Linda Brannon


My name is Linda Brannon. I am very blessed to be a part of this exciting school! I have been at Excel since 2011; I first taught music at the elementary level and then moved over to the middle school as the 7th & 8th grade Christian Studies teacher. Besides teaching, I am the Worship Adviser for Excel’s worship team and the bookkeeper.

I have served as a worship leader for over 12 years, served as a children’s choir director, taught Sunday school youth and adult classes, and served as women’s ministries director; ministering to women for over 20 years.

I have been happily married to Michael for 39 years, have 3 wonderful grown children and 4 awesome grandchildren, 1 of which I am blessed to see every day here at Excel.
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Shirley Carr

American History, Christian Studies (11th Grade), Leadership &
On Course

My name is Shirley Carr. I have been here at Excel Christian School for three years now and am honored to teach here. I graduated from Concordia University, Irvine and am in my 16th year of teaching. I have taught Middle School and High School English and History in La Verne, CA, Salem, OR, Bothell, WA and Apex, NC. My husband Dave and I have been married for 26 years and have three wonderful kids. Chloe is 21 and a senior at East Carolina University. Katelyn graduated from Excel in 2017 and is a freshman at Concordia University, Irvine. Our son David is a sophomore in high school. I felt led by God to be here, and I love every day I get to teach the kids here at Excel!

Chris Dahir

 English (10th Grade), Psychology & Child Development

Born and raised in the Midwest (Nebraska) Go Huskers!
Have four grown children with families of their own
Have 13 grandchildren
I have been a Christian for over 38 years
I am extremely blessed to be teaching at Excel and love encouraging and motivating students to achieve all they can and to live their lives for the Lord.

9th & 10th Grade Christian Studies
8th Grade English
11-12th Grade Dual Credit Class (Multnomah University)
Child Development/Psychology (Honors)

Bachelor of Science in Human Services – University of Phoenix
Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling – Liberty University
Practicum and Internship at Children’s Cabinet

Achievements and Accomplishments:
Ordained Pastor’s License through Foursquare International Church
Adjunct Professor – Multnomah University
Set the vision and Lead Women’s Ministry for over 20 years
Developed and set the vision for Singles Ministry for over 10 years
Helped to plant a church in Sparks, NV in 2010
Have traveled on mission trips to India, Estonia, Norway, Amsterdam, and Mexico

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Jackie Denson

AP English & English (12th Grade)

Mrs. Denson is a Reno native who is married to our head football coach. Together they have 5 beautiful children, a daughter who has two boys of her own, and four boys who attend Excel. She loves Excel because she feels completely supported by those who walk in the same faith, and she is passionate about “being the change we want to see in the world.” As our school librarian, she excels at encouraging children to love books.

A graduate of TMCC (AA degree in both English and Criminal Justice), she is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Criminal Justice and Creative Writing.

She loves learning and enjoys being a role model to younger students. In 2012 she went on a mission trip to Uganda, Africa where she learned how to see and feel God’s love with people of other cultures.

Mrs. Denson looks forward to time with your children this year in the library and might even see you on the football field cheering on the Warriors!

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Ellen Glavin

Algebra I & Geometry

Hi! My name is Ellen Glavin. My admiration for Excel began with my husband. He is an Excel Alumni that graduated in 2006. Excel helped add to the foundation of my husband’s faith in the Lord. When our son reached the age of kindergarten, it was a unanimous decision to have him attend Excel. After just one year of our son attending this school, I realized all the amazing things God is doing here. I knew I wanted to be a part of it, too! After much prayer and seeking the Lord, He led me to go into education.

I graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Throughout my student career, I realized my love and excitement for numbers in math. By taking the classes required for my degree, I saw the many applications math has in the real world, specifically in business.

My education career began here in 2016. As a new teacher, I have much to learn! I consider myself someone who takes constructive criticism well and enjoys utilizing my problem-solving skills. I am blessed to have so many here that are willing to help this new teacher grow and learn!

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Debbie Green

Independent Studies

I graduated from the University of Nevada Reno with my Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science with additional coursework in advanced math, nutrition, anatomy & physiology and immunology. Most of my experience in that field was gained prior to my graduation in 2003 as a clinical veterinary technician, herd health technician and laboratory animal research technician. I get to share all that I have learned in college and in life with my students. Most don’t believe me when I tell them about the different jobs I’ve had!

