THE TEEN PERSPECTIVE:Where Did You Go to High School? The Exhibit's Teen Curators Share Little Known St. Louis History
Four teenagers from St. Louis area high schools are the curators behind the heralded “Where Did You Go to High School?” exhibition at the Missouri History Museum, which runs until July 17th this summer. The exhibit deeply explores the infamous local question, revealing a unique history of high schools in St. Louis and their establishment. The exhibition also examines social elements from both in and outside of the classroom, extracurricular activities, sports and traditions. SGMagazine asked the teen curators what’s one of the coolest facts they each learned from their research on the project?
Senior, Nerinx Hall High School
“In the initial research, I did a lot on the founding of private schools versus public schools. When it got down to funding and they were trying to establish the property tax to go to public schools, Catholic schools wanted a piece of that, which I thought was really interesting.”
Junior, McKinley Classical Leadership Academy High School
“Herman Dreer, he was a principle at Sumner High School, and he came to St. Louis in 1914. He knew that the students weren’t learning about their history, which angered him so he sought out to create the first Black History Month here in St. Louis, which is weird to think about. Now schools everywhere celebrate it, but back then nobody celebrated Black History Month. It’s like wow. He created the Saturday School of Negro Education. It was a weeklong program. Students would come and take classes. It was kindergarten to college. It wasn’t just elementary kids that didn’t’ know about their history, it was the college kids too. So how he offered them this opportunity to really learn about their history and their culture is really cool.”
Junior, John Paul II Preparatory High School
“I found out how mandolins and mandolin clubs became so popular. It struck me as funny, because the whole reason that they became popular is because we mistake them from another instrument entirely. I don’t remember what it was called, but everyone thought this instrument was a mandolin and when real mandolin players saw how popular they were, they started their own club and it just flourished from there until jazz came along.”
Senior, Rossati Cane High School
“I thought that the teen perspective has changed, but it's pretty much the same as now. People still skipped class and passed notes, how similar it was to today.”
To find out how to join the Teens Make History Academy and Program visit http://mohistory.org/tmh/academy to submit an application or contact Ellen at (314) 746-4436 or firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.