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Teaching local history is often an afterthought in the high school history classroom. It is difficult to find enough instructional time to incorporate local stories and there are often gaps in resource development and approach from a local lens. This article seeks to help teachers articulate a locally driven inquiry approach. Using Illinois as the local framework and the C3 Inquiry Design Model as the tool, teachers can begin to map out how to implement the competing mandates to promote disciplinary skill development, demonstrate content expertise using state mandated units of study, drive student-oriented history, and foster civic competence all while teaching local history. Grounding history instruction in local histories as an intentional and iterative methodology that simultaneously satisfies the demands of Illinois state history educators and more importantly, it does so with a determination towards excellence and collective teacher efficacy.