Excel Christian School

High School Faculty

David Bain

David Bain

Christian Studies (11th & 12th Grade Boys), Entrepreneurship & Business Math

I have been involved with Excel Christian School for the past 6 years, in a variety of positions including bus driver, maintenance, teacher of communications, Christian Studies and Business Math. This involvement comes from having 13 children, 12 of which were adopted and needing a better environment for them to be successful in their education. It has been an amazing experience to watch not only my children grow because of their involvement at this school, but to watch the students and actual school grow over the years.

Alton Banks

Alton Banks

Christian Studies (9th & 10th Grade Boys) & Study Hall

I was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. I graduated from Sarah T. Reed High School. I enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps in September of 1992, where I met my wife LTCMDR Banks R. who is in the Navy working at the NAS in Fallon. I served my country for 20 years and retired in 2012 after finding out we were expecting twin boys. I became a stay at home dad to raise my sons while my wife continued her Navy career. During this time I became the Youth Pastor at the Sanctuary of Jacksonville and Attended North Carolina College of Theology for my Associates and Bachelors in Biblical Studies. I’m currently working on my Masters and plan to follow that with a Bachelor in Logistics. My Marine Corps career has afforded me the opportunity to live and serve all over the nation. From the Young Marines Program in New Orleans to San Diego Christian Worship Center, to Abundant life Church in Chicago, to Western Branch Community Church, to the Sanctuary of Jacksonville to Excel Christian School.

Linda Brannon

Linda Brannon

Worship

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.

Ted Branson

Ted Branson

College Math, Chemistry & Physics

Mr. Branson comes to Excel for his first year after twenty eight years of teaching high school Science and Mathematics. He is passionate about teaching Chemistry, Physics, Physical Science, Middle School Math and College Math. Along with teaching he has also loved coaching swimming for the last thirty years at all levels. He loves traveling and camping with his family and his wife and best friend, Anne. He has three grown children, two daughters and a son. Mr. Branson is actively involved in his church, Discovery Fellowship, with whom he will be taking a mission trip to Uganda this summer.

Education
B.S.Ed. — University of Missouri, Columbia, 1987
M.A.T. — University of Phoenix, 1999

Shirley Carr

Shirley Carr

American History, Christian Studies (11th & 12th Grade Girls), Leadership, On Course & Reading for Pleasure

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!



Lisa Cross

Lisa Cross

English 3-4

Lisa Cross currently serves as the principal, having been one of the founding staff members of Excel Christian School in 2003. She is passionate about Christian education.

Education:

Bachelor of Science in Education – The University of Nevada, Reno

Masters of  Science in Education (Professional Development) at Walden University

Association of Christian Schools International – Administrator Certification

Experience:

24 years of classroom teaching experience

8 years of experience in administration

Accomplishments and Interests:

She has been happily married for 35 years to her husband, Jack. He is a chief engineer for Sierra Nevada Corporation and is an avid supporter of Excel.

She sees her greatest accomplishment as being the mother of four amazing children who are now successful adults who serve both God and the community. Lisa likes to joke that her family is their own “career day” because in addition to education and engineering, her children represent the fields of law, military service, physical therapy and accounting. Three of her children are alumni of Excel and they all continue to support the school in a variety of ways.

Over the years she has held numerous leadership positions at church, including prayer ministry and children’s ministries.

She served as an educational consultant to a state-level denomination for three years, during which time she traveled throughout Nevada teaching church personnel how to be better educators.

Traveling is one of her passions, and she has been blessed to visit more than 20 countries and 45 states. She grew up the daughter of a naval officer, which meant that she moved so often that that she hesitates to answer the question, “Where are you from originally?” God sent her to Nevada in 1980, and she is proud to call this beautiful state home.

Chris Dahir

Chris Dahir

Christian Studies (9th & 10th Grade Girls), College English, Psychology & Child Development

Personal:

  • 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)

Education:

  • 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

Jackie Denson

Jackie Denson

English 5-6

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!

