Excel Christian School

Middle School Faculty

Mitch Bain

Mitch Bain

Christian Studies (7th & 8th Grade Boys)

My name is Mitchell Bain, 2017-18 is my first full year in the athletic department. I started with Excel in the 2012 school year helping with the football team, and as a head middle school basketball coach. In 2014 I joined the staff at Excel with the before and after school program until the athletic department needed someone with a passion for Christian athletics to step up and lead. I have coached middle school basketball boys and girls, high school basketball boys and girls, and high school girls’ volleyball. I am currently finishing my degree in Ministry. I am the youth pastor at Freedom Fellowship in Sparks. I love working with the kids as they grow both as athletes and as Christians.

Alton Banks

Alton Banks

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

Christian Studies (7th & 8th Grade Girls)

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

Math & Physical Science

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.

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

Shirley Carr

Shirley Carr

U.S. History (8th Grade)

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

Chris Dahir

English (8th Grade)


  • 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

Ellen Glavin

Ellen Glavin

Pre-Algebra & English (7th Grade)

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.

David Hayes

David Hayes

Middle School Art Teacher

David says working at Excel has been, “a wonderful experience developing student talents and skills. What I have realized over the last 8 years is that all students have potential, and with encouragement and commitment, anything is possible!”

A professional entertainer, David studied acting in college and has performed in theaters across the United States and around the world, recently returning from a 7-month engagement in the West End of London and then on tour in the UK. He is a variety musician who plays the alto saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, trombone, piano, drums, guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

His artistic skills include major exhibitions in Reno and art displays in Las Vegas. He teaches at a local Paint and Sip, sharing with adults and children his expertise in starting and producing artwork they can appreciate and be inspired to continue creating.

Mark Humes

Mark Humes


Hi, my name is Mark Humes and I am so excited to be one of the teachers at Excel! I am a native  to the Reno area, graduating from Reno High School and U.N.R. I have 18 years of experience teaching physical education to elementary and secondary level students. I also am a tennis teacher and direct the City of Sparks tennis program. I gave my life to the Lord 14 years ago and  am very blessed and love the Lord very much.

I started teaching at Excel Christian School in the fall of 2012 and feel very blessed to be your child’s physical education teacher. I am very dedicated to help build the physical education program at Excel Christian School and plan on being at Excel School for many more years to come and hope to make our school the best school in the Reno-Sparks community. Praise the Lord for everything he does in our lives !

God Bless,
Mark Humes

Gail Kovach

Gail Kovach

Life Science & Physical Science

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.

Jim Muetze

Jim Muetze

Architecture & US History (7th Grade)

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

Manuel Orozco

Manuel Orozco

Martial Arts

My birth place is Barranquilla, Colombia. I worked as an aircraft mechanic for over fifteen years and as a respiratory therapist for twenty five years. Throughout all of this time Martial Arts were a big part of my life. I am ranked in eleven different types of Martial Arts and achieved Master level in four of them. I am married to my beautiful wife Mary and a proud father of four. My children attended Excel in the past and now my daughter teaches Spanish here. Martial Arts and learning as much as I can are two of my life long interests.

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.

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Excel Christian School
850 Baring Boulevard
Sparks, Nevada 89434
Phone: 775-356-9995
Fax: 775-356-9527


Fully Accredited by ACSI and AdvancEd