Vicky Virnich




I am honored to be the new Principal of Compassion Road Academy! I started in Denver Public Schools as an English teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in 2007. I have experience teaching every high school grade level, and I received my English Language Development endorsement before this was a DPS requirement in order to best support my multi-language learners. Supervisors noticed my passion, work ethic, willingness to volunteer for additional training and my response to feedback and coaching. They encouraged me to go back to school to earn a Principal License, and I became an Assistant Principal at JFK in 2015. After two years, and with the support of my principal, I reached out to the leader of Denver South to express interest in working at a school with an even more diverse population. Not long after, I was chosen to be the Assistant Principal over student services at South, where I worked from 2017 until now when I get to embark on this exciting journey leading CRA. 

As a school leader, I have supervised every academic content area, special education, the mental health teams and counseling. This varied experience will be a valuable asset as a principal in a small school, where leaders must be flexible and have the knowledge to take on various roles. Those who work with me — supervisors, peers, students or staff — describe me as a hard worker; I am ready to put in the same effort expected of my teams. Recently, the focus of my hard work has been on collaborating with our regional team, instructional leaders, teachers and counselors to create specific systems that will address diversity, equity and inclusion issues in our schedule and course offerings.  As the administrator over scheduling, this work has required creative thinking, collaboration, vision and revision. I am eager to bring this passion and experience for exploring innovative ways schools can support students to CRA.

In addition to my well-reputed background as an instructional leader, I am an administrator with extensive experience coordinating the supports students need outside the classroom. I appreciate how wrap-around services and community collaboration are vital for student success. South was recognized in 2021 as a “Distinguished School for the Whole Child” thanks to the application  my teams and I organized detailing the student, family and staff supports offered at our school. Due to my expertise with mental health support in public schools, I have been a presenter and a panelist at state and national conferences, including the Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental Health, the Colorado Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Society, American Academy of Pediatrics and the School Based Health Alliance. 

I am a proud DPS parent! All four of my children attended various Denver Public Schools from ECE through 12th grade; my youngest graduated last year. My kids had unique learning styles, successes and challenges. I made sure to research all options to ensure each of them was at the Denver Public School which would best meet their individual needs; traditional comprehensive high schools are not the right fit for every student. This is what drew me to Compassion Road Academy! Every student should have  the “support they deserve to pursue the dreams of their heart.”