Outgoing District 25 Board Chairman Mark Stone, left, received a plaque from incoming Chair Larry Christensen. During the board’s annual reorganization Tuesday night, Dean Peranteaux was elected the Vice-Chairman, Lynette Jeffres re-elected as clerk and Glenn Ogg as Treasurer. (Ernie Over photo) 

(Riverton, Wyo.) – A program held last week at Riverton High School generated praise from the District 25 School Board Tuesday night, but…

The program, We The People, involved students making presentations on the constitution and then fielding questions about their presentation from school staff and members of the public.

“I’m really impressed with that program and pleasantly surprised to know how much our students know with regards to the Constitution and how they talked about it. It was really awesome,” said board member Jody Ray.

Carl Manning

Carl Manning

“I was also impressed with the students,” said Carl Manning, during the board’s comment session, “but I wasn’t impressed with history. I don’t think a lot of students have a good grasp of history, that is sad to me.”

Manning reminded the board that history is not something that is tested, like reading and mathematics. “To be a citizen, I believe knowing the seat of the pants where we came from is very important. I’ve noticed this trend over the years,” said the longest serving member of the trustees. “I think one of the greatest failures is that of American history over the last 45 years. History is taught in sequence and many times we never get to the last 45 years, and this is nationwide,” he said. “Our history program is not as strong as it was 10 or 15 years ago with Wyoming history. I’m making a pitch for the social sciences.”

Assistant Superintendent JoAnne Flanagan responded. “We’re looking at that part of curriculum realignment. We have some control over what we can do for kids in our district,” she said. “For the first time we are looking at a K-12 alignment in history.”

Flanagan noted that “every year there is more history to teach, but not more time to teach it. We need to know what you’d like to see.” The assistant superintendent also said that the social studies instructors in the district are having this conversation.