Leadership Team for the 2024-25 School Year

Posted April 26, 2024

Dear Slavens K-8 Community,

As proud and longtime members of the Slavens community, we are thrilled to introduce ourselves as the new leadership team for the upcoming school year: Principal Darcie Forde, Assistant Principal Corey Wagner, and Dean Lisa Lojacono. We are honored to continue serving Slavens in our new roles, and would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves.

Principal Darcie Forde

My journey in education began 23 years ago as a 1st and 2nd grade teacher in Denver Public Schools. Over the past decade, I’ve found immense joy in contributing to the Slavens K-8 School community in various roles, starting as a Senior Team Lead and Multilingual Learner Teacher in 2014, then advancing to Dean of Instruction in 2017, and finally as Assistant Principal in 2021. Throughout these positions, I’ve drawn inspiration from our resilient students, the supportive school community, and our dedicated staff. Combined with my academic background including two master’s degrees in Education and Educational Leadership, I bring a well-rounded understanding of effective educational practices to my leadership role. 

As principal of Slavens, my foremost aim is to cultivate a learning environment that is rigorous, enriching, safe, welcoming, and joyful. By prioritizing these elements, we aim to exceed expectations, ensuring our students not only receive an exceptional education but also grow into compassionate, ethical, and globally aware citizens. Personally, I embrace my mixed heritage and find fulfillment in volleyball, hula dancing, and cherishing moments with my loved ones. Leading with a servant leadership approach, I am committed to collaboratively achieving our shared goals and am honored to serve our school community for years to come.

Assistant Principal Corey Wagner

Next year marks my 17th year within Denver Public Schools and my 11th year dedicated to serving the Slavens community. My journey in education has been enriched by a diverse range of experience teaching across multiple grade levels and three diverse school settings. In addition to my teaching roles, I have had the privilege of serving in numerous leadership positions at different schools. My dedication to continuous growth and learning led me to pursue two master’s degrees from the University of Denver (Educational Leadership and Policy; Curriculum & Instruction). My varied experiences and dedication to continuous growth have equipped me with the knowledge, skills, and expertise needed to confidently step into this role as assistant principal, ready to serve and lead.

Two of my children, Hayden (2nd grade) and Harper (5th grade), are students at Slavens, while Hudson (3 years old) is excited to follow in their footsteps. My wonderful and supportive wife, Kristen, shares my passion for education and is also a proud educator within Denver Public Schools. Together, we cherish our family time, whether it’s embarking on camping and biking trips, traveling back to the Midwest to visit family, or simply enjoying outdoor adventures or a good laugh with cherished friends.

Dean of Instruction Lisa LoJacono

I started my teaching career in New York City, and then taught in Wilmette and Hinsdale districts in Illinois before joining DPS. I’ve been in the education field for over 20 years teaching everything from preschool to university graduate level students. However, middle school has always been my sweet spot. 

My passion for Slavens runs deep. When our family moved to Denver in 2007, I researched area schools extensively. Little did I know that at Slavens, we would find not only a wonderful school for our children, but also a special community for our family. As a Slavens parent, I was on the PTA for many years, finally serving as Co-VP and Co-President. In 2013, I joined DPS and the Slavens staff as a middle school teacher.

I feel so fortunate to work at a school with the best colleagues, most supportive parents, and students who love to learn. Now that my husband and I are empty nesters, we like to play tennis, ski, spend time with friends, and visit our three kids in college. Our family has outgrown Slavens, but I never will!

Our leadership team is eager to collaborate with the entire Slavens community. Each of us feels truly honored and privileged to continue serving the students, families, educators, and staff at Slavens in these new roles.

Here’s to successful and fulfilling years ahead!

Warm regards,

Darcie Forde, Corey Wagner & Lisa LoJacono