About Us

Our Mission Statement:

Encourage Excellence Every Day with Compassion, Commitment and Community

Our Beliefs:

  • We believe that the attraction, motivation, and retention of quality staff at all levels fosters a positive culture.

  • We believe that a diverse and well-balanced curriculum gives students the opportunity to reach their greatest potential through active and engaging experiences.

  • We believe that a healthy, safe, fun, and accessible environment (physically, emotionally, socially) is essential to learning.

  • We believe education is a partnership among the community, parents, students and school personnel through collaboration and communication.

  • We believe that extracurricular opportunities develop the whole child.

  • We believe in the value of a “Students First” philosophy that instills a passion for learning.

General Information:

Central School District 51 is located in the city of Washington, IL. The District includes Central Primary School for grades PK - 3rd grade and Central Intermediate School for grades 4th - 8th. Total student enrollment for the district as of August 2021 is 1,351.

The history of Central Grade School.

Check out our Illinois Report Card!.

District Office Administration

Mr. Heidbreder

Mr. Dale Heidbreder, Superintendent

Mr. Heidbreder received his Bachelor of Science in History and Secondary Education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He completed a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Educational Specialist endorsement from Illinois State University.

Mr. Heidbreder has been with Central School District 51 since July 1, 2015. Prior to Central, he was an assistant superintendent with Carterville CUSD #5 from 2010-2015. He served as principal at Lexington CUSD #7 from 2004-2010 and assistant principal at Colene Hoose Elementary School, McLean County USD #5 from 2001-2004. Mr. Heidbreder taught 7th grade social studies and language arts at Chiddix Jr. High, McLean County USD #5 from 1996-2001.

Mr. Heidbreder is married to his Mt. Pulaski High School sweetheart, Christa. She is currently a special education teacher at Washington Community High School. They have three children. Colton is currently attending Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing. Spencer is a Freshman at Lake Forest College and their youngest, Emma, is a Junior at WCHS. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his family and dogs Lollie and Jessie, hiking, fishing, camping and anything else outdoors. They love traveling as a family and spending time at beach. He is an avid Chicago Cubs, Bears and Bulls fan.

Education Philosophy: All students can learn at high levels. As educators, it is our job to make it happen no matter what the challenges or obstacles there are.

Mr. Halpin

Mr. Trent Halpin, Director of Curriculum & Instruction

Mr. Halpin attended MacMurray College where he received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. He also attended Aurora University where he received a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership. Mr. Halpin received National Board Professional Teaching Standards certification.

Mr. Halpin has been with Central School District 51 since July 2017. He has six years of experience as an elementary school principal and 16 years of teaching experience.

Mr. Halpin grew up in Pittsfield, Illinois and after spending 22 years in the northwest suburbs moved to the area in 2017.

Education Philosophy: Give teachers the tools they need to be successful and get out of the way. Education is too important to be done alone.

Mr. King

Mr. Chris King, Director of Special Education

Mr. King received his Bachelor of Science in Special Education at Illinois State University.  He completed a Master of Science in Educational Administration from Illinois State University and the Director of Special Education endorsement from the University of St. Francis.  

Mr. King has served in teaching and administrative positions in Illinois and Alaska.  His first special education teaching and administrative positions began in Fairbanks, Alaska in 2000 and 2015.   He taught high school special education in 2006-2007 at Forreston High School before moving to Normal, Illinois where he taught high school special education at Normal West High School from 2007 to 2014.  Prior to coming to Central, Mr. King served as a program supervisor for five different school districts under the Livingston County Special Services Unit cooperative.  

Mr. King has been married to his wife of 30 years, Melissa. She is currently a school counselor at Lexington Jr./Sr. High School. They have two children, Regan and Payton. Regan is a graduate of Illinois State University and lives in Denver.  Payton is a Sophomore at Eureka High School.  The Kings love doing anything outdoors as a family. 

Education Philosophy: When given the right amount of support, I believe that all students can learn and develop skills that will lead them to be successful later in life.  

