• Spirit
    Prior to 1883 there were no free schools in Denton County. The early schools were "subscription schools," which ran for three months during the summer. Students paid $1.25 to $1.50 tuition to learn reading, writing, spelling, and arithmetic.

    In the summer of 1882, school bonds were sold, and the first school building was erected: a three-story brick building costing about $15,000. This building was the first Denton High School. It opened in 1884 as the first free public school in Denton and was located on South Locust Street between Mulberry and Sycamore streets on what later became Robert E. Lee Elementary. It is now the rear property of First United Methodist Church. The school contained 12 classrooms and auditorium. Morgan H. Looney was the first principal, and he had a staff of eight. The school year in 1884 was four months long.

    In 1912 Denton High School moved to the old John B. Denton College building on what is now the south end of A.O.Calhoun Middle School. A new high school building was opened on Congress Street in 1924 and is still used today as the main building of Calhoun Middle School.

    DHS moved again in 1957 to a brand-new complex on Fulton Street. The Congress Street building became Denton Junior High and Congress Junior High before being renamed for A. O. "Prof" Calhoun, who was DHS principal from 1920 through 1956.

    Racial integration took place in Denton's public schools from 1963 through 1967. Prior to 1963, African-American students attended Fred Douglass/Fred Moore High School. Beginning in 1963, Fred Moore students had the option of attending DHS; and in 1967, Fred Moore was closed.

    In 1991 a second high school opened in Denton and was named after Billy Ryan who was a DHS assistant principal and coach from 1964 until his death from cancer in 1987. The school on Fulton Street was closed for renovation during the 1991-1992 school year and reopened as a ninth-grade campus in the the fall of 1992.

    From 1992 through 1995, both high schools were referred to as "Denton High School," with one being the Ryan campus and one being the West campus, Beginning in 1994, a three-year transition period created two four-year high schools. The 1995-1996 school year marks the only year in Denton's history that DHS did not have a graduating class. All students who began their high school careers at Ryan were allowed to graduate at Ryan, and 1995-1996 was the first year Denton had two distinct high schools with separate names, colors, and mascots.

    Denton High School, 1999 Alumni Directory
    ©1999 Alumni Research, Inc. Holiday, FL