A Message from Principal Johnson

Welcome back, students!
Posted on 08/03/2023
Principal Johnson at Cliff of Moher in Ireland during Spring Break 2023!


Principal Johnson here. I would like to welcome you and your students to Central this upcoming school year! I am very excited and proud to be your student’s principal again this year and I want to provide you with some information as your student prepares for their return to the classroom. 

About Me
I was born and raised in Waukegan, IL., and grew up in Gurnee, Round Lake, and Zion. I went to Warren Township High School. My favorite subject in school was science because it required me to think critically about solving problems. I struggled as a student and youth, needing the support of my teachers to realize I could succeed. My goal is to ensure our students are treated with the respect and dignity they need to succeed. I want each student who goes to Central to be better prepared to succeed in life as a learner and a human being. We have a great team of educators here who share the expectation of caring for our students as we would our own children. It is important that Central is recognized as a school that families are proud to send their children to. 

I have been in education for 9 years, 6 of which have been in Zion. I worked with special needs students as a paraprofessional in Waukegan before starting my teaching career. The first class I taught was 5th grade at Shiloh (before it became a middle school). During my time here at Central, I have been a: Technology Teacher, Technology Coach, Assistant Principal, and now Principal. Before going into education, I was a software engineer for several years, including video game programming.  

Principal Johnson
Principal Johnson speaks at an assembly in 2023. 

Who's ready for the 2023-2024 school year?

Student Success

We are most excited about expanding the programs and support available at ZCMS to ensure more students succeed. We look forward to involving our students in leadership opportunities and encouraging them to take ownership of our school. We love watching our students grow throughout the year!

Welcome to the ZCMS Family

Our #1 priority for our students is their learning experience and safety. We want our parents and families to feel comfortable knowing they are sending their children to a place that cares for them greatly and will work as hard as possible to teach them valuable skills. It is essential to keep our families involved. Families are free to offer feedback or ask questions as needed.


Please check your PowerSchool portal for student schedules. Encourage your students to get to class on time and prepared. Especially for our 6th graders, middle school is a big transition.

New This School Year
  • We are introducing several new classes for students, including: English-learner supports, math and reading special education supports, and new fine arts elective courses.  Last year, we implemented several new electives as well as a reading intervention program that was very successful.
  • Expanded athletics program, extracurricular, and field trip opportunities.
  • Additional safety and security protocols. 
  • Additional social-emotional support for students. 
  • Several maintenance improvements to the building this year, including improved security cameras, HVAC upgrades, and electrical upgrades. 


How should families notify the school of an absence?
If a student is absent, they should call our school absence line at (847) 379-0231.

By what time do students need to be called in?
Students must be called in before the first class of the day begins at 7:55. If there is no answer, you may leave a voicemail message.

How many excused absences are students allowed?
Regular student attendance is one of the most significant indicators of future life success. Students need daily instruction to succeed.

Illinois law requires that students are allowed to miss up to 10% of the school year for excused absences, which amounts to 18 days of school during a 180-day school year. If a student misses more than 18 days, they will be considered chronically absent.

Students are considered truant if they miss more than 9 days of school that are unexcused and may be referred to the regional office of education’s truancy division.

What time does school start? 

The ZCMS school day begins at 7:55 a.m. and ends at 2:35 p.m.
Doors will open at 7:45 a.m.

Does my child need to bring school supplies?

Students will be given all supplies that are needed for classroom instruction. The district provides a Chromebook for each student and a locker to secure their belongings in. Students will need to bring gym shoes and appropriate clothing from home.

Where should students enter the school?

Students should meet at their grade-level entrances:
- 6th Grade - Door #2
(SW Corner of Building)
- 7th Grade - Door #14
(Front of building in the parking lot)
- 8th Grade - Door #8
(NE Corner of Building in Rear parking lot)

How will students know where to go once they are inside the building? 

Students will be given schedules and greeted by hall monitors, administrators, and teachers to guide them throughout the building. 

Where should students park their bikes?

We have a bike rack for students on the east side of the building.

Where should students get dropped off?

Students should get dropped off in the front parking lot or on 27th Street in front of the building. Busses will be lined up behind the school and on Bethel Ave., east of the building.

Principal Johnson and Assistant Principal Anderson at the Valentine's Day Dance in 2023.
Principal Johnson and Assistant Principal Anderson
at the ZCMS Valentine's Day Dance in February 2022.

Dean Christine WOrth at the Student of the Month Year-End Breakfast in May 2023.
Dean Worth at the Student of the Month
Year-End Breakfast in May 2023. 

Contact ZCMS

Families are encouraged to contact ZCMS administrators for any questions, support, or concerns.

Christopher Johnson
[email protected]

Tommy Anderson
Assistant Principal
[email protected]

Christine Worth
Dean of Students
[email protected]
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