Ellen Glavin

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!

Debbie Green

Debbie Green

Study Hall

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.

Gail Kovach

Gail Kovach

Anatomy & Biology

Mrs. Gail Kovach has lived in the Reno Sparks community for over thirty years with her husband Dan. Their son Timothy was born and raised here and attended a Christian school through 10th grade and recently graduated from UNR. His Christian school education helped build a strong foundation in Biblical truths and contributed to his success in school.

Mrs. Kovach has worked in Christian education for over 14 years as a teacher and administrator. She loves to teach science as it points straight to God. She is passionate about getting students outside for experiential activities to enhance concepts they are learning in the classroom. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and is an active member of Cornerstone, Sparks Foursquare Church. She also loves hiking, skiing, kayaking, gardening and reading good books.

James Kremsner

Photo Coming Soon

Advanced Band

James Kremsner grew up in Hollywood, Florida where he received 10 years of private instruction as an organist. At 9 years old James was included in regular rotation at his church as organist and served thru his high school years at that same church.

After graduation James attended Community College to advance his studies in music when after a time he was approached by a music producer to audition for a position in a major country music artist’s band. Soon he was on the road with Hank Williams Jr. as keyboardist.

From 1976 thru the mid 80’s James traveled the United States and England in concert with Hank, Waylon Jennings, Jesse Coulter, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and others. When the touring was over, James moved to Nashville where he took a position as an associate producer, artist and repertoire agent with an independent record label.

With his experience in production James and a partner put together a road show “Tribute to Patsy Cline” featuring the Jordaniares of Elvis fame. This show toured the United States ending up in Las Vegas with a permanent home at one of the casinos.

Eventually James received an offer to head up a major casino show in Reno Nevada as music director at the Flamingo Hilton in 1994. He served in that capacity for 7 years and then as an independent director and consultant for various hotel/casinos in Reno.

When James moved to Reno in 1994 he became a worship team member at a large Reno congregation where he still serves today 24 years later.

Robert Larkin

Robert Larkin

Algebra I

I have been an analyst for the Departments of Agriculture and Interior, specializing in natural resource management and environmental economics and statistics; an elected official, business owner, educator, and a college administrator. My passion for the last 40 years has been aviation where I have earned many pilot certificates including the Single Engine Land, both CFI and CFII, as well as ground instructor ratings and the recently released sUAS certificate rating as well. I am an active flight instructor and a member of the local FAA Safety Team or FAAST where I specialize in helping the GA community fly safe! I am also the owner of a 1980 Cessna Cutlass 172RG that I have used many times for Excel’s annual fundraiser. I consider myself a lifelong learner with degrees in: Doctorate of Business Administration, School of Advanced Studies, University of Phoenix; Master of Science, Resource Economics, Michigan State University; Bachelor of Science, School of Renewable Natural Resources, University of Nevada, Reno. I teach at Excel as part of God’s command in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful and multiply!” Influential individuals in my life have been my mother, wife, business leaders, as well a select few political and spiritual leaders.

Jim Muetze

Jim Muetze

Government, Economics & World History

Grew up in Wisconsin – Married – 1 kid – 1 dog

Christian – work in progress – Greeting Ministry – Children’s/Kid’s Church – Leadership

Studied Forestry, Business Administration & Architecture in college.

Designed & built projects in states from Hawaii to Wisconsin. Custom residential – Commercial / Industrial / Retail business & tenant improvements – Senior care housing & facilities – Multi-family housing – Landscape – Private, commercial and public swimming pools – Playgrounds

National & international business management & sales, manufacturing, finance, administration

On to the important stuff!

So unbelievably excited to be involved & teaching at Excel this year!

* Christian Studies – 9th grade
* American History – 11th grade
* Government – 12th grade
* SAT Prep
* Drafting/Architecture
* Basketball coach

Denise Nyland

Denise Nyland

Art

Personal History:

I am a mother of two and a grandmother of six. My life was always connected to nature. In previous occupations I worked as a teacher and as a radiographer.

