Women Making History is a special class at Oakland Catholic that happens only once every two years. It is only available to juniors and seniors, but every grade has a chance to take it. The class is taught by Ms. Doyle, who was given the opportunity to create the class and took it.
“A few years ago, Mr. Finnegan approached me, suggesting that we consider offering a Women’s History class. He asked if I’d be interested in designing and teaching the class. Of course, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity because I think the information presented in the class is important\ and the stories and contributions of women are often overlooked in traditional history classes. We’ve changed the titles a few times, I’m happy with the current course name, Women Making History, because it conveys that the course is about Women in the past, present, and future.”
Everyone involved in the class, including Ms. Doyle, is glad that she took her chance to make this class. It is not a class that one usually hears about when looking through typical high school electives, but I can assure it is one every high school should offer. As Lydia Vavro OCHS ‘21 says, “Women making history has given me the opportunity to learn about the struggles and triumphs of women in the past. In the majority of my history classes, I have only learned about men and their lasting accomplishments in society. In Women Making History, I appreciate that Ms. Doyle takes the time to highlight important female figures. I have especially enjoyed learning about the women’s suffrage movement and the females that were instrumental in passing the 19th Amendment. I look forward to learning about more women in the present era and their contributions to our world.” The class covers everything from ancient women, like the first poet to sign her name, Enheduanna and Alice Paul and the Women’s Suffrage Movement to the creation of Title IX and women portrayed in media, all while empowering and connecting those in the classroom through their shared experiences and frustrations at how the world needs to change. The grand finale for the class this year is going to be about the effect of COVID-19 on women, tying the women of the past to those of the present.
Everyone who is taking the class enjoys it. It allows us to see the other side of history that is often overlooked in the typical history classes. As Abby Vavro OCHS ‘21 states, “I enjoy taking Women Making History because the curriculum is tailored toward the interests of the class. The topics that are covered in this class are not frequently discussed in history textbooks or even society. Women have accomplished so many feats throughout history that need to be discussed more. I am glad to be learning about what women have done for society and what I can do going forward.” Yolanda Yang OCHS ‘22 says “I didn’t pick the class, the school added me in, but I really enjoy the class. I had never learned about women’s suffrage and American women’s history. This is my favorite part so far. Ms. Doyle is a funny and great teacher. I would definitely take this class again and I recommend taking it. I wish it was all year!”
The class is not just enjoyed by the students. Ms. Doyle loves the class as well. “I love teaching Women Making History because the content is so fascinating and my students seem so deeply interested in the subject. I love teaching about influential women throughout history because I think my students really connect to their stories and the obstacles they’ve overcome. I hope my students feel empowered by what they learn in the class!” I think I speak for all of us when I say that we do feel empowered. So underclassmen, take some advice from the upperclassmen and sign up for Women Making History!