ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- An Albemarle County educator is retiring after more than three decades of working in schools.

According to a release, Rick Vrhovac has spent 36 years as a teacher and school administrator, almost exclusive for Albemarle County Public Schools.

On Thursday, he announced he would retire as the principal of Monticello High School on June 30, though he will continue to hold an advisory position through the rest of the calendar year.

“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 became the principal at MHS in 2017 after spending three years as the principal at Lakeside Middle School.

He also spent time as an assistant principal at Walton Middle School and at Albemarle High School.

The release says that in 2021, during Vrhovac’s tenure at MHS, the school’s on-time graduation rate surpassed 95 percent, exceeding the rate for all seniors in Virginia.

The on-time graduation rate for multiple groups also exceeded state averages, including Black and Hispanic students, students with disabilities, and English learners.

Monticello also offers signature programs, such as the Early Scholars Program, which allows students to graduate from any high school in Albemarle County with a diploma and an associate’s degree.

Additionally, MHS is the home of the county’s Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp program and the 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 Albemarle County Public 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.”

Vrhovac’s career in K-12 public education in 1986 at Burley Middle School. In 1988, he moved to Louisa County Public School and then was later an assistant football coach for Delaware State College and James Madison University.

He returned to ACPS in 1996 at Albemarle High School and has been with the division ever since.

Haas says the division will immediately begin a search for Vrhovac’s successor in the hope of appointing a new principal by July 1.