Poolesville’s New Military History Class Being Offered in the 2020 School Year

Sophia Gavril, Staff Writer

In the past, Watkins Mill High School has been the only school in Montgomery County to offer a Military History class. However, Poolesville High School is following its footsteps in offering the class to students durring the 2020-21 school year. The class will be a one semester long elective class, and is not required for any student to graduate. It is not an Advanced Placement (AP), honors, or house specific course, and all grade levels are welcome to sign up and take it. Social Studies teacher Mr. Terry Turner has become the teacher for this course and is excited to share his love of military history with all the students who are willing to join him.
Alongside this class being a new edition to Montgomery County, it is also a new experience for Turner as he has not taught a military history based class before and is incredibly excited to take on this task. He does however, have an extensive background with military history as he spends lots of time collecting battlefield artifacts and has previous work experience with the park service.
The class will be a worldwide Military History class and will focus on battles both within and outside of American history. Also, Turner hopes to take advantage of the freedom he has been given and have fun while teaching.
Turner has stated that the class will be “very flexible” for the students taking it and that people taking the class will be able to find the parts of war that particularly interest them and look into specific aspects of battles that fit around that lens. Turner gave the example of medicine, stating that “It might not be the first thing to come to mind” when thinking about the military but is a vital aspect of many wars and that many great advancements within medicine have come from battles and times of political duress. The student could then look at the battles given to them from a medical standpoint and get results that they are not only interested in but are different from the rest of the class and much more personal to them.
While talking about this aspect of his class he began to explore why students should be interested in military history. He described that besides “mass death and destruction” drawing people in one of the most interesting facts to him was that “even outside of democracy, [War] this is where individuals decided history.” He reflected on the fact that the everyday fathers, sons, farmers, and workers were the people deciding the fate of their homelands and becoming a prolific part of history.
Perrin Chalk, a Humanities sophomore is one of the many students who has signed up to take the Military History class next year. When asked what the main reason was as to why she chose this class as opposed to the many other options she stated that “Mr. Turner is my favorite teacher and I am excited to go over military medicine from the early days.”
Also, Gery Wessells, a sophomore in the ISP house stated that “Next Year my schedule will be all over the place and military history will be a relatively stress free class about a topic im interested in.” These students are examples of not only Turners ability to make anyone interested in history, but also examples of the excitement people feel about this new and intriguing class.
With military history being such an important and ever changing topic many students are excited to join this class next year and Turner is incredibly excited to welcome them and share his passions with his students.