School Administration

Central Primary School

1400 Newcastle Rd.
Washington, IL 61571
(309) 444-3580

Mr. Cox

Mr. Jonathan Cox, Principal, CPS

Mr. Cox received his bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Western Illinois University and his master's degree in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University. He spent seven years as a classroom teacher at Illini Bluffs Middle School, four years as an assistant principal at Wilson Intermediate School, Pekin District 108, and three years as the principal at Jefferson Primary School, Pekin District 108.

Mr. Cox served as a United States Marine from 1990 through 1999. He has been married to his wife Amie since 1994. They have three boys: Jacob 25, Braden 22 and Garrett 15. He loves spending time with family.

Education Philosophy: In an environment embedded in relationships, all students will learn and reach their maximum potential.

Ms. Johnson

Ms. Erin Johnson, Assistant Principal, CPS

Ms. Johnson attended Bradley University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. She also received a Master of Arts in Teaching and Leadership from St. Xavier University, Master of Arts in Educational Administration from St. Xavier University, and School Literacy Coach and Literacy Intervention Specialist Certificates from National Louis University.

Ms. Johnson has eleven years of experience as a third grade teacher, five years as a K-3 Instructional Coach, and is beginning her forth year as assistant principal at Central Primary School.

Ms. Johnson lives in Pekin with her blended family including 5 children and significant other, Mark. He is beginning his first year as Assistant Principal at Olympia High School after many years of teaching and coaching in surrounding areas. Their children include Charlee, Cash, Sophie, Bo and Finn with ages ranging from 18-8 and representing multiple school districts including Pekin, Tremont, and El Paso. They enjoy watching all of their children involved in extracurricular activities.

Education Philosophy: All children can learn and grow at high levels, both academically and social emotionally, with the appropriate supports and environment. I am proud to be a part of facilitating that at Central SD 51.

Central Intermediate School

1301 Eagle Ave.
Washington, IL 61571
(309) 444-3943

Mrs. Bush

Mrs. Ericka Bush, Principal, CIS

Mrs. Bush attended Western Illinois University where she received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in English Education. She went on to attend Bradley University where she received a master's degree in Educational Leadership.

Mrs. Bush's educator experiences include: Argenta-Oreana Middle School - 7th Grade English Language Arts, Mossville Elementary School - 8th Grade English Language Arts, Trewyn K-8 - 8th Grade English Language Arts, Illini Bluffs Middle School - 6th Grade English Language Arts, and Dunlap Valley Middle School - 8th Grade English Language Arts. Mrs. Bush served as an assistant principal at Central Primary School and Central Intermediate School before becoming principal at CIS.

Mrs. Bush lives in Morton with her husband, Josh, and two daughters, Madyn and Blair. Madyn is in 4th grade this year, and Blair just started Kindergarten. Outside of school, I love spending time with my family and friends. My daughters are involved in dance, piano, and gymnastics, and I love watching them do what they enjoy.

Education Philosophy: All students can learn, and learning takes place at different times and in different ways for all students. Students are capable even if their progression of learning looks different than someone else’s.

Social Emotional Health is a priority for students. Through building relationships, it is important for students to feel a sense of belonging. Students should feel safe, valued, and respected at school.

Ms. Martin

Ms. Kimberly Martin, Assistant Principal, CIS

Ms. Martin graduated from Bradley University with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 2008. In 2009, she pursued a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from American College of Education and graduated in 2011. In 2018, she continued her studies in education through American College of Education to obtain her Educational Leadership master's degree.

Ms. Martin accepted the assistant principal position at Central Intermediate School in 2021. Prior to Central, she worked at Illini Bluffs Middle School for thirteen years as a mathematics and technology teacher. During that time, she also coached cross country, volleyball, and track and field. She also served on multiple committees throughout the district to progress instruction and technology.

In Ms. Martin’s free time, she enjoys traveling, photography, and being around friends and family.

Education Philosophy: The greatest successes come from failure. Never let failure hold you back and always learn from your mistakes and missteps.