I got saved as a young adult, right out of high school. When life “got real”, I realized there was more to being a Christian than I thought. By God’s grace, He allowed some significant trials to impact my life. Through those I made the transition from salvation to surrender, the decision to surrender ALL of me to Him and His will for my life.

That journey is what lead me to teach at Excel. I’ve been here since 2005, and I believe in the mission, vision and core values we teach our kids. Our academic core classes can be found at other schools, but what sets Excel apart is our starting point: God’s Word. All of the life at Excel flows from that wellspring of living water.

I’m married to Kenny, who is an assistant coach for Excel’s football. We have three daughters: two of whom are alumni of Excel and one who is a member of the class of 2021! I enjoy horseback riding, 4-wheeling, and hanging out with my family. I’ve also served on the board of directors since 2010 and have watched God’s hand move mightily to bring us to the journey Excel is on today.

My passion is to witness a transformation of a student’s thought process–what I call “light-bulb” moments–especially when the subject is one with which they’ve struggled and are convinced they cannot do. I consider it a privilege to meet each student where they are academically and walk with them to bring them where they never thought they could go.

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David Ryan

Algebra II

I was born in Waterford, Michigan and grew up attending a Lutheran church. I dedicated my life to following Christ when I was twenty four years old. Now my family and I attend Summit Christian Church in Sparks.

My education includes Bachelor of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Michigan State University as well as Master of Science in Mathematics Education from Oregon State University. Working at Excel and fulfilling different responsibilities gives me an opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of students. Serving Excel families is a blessing.

I have been married for twenty three years and have three children with my lovely wife Fran. My free time is occupied with hiking, camping and traveling with my family.
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Tracy Smith

American Sign Language

Tracy Smith

I was born in Peoria, Illinois and spent my Pre-K year there. Later on, my family moved all over the US as my father was a church rebuilder. I have loved Jesus for as long as I can remember. My education includes Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Developmental Disabilities, Master of Arts in Educational Psychology, as well as a Nation Board Certified Counselor. God brought me to Excel and it has been such a blessing to be able to use my skill set. I am married and have one son, who attends Excel Christian. My hobbies include reading and organizing.

Vickie Stutzman

School Nurse, Health & Electives

I was raised in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming and graduated from the Practical Nursing program at Sheridan College, Wyoming in 1981. Since that time, I have had numerous opportunities to build programs from the beginning to fruition. I’ve held nursing positions in home care, immunology, geriatrics and pediatrics. Though working a school setting was never on my radar, God had different plans. During the 2012-2013 School Year, I was the “Lunch Lady” at Legacy, and was fortunate that Excel had a vision for a school nurse. I started at Excel in 2013.

This will be my sixth year at Excel and my fifth teaching Health at the High School level. While this course is required for all Nevada high school graduates, and I do take it very seriously, I try to have fun with the class, to make sure each student feels care for, and I tailor the instruction somewhat to the needs and concerns of each class. Students know I’m not afraid to answer any question!

I married my husband, Ted, in 1997 and relocated to Reno. I brought two sons to our marriage, and they are both grown and married themselves. Together, Ted and I have two children, both of whom are in high school at Excel (class of 2020 and 2022!).

I have been a church-goer all my life and accepted the Lord at the age of 10, and I’ve had many opportunities to renew my commitment to Him during my life. My family worships at Summit Christian Church.

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Brian Sundeen


I was born and raised in Gardnerville, NV and attended the University of Montana in Missoula. I graduated with a degree in Recreation Management. That is also where I met my wife of 11 years now. We have 2 boys and have lived in Sparks for 11 years.

I am also the founder and director of Northern Nevada Sports and Recreation which uses Excel for many of our youth and adult sports programs and childcare camps. I started NNSR 6 years ago when the YMCA (my previous employer) closed in the Northern Nevada area.

I am very blessed to have a great relationship with Excel. So much so they asked me to teach high school P.E. 3 years ago. I thoroughly enjoy teaching at Excel and being around campus more. It has been a great experience teaching, and I am constantly learning what it takes to be a good teacher.
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