Rick Vrhovac, Monticello Principal Since 2017, Will Retire on June 30 After 36 Years as Teacher, Coach & Administrator

Rick Vrhovac, who is completing 36 years of service as a teacher and administrator, almost exclusively for Albemarle County Public Schools, said today he will retire as principal of Monticello High School on June 30. Vrhovac will continue to serve the school division in an advisory capacity through the current calendar year.

Vrhovac was appointed as Monticello’s principal in 2017 after having served three years as the principal of Lakeside Middle School. Previously, he was an assistant principal for Walton Middle School and for the division’s largest high school, Albemarle.

Under his direction as Monticello’s principal, the school’s on-time graduation rate surpassed 95% last year, exceeding the rate for all Virginia seniors. In four key demographic groups, including Black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, and English Learners, the school’s on-time graduation rate also exceeded state averages.

Monticello’s mission of embracing students, inspiring learning, and innovating learning opportunities is reflected in such signature programs as its Early Scholars Program, which enables students from any of the division’s high schools to graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree. The school also houses the division’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp program and its Health and Medical Sciences Academy.

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing and working closely with Rick for more than 17 years,” said Dr. Matthew Haas, Superintendent of Schools. “As Albemarle high school principal, I valued his contributions as a teacher and varsity football coach, testing coordinator, and administrative intern. The impact that his thoughtful leadership had on students and his colleagues expanded their horizons and certainly grew as his responsibilities increased,” Haas said. As assistant superintendent in 2017, Haas chaired the search committee that selected Vrhovac to be Lakeside’s principal.

The superintendent said that the division would immediately begin its search process for a successor and that a new principal would be appointed by July 1.

“I want to thank all of my colleagues, who over my nearly four decades in education, added so much to my own capabilities to develop young lives. It is such an extraordinary gift that we as educators have. The same can be said for the inspirational families and students I came to know and admire for the passion with which they set and reached such high academic and life goals,” Vrhovac said.

Vrhovac began his career in K-12 public education in 1986 as a science teacher for Burley Middle School. He moved to Louisa County Schools in 1988, adding athletic director and head football coach to his teaching duties. He also was an assistant football coach for Delaware State College and James Madison University.

He returned to Albemarle County Public Schools in 1996 as an earth science teacher for Albemarle High School and was appointed as an assistant principal for the school from 2009 to 2013. As assistant principal, Vrhovac was the administration’s liaison to the students for the school’s highly successful “Stop One, Save One” bullying prevention program. He moved to Walton Middle School as its assistant principal in 2013 and became Lakeside’s principal a year later.

Vrhovac received his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from David Lipscomb University and his master’s degree in Physical Education from James Madison University.

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