Denton County Junior Historians

What is the Denton County Junior Historians?

Denton County Junior Historians is an opportunity for high school students (grades 9 to 12) to work together to discuss and engage in local history in new and interesting ways. Members attend meetings after school at the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, volunteer at special events, and work together on group projects. The projects include designing exhibits and working with historical artifacts from the museum’s collection. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, to give back to the community, meet new people, and engage in local history.

Denton County Junior Historians is designed to benefit both the students and the Office of History and Culture! As a historical organization, we understand the importance of engaging the youth of our community. We want the students to have a lasting appreciation for local history and carry the torch for future generations.

Life Skills

Students will cultivate important life skills such as: 

  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Cooperation
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Organization
  • Public Speaking
  • Teamwork
  • Time-Management

Students will also be exposed to professional museum practices, taking on the role of curator and historian through special projects.

Interested Individuals

If you know a Denton County High School student who is interested in the Junior Historians program, please encourage them to fill out the Denton County Junior Historians Information Sheet (PDF) and email a recommendation letter to Kelsey Jistel by Friday, September 1, 2023.

Latest News

During the 2020-21 school year, the Denton County Junior Historians investigated the oldest cold case in Texas history, the Virginia Carpenter disappearance. On June 1, 1948, 21-year-old Virginia Carpenter traveled from her hometown of Texarkana to Denton, Texas to attend summer classes at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman's University), but she never checked in at the college... By researching archival material from the Denton Record-Chronicle collection at the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, the students scripted a three-part video series about the case. The students met frequently on Tuesdays after school and dubbed their project - True Crime Tuesday: The Carpenter Cold Case. They even discovered that Virginia Carpenter disappeared on a Tuesday. See the complete video series on YouTube.

The 2022-23 Denton County Junior Historians developed another True Crime Tuesday program in the form of a two-episode podcast titled Catching the Cat: Herbert Noble. The students investigated the curious case of Herbert “The Cat” Noble, a notorious Dallas club owner and gambler who met his fate in Denton County in 1951 after 11 assassination attempts. You can listen to the podcast on Spotify.

2022-2023 Denton County Junior Historians

  • Brilynn Hatten, LaGrone Academy, 12th grade
  • Courtney Mynyk, Texas Online Preparatory School, 10th grade
  • Evelyn Gilley, Homeschool, 10th grade
  • Maya Travis, Ryan High School, 9th grade
  • Nikita Kolatkar, Marcus High School, 11th grade
  • Owen Oppenheimer, Marcus High School, 12th grade
  • Shreyas Reddy, Flower Mound High School, 11th grade
  • Sophia Valderrey, Founders Classical of Corinth, 10th grade
  • Tyler Hendricks, Five Pines Homeschool, 11th grade
  • Victoria Valderrey, Founders Classical of Corinth, 12th grade

View the photo gallery of our Junior Historians.