The Makings of History Club


Photo credit Madeleine Tseng.

Madeleine Tseng and Alison Whitley

“Many people don’t realize that bringing [an issue] to light … and observing how some things can cause another [is] a huge theme throughout history … People can apply that to real life,” sophomore and member of History Club Matthew Tillyer said.

History Club is an open forum for CAHS students or teachers interested in history. “You can bounce ideas off of various people and talk about how one thing affects another. It is just more than what you get in a class, because you get people of varying ages and the topics range from week to week so you can get a variety of ideas and opinions,” Tillyer said.

It all started when senior Peter Batcheller, current president, wanted to revive a club that was around in his sophomore year. “My junior year, it was not [around] because the founders were seniors and they left. My junior year, I had other things planned [but] I wanted to bring it back eventually. At that point it was just … an idea. But then my senior year, I brought it back. So I’m not the original founder, but I am the newer founder.”

Members of the club meet every Friday in Mr. Derek Montgomery’s room to discuss the impact of historical events, quotes and historical figures. All historical topics are up for discussion provided the proposer does some prior research on the topic. “The only requirement I ask is that if you know nothing about the topic, that you do some prior research like watch a YouTube video or read an article or something,” Batcheller said.

“Nothing’s ever shot down. Like  … It’s pretty laid back. You throw out a topic and you kind of stay near it, and once it goes way off then someone tries to bring it back. It’s really just encouraging discussion and the teachers interject with their various opinions, which can be a lot of fun,” Tillyer said.

History has been an important part of Tillyer’s life from his early childhood. “Both of my grandpas served in the military …  and they really introduced me to military history, and then I started reading books about it my whole life,” Tillyer said. From that point on, he furthered his knowledge on the topic and hopes to one day study military history in college.

Studying history has had an important impact on the club’s members. “I think with history, the key thing, is that we learn from history and just talk about it. Like, ‘How we can not make those mistakes again and try to make something better for the future?’” Batcheller said.