Request Information

Meet the Team

Russell "Rusty" Gray

Tarra Shields

Tarra Shields

I am honored to be the Principal of Virtual Preparatory Academy of WV. We have a wonderful program that supports the learning and creativity of our students. I believe that as educators we have the ability to impact our students in a tremendous way and through positive connections, we can encourage them to reach their full potential. I enjoy watching our students continue to grow and develop into critical thinkers and the future leaders of our society.  

I was born and raised in West Virgina and truly appreciate our culture and people. The comradery that West Virginian’s extend to each other is second to none. There is no greater feeling than traveling outside of the state and hearing Take Me Home Country Roads and watching everyone join and sing along. In my free time, I enjoy spending time outdoors and with my family. We like to boat, kayak, hike and spend time on the ski slopes. 


  • PSM 1: Professional Scrum Master Certification
  • WV Technology Integration Specialist
  • Human Resource Management – Villanova University


  • M.S. Business Cyber Security – WVU
  • M.Ed. Educational Leadership and Administration – Salem University
  • M.A Elementary Education – WVU
  • B.A Elementary Education – WV Wesleyan College

Diana Mitzel

Diana Mitzel

I serve as the Operations Manager for the Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia. I received my bachelor’s degree in human services from Bluefield College. I am currently completing my Master of Education in Student Affairs from Liberty University. I have several years of experience in program and operational management within educational settings. I have served as a youth and young adult leader within my community for over 20 years. I have lived in the Shenandoah Valley neighboring the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia for over 15 years.

Dennis Craig

Dennis Craig

I am the Student Services Coordinator for Virtual Prep Academy of WV. I am a 15-year veteran of teaching, with 12 of those years teaching full-time in an online environment. I am a graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, WV and currently live in Parkersburg, WV with my amazing wife and four children.

Sarah Britcher

I am the Special Education Coordinator for Virtual Preparatory Academy of West Virginia. I have received my Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from Fairmont State University. My 13 years of education experience has included being a special education classroom teacher, special education team leader and site coordinator for federally funded after-school programs. I was born and raised in West Virginia and currently reside in Bridgeport. I love to travel, I am very involved at my church, and I love spending time at my family’s beach home in Pawley’s Island. I have wanted to be a teacher since I was in second grade and I am proud to be an educator in West Virginia.  We have a wonderful special education department of fully certified teachers. I am honored to serve your children this year.

Interesting in learning more about the school?

By submitting this form, I expressly consent and authorize Virtual Preparatory Academy to contact me at the number(s) provided via text or short message service (SMS) as well as by phone, regarding educational matters.  I understand that these calls may be generated using automated technology and that message and data rates may apply, for which I will be solely financially responsible.

CURRENT STUDENTS: re-enrollment is open for 23-24!