Primary current occupation:

Marine artist, design and paint for PENN, a division of Pure Fishing Permanent resident of Florida since 1989

Currently visiting Reno to help with my aging mother

Passions and Goals:

  1. Conservation of natural resources and environment for sustained habitability for present and future generations.
  2. To curb bullying community.

In addition to organizing and participating in coastal cleanup community activities, I regularly donate to a number of conservation organizations. I am sponsoring (ongoing) “Save My Fins”, an international organization dedicated to stopping the sale of shark fins. Also sponsored every year: Coastal Conservation Association, several chapters. I am very proud of my work and sponsorship of fishing events (rodeos) for kids. With the intent of encouraging stewardship of our environment and building self confidence in participants, the fishing rodeos are quite valuable to my community.

Monica Orozco

Monica Orozco

Spanish II

My name is Monica Orozco. I am the Spanish II teacher here at Excel. I graduated from Excel Christian School in 2014 and I am currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. I will be graduating this December with my bachelors in psychology, minoring in Chinese and Spanish. I am also and assistant instructor for the after school martial arts program for elementary students. I also enjoy learning about culture and languages, and I love to spread the knowledge that I have gained in the martial arts to those willing to learn.

David Ryan

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.

Tim Shaver

Tim Shaver

Police Science

I was born and raised in California. Joined the Army out of high school and spent seven years on active duty in North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division. I left the Army as a Staff Sergeant in charge of an Airborne Infantry Platoon.

After a bit of a vacation from the Army life I went to work for the Oakland California Police Department. I spent 21 years there. I worked a number of assignments to include Patrol, Detectives, SWAT and K-9. Of some significance, I spent some time as a “robbery decoy” wherein I played a “victim” in high crime areas allowing myself to be robbed by ne’re-do-wells. It was an entertaining time to say the least.

After I retired and took a job as a Police Officer with a small Federal agency here in Reno. I currently work for that agency as the Chief of Police.

I have been married for twenty-six years and have two children. I enjoy firearms training and powerlifting. I currently teach the Police Science class at Excel.

Tracy Smith

Tracy Smith

American Sign Language

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.

April Sovey

April Sovey

Keyboarding, English I-II, Spanish I, Speech and Debate, & Yearbook

Finding Excel has been such a blessing to my family, and I am thankful for the way it helps us grow as Christians and as people.  Teaching Middle and High School students is such a learning experience for me, and I am so thankful to be able to serve the students and help them toward their goals.

As a Nevada native, I have lived here most of my life and received a degree in Secondary Education, English, and Spanish from UNR.  The year I spent going to college in the Basque Country was educational and enjoyable.  I love teaching students about the power of their words and how to use them effectively.

Vickie Stutzman

Vickie Stutzman

School Nurse, Health & Crochet

I believe that every student has been placed in my life for a reason, and I am honored to be in my fourth year here at Excel serving God in different capacities.  In addition to being the school nurse, I also teach health and needlework. I am a graduate of Sheridan College where I became a licensed practical nurse in 1981. My career as a nurse has provided me varied experiences in the spectrum of life.  My career has given me opportunities to develop new programs from the ground up, and I love how God has a way of putting us in places where we’ll grow and prosper. I’m excited to be playing a part in what God is doing at Excel.

My husband Ted and I are the proud parents of four children, two grown-and-married sons and a son and daughter who attend Excel. I was raised in the church and have experienced God’s love for me many times in my life.  In my spare time I enjoy crafting, reading, travel, genealogy and community service through fraternal organizations.

Brian Sundeen

Brian Sundeen

P.E.

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. 2 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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Excel Christian School
850 Baring Boulevard
Sparks, Nevada 89434
Phone: 775-356-9995
Fax: 775-356-9527
office@excelchristianschool.com

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