School News

Crystal Lake Central Class of 2019
Melina Weil

Eighty-eight percent of graduates in the class of 2019 will continue their studies at four-year colleges, two-year community colleges, and vocational and technical schools. More than 53 percent of students are pursuing degrees at four-year colleges and universities. The class of 2019 will continue its studies at post-secondary institutions in 30 states. 

McHenry County College, Iowa State University, and Illinois State University are the top three schools the class of 2019 will attend this fall. Students are most interested in studying health/non-medical science, business, and engineering. Nine students plan to serve in the armed forces. 

Ninety-one percent of students say their experience in school allowed them to learn more about themselves and their personal aspirations. 

Ninety percent of the class of 2019 participated in at least one extracurricular activity. 


  • 30% - Arts

  • 15% - Academic

  • 65% - Athletics

Sixty-five percent participated in volunteer/community service project not sponsored at Crystal Lake Central. There were 350 graduates in the class of 2019. 

Community High School District 155 has conducted a uniform, district-wide senior survey for the last 12 years.

District 155 Summer Construction Wraps Up
Melina Weil

All District 155 schools opened successfully on August 14 after substantially completing 22 construction projects this summer. The Board of Education approved $14,552,000 in capital projects for the summer of 2019, including kitchen classroom remodels, tennis courts replacement, air conditioning, and parking lot replacements. 

"We want to thank the community and taxpayers for their support as we continue to enhance our learning spaces to give our students and staff the opportunity to be successful in their future endeavours,” said Steve Olson, D155 superintendent. “We understand the importance of showcasing these projects with our community so they can see how their tax dollars are being spent.”

The district communications office in collaboration with the operations department produced 10 videos to highlight construction updates which were viewed more than 24,000 times and totaled more than 79 hours. Videos are available to view on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @CHSD155 or visit the website to view the projects that were completed.

District 155 Ranks First in McHenry County for Best School District
Melina Weil

Community High School District 155 was named best school district in McHenry County by Niche. Rankings are based on data from the Department of Education, the US Census, and multiple reviews from parents and students. D155 earned the top spot out of 15. 

A senior who wrote a review said, “District 155 cultivates students to be great, and consistently demonstrates excellence. All of the staff are amazing, they always encourage students to do our best.”

Nationally, the district ranked in the top nine percent for best school districts, and placed in the top four percent for the best teachers. In the state of Illinois, D155 ranked eighth out of 638 schools for having the best teachers and placed in the top three percent for the best district. 

One parent review said, “The districts fundamental approach to the student’s education is constantly challenging the teachers and staff to put forth our ideas and experiences to better the way education is presented.” 

Every month, millions of people use Niche to choose the right schools or neighborhoods. Niche has report cards, rankings and reviews that are calculated from public sources along with reviews from parents, students, and residents.  

D155 High Schools Earn Spots on List Of Illinois’ Best Public High Schools
Rochelle LeBreck

All District 155 high schools earned a spot in the top 100 of Illinois’s Best Public High Schools for 2019. The annual list conducted by U.S. News and World Report is determined based on six factors, including how well students performed on state exams and college preparedness.

Cary-Grove earned the no. 41 spot, Prairie Ridge landed at no. 59 in the state, Crystal Lake South sits at no. 62, and Crystal Lake Central is at no. 70 in Illinois rankings. More than six-hundred schools in Illinois were evaluated for the 2019 list.

“We are proud to have all schools represented on this list,” said Steve Olson, D155 Superintendent, “The results reflect the passion of our teachers and staff as well as the dedication of our students. We hope to continue to instill valuable skills into our students so they can enter our schools with promise and leave with purpose.”

To view the Illinois’ Best Public High Schools list, and further detailed results of D155 high schools, please click here.

CLC student poses with award-winning photography art work.
Shannon Podzimek

Elena Starcher, a senior at Crystal Lake Central High School, was awarded a national silver medal in photography by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Nearly 340,000 works of art and writing were submitted for the 2019 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and Starcher is among the top one percent.

“I submitted a few pieces, a photograph, a mixed media piece, and then writing. There was a big fancy banner at the top of the webpage when you sign in that said ‘you won,’ and that was really exciting,” said Elena Starcher, Crystal Lake Central senior.

Starcher’s winning photography piece was titled “Mitchell and the Train.”

“Elena is certainly in the top tier of artists that I have ever instructed. She’s exceptionally hard on herself. I like that exterior voices get to come and tell her just how exceptional her work is at a national level,” said Judd Shutt, Crystal Lake Central art teacher.

She plans to study animation in college and is deciding between two art schools. She earned a total of $152,448 in scholarships from the Illinois High School Art Exhibition in February.

“Ideally, I want to be an animator, and even make my own shows. I also love kids so much, so making media for kids to consume and be influential, and almost like a teacher through entertainment is something that I would have a lot of fun doing,” said Starcher.

Her work as a national medalist will be published in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Online Galleries at in June.

“She’s forward thinking and kind of avant-garde in a way that’s personally driven. You probably will watch some credits some day in the next ten years and see her name,” said Shutt.