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Old Salem Illinois.com


The Chautauqua movement helped educate America:  Today education helps preserve Old Salem Chautauqua.


PORTA High School is excited to announce the Old Salem Chautauqua project.  The mission of this project is to provide a multi-curricular educational opportunity for our students and faculty that inspires collaboration, planning, research, design and implementation both internal and external to PORTA High School and renders a product that transports students and faculty beyond the bounds of their classroom and of their current skill set while benefitting their community. 


Our vision is to provide a website that serves as an accurate record of the history, culture, places and people of Old Salem Chautauqua.  


Our project objectives include:

-Students enrolled in Webpage Design, Graphic Design, United States Seminar, Journalism, Sophomore English and Computer Assisted Drafting, Art, Graphic Design, Biology as well as History Club, National English Honor Society and the PORTA Thespians will research, write, develop, design, implement and maintain this project     

-Our community, visitors to our community, researchers and teachers and students everywhere will learn about Old Salem Chautauqua


Our learning objectives include:


-Students will research Old Salem Chautauqua

-Students will design a CAD drawing of Old Salem Chautauqua

-Students will photograph and scan artifacts

-Students will write description of presenters, sites, and artifacts

-Students will design a diorama

-Students will write articles

-Students will give oral presentations

-Students will video oral histories

-Students will design and build a website

-Students will map Old Salem Chautauqua with GPS units

-Students will develop a multi level marketing plan for the project


To date an Old Salem Chautauqua Project committee has been formed and has met to brainstorm the project.  A website domain has been purchased and the construction of the site has started.  Production of video history segments is underway.  Digitizing pictures and artifacts is progressing.


Current committee members and titles:


Darren Hartry – High School Principal

Raymond Montgomery – Local Author and Historian

Barb Miller – President of Old Salem Chautauqua

Ed Gorney – GPS/GIS instructor, retired teacher

Nancy Gorney – GPS/GIS instructor, retired teacher and research librarian

Matt Puckett – Web Design instructor

Kim Perez – U.S. Seminar instructor and member of the Menard County Historical Society

Jared Lynn – Technology Coordinator

Darren Waters – Media Production instructor

Andrea Hart – Journalism instructor

Rachel Lantz – English II instructor

Mark Cox – Biology II instructor

Phil Sexton – Webpage assistant

Pat Marshall – National English Honor Society sponsor

Terri Depatis – Thespian Director

Monica Sorrells – Graphic Design instructor

Taylor Flatt – Web Design student

Aaron Stott – Media Production student


Current target outcomes include:


  • Students, faculty and local residents will gain an understanding and an appreciation of the historical significance of Old Salem Chautauqua
  • A new resource (website) will serve to document and preserve Old Salem Chautauqua and will serve as an education and research tool for anyone studying or researching Old Salem Chautauqua, the Chautauqua movement, New Salem or Abe Lincoln
  • Students will write and perform a play about Old Salem Chautauqua


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Porta CUSD 20217651 Bluejay Rd PO Box 202Petersburg, IL  62675


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