Champaign Central High School

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For schools of the same name, see Central High School (disambiguation).
Champaign Central High School
Champaign Central High School in Champaign, Illinois.jpg
610 West University Ave.
Champaign, Illinois, USA
Type public
Established 1866
Principal Joe Williams
Grades 9-12
Number of students approx. 1400
Color(s)      maroon
Mascot Max Maroon (Bear)
Affiliation Big 12

Champaign Central High School is a high school located in Champaign, Illinois. It has 1,385 students in grades 9-12. The principal is Joe Williams. It is part of the Champaign Unit 4 School District school system. Its sports teams are the Central Maroons.


Champaign High School, now Champaign Central High School, began serving the public in 1870. The present school site, 610 W. University Avenue, was donated by J.P. White to the public schools of Champaign in 1868 and has housed Central High School since 1956. During the 1963-64 school year, due to over-crowding approximately 300 students were assigned on a half-day basis to Jefferson Middle School. These students attended three academic classes at Jefferson plus three classes at the senior high school. During the 1965-66 school year, approximately 550 sophomores attended classes in the first phase of the Senior High School Annex. They attended classes on the same schedule as those at Champaign High School. The 1966-67 school year found an equal distribution of sophomore and junior students at both Champaign Senior High School and the Annex. So in 1968-69, the Champaign Board of Education officially established two district high schools, Central and Centennial. On April 1, 1997, the taxpayers of Champaign approved a bond issue that included an addition and extensive remodeling to Central High School. The main features of the new addition and remodeling were a large modern media center, a child development/day care center, foods laboratory, an expanded student services area, and three large state of the art biological science laboratories. An open house and dedication of the new facilities was held on September 13, 1998. Central's mascot is a maroon bear, Max Maroon,and the school colors are maroon and white.

In 2011, the Champaign school board began looking into replacing Champaign Central High School, citing concerns over the school's current facilities. Central has shared Centennial High School's football, softball, and soccer fields since the 1960s.


Athletic Achievements:
The Central Maroons have the distinction of being the first school in the nation to win 500 football games and 1000 basketball games.
Central's 2008 Boy's Basketball Team also received Third Place in the IHSA Class 3A State Tournament.

Academic Clubs[edit]

Science Olympiad:
The team won first at the Illinois State Competition in Division A, at UIUC, in the 2009-2010 season. The Coach is Faith Sharp, a freshman Biology teacher.

Other Clubs include Math Team, WYSE Academic Challenge, and Scholastic Bowl.

Music Program[edit]

The Champaign Central Music program has been very strong and nationally acclaimed since the arrival of John Currey in 1997, who continued the legacy of James Kull, band director from 1985-1989. The top Jazz Ensemble has been the cornerstone of this music program, garnering awards and distinctions at almost every festival or competition attended. Furthermore, the jazz ensemble has had multiple students go on to play in jazz ensembles at universities such as Northwestern University, North Texas University, The University of Texas, DePaul University, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Indiana University, Illinois State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Illinois Wesleyan University, among many others.

Jazz Ensemble Accomplishments:
Illinois House Resolution No. 1264, in commemoration of the Central Jazz Ensemble[1]
2005, 2008, 2012 One of 15 Finalists at the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition in New York, NY. Also the only band from Illinois to have ever made repeat performances at the EE festival within a 4 year span and along with St. Charles East of St. Charles, IL is the only ensemble from Illinois to have made it twice since the festivals creation.
1988, 2003, 2007 Performer at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL
2007 Performer at The Next Generation Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA. Part of the Monterey Jazz Festival

2011, 2012 Selected as one of 12 bands to compete at the Swing Central Jazz Festival in Savannah, Georgia. In 2012, the Stage Band was selected to compete in addition to the Ensemble, making Central the only school to have two ensembles compete in the festival.

Wind Symphony Accomplishments:
1999-2010 12 year consecutive performer at the Illinois Superstate Concert Band Festival.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ House Resolution No. 1264

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°6′58.86″N 88°15′7.16″W / 40.1163500°N 88.2519889°W / 40.1163500; -88.2519889