civic learning initiatives, as well as a banner for public display.