The leadership team of Ascent Classical Academies (ACA) includes parents and founders of Golden View Classical Academy, founded in 2015. Based on student success and high demand for tuition-free classical charter schools, Ascent Classical Academies was created to expand opportunities to families across the U.S.

The ACA network includes open campuses in Lone Tree and Windsor, Colorado, and planned campuses throughout Colorado, North Carolina, and South Carolina. If you are interested in starting an Ascent Classical Academy in your area, please click here for information on how to partner with Ascent Classical Academies to start a classical school.


Derec Shuler

Executive Director

Mr. Shuler is an entrepreneur and, prior to founding ACA and Golden View Classical Academy, worked in technology and technical operations with the U.S. government. He obtained his undergraduate degree in business administration from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. Shuler sits on the Advisory Board of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and is a graduate of Leadership Denver through the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.

Rick Wrona

Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Wrona is a retired Infantry Officer and Strategist of the United States Army. He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and John Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies. Prior to joining Ascent, Mr. Wrona served as the Chief Operating Officer of Liberty Common School in Fort Collins, CO; as a private consultant assisting clients in leadership development, strategy development, and risk/security assessments; and as a Senior Manager of Strategic Insights at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He is a Life Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Chris Scott

Chief Finance Officer

Mr. Scott's work with charter schools began in 2009 as one of the administrators opening a K-8 charter school that enrolled one of the most at-risk populations in Denver. He transitioned to serving as a financial consultant to more than 30 charter schools in Colorado. Prior to joining Ascent in 2021, Mr. Scott spent over six years advising school administrators and boards in the areas of budget modeling and forecasting, federal grant management, financial reporting, and the implementation of sound financial policies and procedures. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University, served on the finance committee for Golden View, on the Budget and Audit Board for the City of Lakewood, and is now the Board Treasurer for an online private international school.

Matthew Vlahovich


Mr. Vlahovich joins Ascent Classical after twelve years with Great Hearts Academies, where he served as headmaster over schools in Arizona and Texas. His leadership experience during this time included opening three campuses and reforming another campus. Vlahovich earned a bachelor’s degree in music from the University of Arizona and an M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a master's in character education from the University of Birmingham.

Amy Willis

Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Mrs. Willis discovered classical education as a parent and volunteer for a classical school in Texas. She utilized a fourteen-year career in education marketing to partner with schools and nonprofit organizations across the state, aiding with fundraising, grants, and branding/advertising design. Mrs. Willis is an award-winning graphic designer who earned degrees from Texas Tech University and Abilene Christian University. Prior to joining Ascent Classical, she ran a successful small business dedicated to supporting nonprofit organizations through the sale of branded promotional gear and fundraising events.