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GBN Student Dives into School History For Research Project

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GBN Student Dives into School History For Research Project

One District 225 student uses her passion for local history to uncover and celebrate Glenbrook North just ahead of its 70th anniversary.

Glenbrook North senior Elyse Malamud is a part of the two-year advanced honors research program, where she chose to look into the school's past. Malamud thought of the idea when she was reading ‘How the Post Office Created America’ by Winfred Gallagher.

“When it came time to think of an idea for advanced honors research program (AHRP),  I wanted to attempt to bring a story that is close to my heart which is, of course, local history. I wanted to bring the history of my school, which I am involved with all the time, and also try to encapsulate it and deliver it to people in a delightful way,” Malamud said. 

Since the 1980s, Glenbrook North has offered students the opportunity to participate in AHRP. The independent study allows juniors and seniors to research a topic of their choosing that may have global or national interest and find a way to conduct it locally through original research.

Glenbrook North’s Social Studies Instructional Supervisor Scott Williams said, “It’s an above-and-beyond program. [It] takes place outside the normal Glenbrook curriculum and is for students with an insatiable desire to learn. It offers them something even their rich Glenbrook curriculum can’t provide.”

Students begin researching the project during their junior year. Each participant must have advisors help guide them through the independent study.

Malamud researched her project using archives at the Northbrook’s Historical Society and GBN’s library and interviewed residents to gather information.

“I think the biggest challenge is that nothing is digitized,” Malamud said.

One of Malamud’s advisors is her French Teacher, Marie-Juliette Petrini-Poli, who has been helping her every step of the way and is impressed with Malamud’s enthusiasm for this history project.

“It’s been impressive. I’ve done this other times, but Elyse finished her 44 paper this summer. Her self-motivation is amazing,” Petrini-Poli said.

Students present their findings publicly in the spring of their senior year. Malamud has gone above and beyond by creating a display case for the GBN community to enjoy. “I took some fun facts from my research and put them together in an accessible and visually pleasing way.”


The display, full of unique school facts that Malamud found, is near the student activities office. Students and staff passing by will learn that open lunch started in 1971 when a student council member petitioned for it. 

“I think the most mind-blowing thing to me is just the individualized learning program of the 1970s. It might not be as fun of a fact, but I think it's interesting because it’s such a drastic difference from how the curriculum is right now,” Malamud said.

Williams recognizes Malamud’s enthusiasm for the project and said she found the perfect topic that meets the needs of the AHRP requirements. 

“Elyse hit upon this great project because it allows her to dig into our school archives. It allows her to enter the vault, look through yearbooks and interview Northbrook residents,” Williams said.

Malamud said all the hours spent researching have been rewarding, and she is thankful she can share her findings with the community.


“I want students and staff to realize how much of a historical footprint and impact we can leave. We come to school, and we may not think about the things we do every day, like taking a test or doing homework, but actually, every class of students leaves a mark on the school,” Malamud said.

You can view the display case at GBN through the end of the 2022-2023 school year.

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