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Sara Olds

BA - Humanities

MA - American Fine & Decorative Arts

Sara Olds received her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Brigham Young University, and her Masters of Arts in American Fine and Decorative Arts from The Sotheby's Institute in New York. Sara also completed training in Arts Integration at The Crystal Bridges Museum....


Along with her focused study in business, her academic and work careers have given her unique insight into the practical application of the arts within various academic disciplines. Her interest in education blossomed during her master's program, when she recognized the failings of the traditional school system to encourage and teach individuals to learn to learn, and love to learn. She also became keenly aware of  the  Humanities' unique ability to unite information from various fields and solidify understanding of new material. The Humanities also indirectly teach skills for life, including critical analysis, empathy, and tolerance to name a few.


In addition to her love of the arts, Sara loves to teach. She has taught everything from swim lessons, to voice & piano lessons, to operating her own summer camp. Inspired by her second grade teacher, Sara believes learning is, and should be fun! 

US History:


Colonization to WWI

Ages:  12- 14

In Person in Valencia and also supporting Online Attendance.


This class is designed to incorporate the 8th grade US History standards.

Homework: REQUIRED.  Each week students will be given review and analysis assignments to solidify their understanding of the material. Plan on 30-60 min minimally each week along with reading 1-2 historical novels each term.   There will also be a culminating project for each term. 


PreReqs: Ability to write a one page report. Previous history classes recommended

Materials: Kits will be provided for online students

 This class is designed to give students a foundational understanding of the United States of America. Students will develop an appreciation for the many cultures, peoples, and events that shaped our country, as well as gaining an understanding of the origins of the American government system and how it shaped the country we live in today. We will start by exploring the lives of the early settlers - particularly their relationships of cooperation and conflict with their mother country, and the native people who inhabited the land. We will follow the birth of our nation from the conflict with England that led to the Revolutionary War, to the development of the Constitution of the United States of America. We will examine the founding fathers, their lives, backgrounds and the ideas that inspired them. Students will examine the question - What ideas, philosophies, and philosophers inspired the unique American Government system? 

In the winter term we will explore the various conflicts that shaped the young country - starting with the challenge of ratifying the United States Constitution, and ending with the events that led to the American Civil War. We will learn about the balance of power between the Federal Government and States Rights. Students will learn about the challenges facing the new nation, emphasizing the causes, course, and consequences of the Civil War. Students will learn the connections between the rise of industrializa­tion, the Civil War, and contemporary social and economic conditions.

We will examine the arts and culture developed in the United States of America over the course of its history, to deepen our understanding of various peoples who inhabited America, what they experienced and how they responded to the major events that shaped their world. We will analyze how these groups came together - or not - and how these refining events shaped the country we live in today. 

By the completion of Spring Term, Students will have learned the ideas, issues, and events from the framing of the Constitution up to World War I, with an emphasis on America’s role in the war. They will be able to trace the development of American politics, society, culture, and economy and relate them to the emergence of major regional differences.


We start our study with the colonization of North America, the conflict with England, the Revolutionary War and the birth of a new country


Building America: Inspiration, Innovation, Industrialization, and The American Industrial Revolution 

Conflict at Home: The American Civil War


Westward Expansion - Manifest Destiny

America enters the World Stage: WWI



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