Crystal Lake Central is ranked among the best public high schools nationally and in the state of Illinois. Most recently, U.S. News & World Report named it among the nation's best high schools in 2021. Newsweek named Central as a Top STEM High School, and Niche ranked District 155 as the best district in McHenry County. Central offers students a comprehensive 9-12 grade education. Students have the opportunity to choose from more than 200 courses including Advanced Placement®, dual credit, Mobile App Development, Project Lead the Way (PLTW), and Virtual Enterprises International (VEI).
In athletics, the Crystal Lake Central Tigers compete in the Fox Division of the Fox Valley Conference. The school has captured state titles in girls' volleyball (2007), competitive dance (2013), and wrestling (2016).
Crystal Lake Central offers students 33 clubs and activities and several opportunities in performing and fine arts.
Crystal Lake Central opened in 1924 as Crystal Lake Community High School and is the oldest high school in District 155. Central has a rich history and several proud alumni. In the 1930s, Crystal Lake Community High School produced Charlie Behan, a professional football player and a World War II hero who was awarded the Navy Cross for his acts of valor during the Battle of Okinawa in May 1945. Central also counts ABC 7 Chicago Anchors/Reporters Rob Elgas and Mark Rivera and, Neon Trees' drummer Elaine (Doty) Bradley.
Crystal Lake Central is located approximately 45 miles northwest of Chicago, and serves Crystal Lake and Lakewood.
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