Champaign Central Alumni

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Distinguished Maroons
Alison Krauss, class of 1989, was born on July 23, 1971, in Champaign, Illinois.  She was encouraged to play instruments at an early age. She began to play classical music on the violin at age five.  She soon got tired of classical music and discovered country and bluegrass.  By age ten, she had her own band.  In 1983, when she was 12 years old, she won the Illinois State Fiddle Championship and was named the Most Promising Fiddler in the Midwest.  She made her first album, Different Strokes, in 1985, and signed to Rounder Records.  Her third album, Two Highways, was nominated for a Grammy, and her fourth album won.  So far in her career, she has released 11 albums and won many awards, including 13 Grammys, and awards from the Country Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association.  She is also the youngest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

William Geist, class of 1963, is known as a correspondent for CBS. After graduating from Champaign Senior High school, he attended the University of Missouri, and received his master's degree in communications.  He started off writing the "About New York" Column for the New York Times.  He moved to CBS in 1987, where he is a regular commentator on Sunday Morning, 48 Hours, and the CBS sports programs.  IN 1992 he received an Emmy award for his CBS news report on the 66th anniversary of America's famous Route 66.  In addition to news, he is a best-selling author.  Some of his books include: Fore! Play: The Last American Male Takes up Golf and The Big Five Oh!: Fearing, facing and fighting Fifty.  He currently lives in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

Julie Greenberg has played, performed, acted and acrobatted with both circuses and theaters.  Her Chicago Theater credits includse performances with Shakespeare Repertory, Teatro Vista, The Next, Wisdom Bridge, Bailiwick, National Jewish Theater, and the Organic.  Film and Television credits include appearances on "Cupid" and "Missing Persons", and the independent film "With a Family Like MIne..." Commercials and VoiceOvers were keeping her busy when she met Jeff Jenkins (her partner on stage and in life) shooting a Bud-Light commercial.  As a team they have performed at Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Baily Clown College, Circus Smirkus; The World's Smallest Big Top, and of course The Midnight Circus.  They are currently collaborating with The Big Apple Circus on their inaugural stage show.  Julie and Jeff have also choreographed and consulted with Defiant Theatre, American Theatre Company, and The Goodman Theatre.

Kathryn Humphrey, class of 1941, was born in Champaign, Illinois in 1923. After she graduated from CHS, she worked as a domestic and was then employed by the City of Champaign Recreation Department.  She went to schools during recess and taught them new games.  She also worked with middle and high school students at the Douglass Center. Later, she worked as a Laboratory Attendant at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine.  She also served on the Unit 4 Board of Education and as Trustee of the Champaign Township Supervisor's Office.  She has also taught Sunday School classes and is co-founder of the Gamma Upsilion Psi Society, which sponsors the annual Cotillion.  She is a Charter Member of the Champaign County section of the National Council of Negro Women.  In 1989, she was named "Citizen of the Month" and has been the recipient of many other awards.

Bob Richards was born on February 20, 1926 in Champaign.  Bob was interested in athletics as a young boy.  The first sports he participated in were diving and tumbling.  He began to pole vault in junior high school.  He continued  to pole vault all through high school along with being graduated from high school in 1944 and attended the University of Illinois.  In 1947, he was in a six-way tie for first place at the NCAA championships.  In 1948, he became an ordained minister and was known as the "Vaulting Vicar."  He earned a bronze medal at the 1948 Olympics.  In 1956, he also qualified for the decathlon, but finished twelfth because of an injury.  He was also the original Wheaties pitchman.  Today, he is still the only athlete to win two gold medals in pole vaulting at the Olympics.


Andy Dallas (Andy Dobronski) graduated from CHS in 1967 is the owner of Dallas & Co., and is a master magician in the truest sense of the word!  For over 25 years, he has traveled around the world, and performed in front of thousands.  He is respected and honored among magicians and magical societies. Performing many of his own captivating effects, his skills include: Escape magic, Stage magic, Close-up magic and Hypnosis. Andy primarily travels throughout the United States, dazzling audiences during his performances at school events, state and county fairs, large private parties, corporate events, and trade events.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 October 2008 15:56