Meet our Admin
Heidi knew she wanted to be in education the minute she stepped into a classroom following college graduation. After she graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Communications, she went on to receive a multiple subject teaching credential from UC Irvine and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University.
She started her career in education in 1997 in Irvine Unified School District. From there she worked in Capistrano Unified for eight years before moving to the charter world. Heidi has held a variety of roles in charter schools since 2010 and is now the Executive Director of Excel Academy Charter Schools authorized in San Diego and San Bernardino counties. Excel Academy is a non classroom based personalized learning charter school with 1,920 students and an incredibly dedicated staff.
Heidi is a proud member of the APlus+ Advisory Council and ACSA, region 18. In addition, she enjoys being actively involved in professional organizations such as CSDC and CCSA to support charter school development. She contributes much of her professional development to an incredible network of NCB charter leaders throughout California. Heidi is passionate about the power of positive leadership and enjoys reading books by Jon Gordon and Simon Sineck. Her favorite quote this year is; "You will be exactly as happy as you decide to be."
In her free time, Heidi enjoys spending time with her husband, three daughters, family and friends. Heidi lives in Orange County close to the Excel Academy administrative office in Irvine. If you're ever by Irvine Spectrum stop on in!
Director of Operations
Keri has been involved in the charter school world since the beginning of her teaching career. After teaching 1st grade in a brick and mortar charter school in Palos Verdes, she moved to Orange County and worked in the traditional setting for 6 years as a Kindergarten and second grade teacher. Since then, she has been working in this independent study model for the past 11 years. Over the years, Keri has had the opportunity to work as a teacher, online teacher, mentor, assessment coordinator, vendor lead and assistant director.
Director of Business Services
Joe joined the Excel Academy team in April 2022 as the Director of Business Services. Joe received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting from the University of the East, Philippines. Joe is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in California. Prior to joining Excel Academy, Joe worked as an Associate Superintendent and Chief Business Officer at a brick-and-mortar school district and as an audit manager at a public accounting firm. He loves being with his family and has a passion for spearfishing.
Director of Assessment & Accountability
Jenny graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English with specializations in Diversified Liberal Arts and Education at UCLA. She then earned her multiple subject teaching credential and CLAD certification from California State University, Long Beach. Jenny started her teaching career teaching second grade and has been at Excel Academy Charter School since 2014. She has had various roles; a Teacher of Record, Curriculum Coordinator, Assessment Lead, and is currently the Assistant Director of Assessment and Special Programs. Jenny is passionate about education and believes all students have the ability to be lifelong learners when they are provided with the necessary support and guidance.
Director of Special Education
Lara grew up in Dana Point, California and has spent the greater part of her adult life supporting students with diverse needs. While pursuing her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Widener University, she began working with a nonprofit organization providing social-emotional, behavioral and wraparound support to students in Cecil County, Maryland. This experience sparked a passion that led her to graduate work in Educational Psychology at UNLV. For the past 16 years Lara has served in various roles including School Psychologist, SELPA Liaison, and Special Education administrator. As the Director of Special Education she seeks to recruit, train, and support a highly skilled team of special educators to provide vital services to students with unique educational needs.
April's career in education began in the traditional classroom, where she taught for 9 years. During that time, April ran a school-wide intervention program, served on the SST team, and school leadership team. In 2005, she earned her Masters in Education Administration from Pepperdine University. Her thesis project involved researching and implementing intervention programs for at-promise students through both school, and community programs. As the Assistant Director of Intervention, April supported students in a multitude of ways: SST meetings, running academic intervention programs, the ELD program, SEL, 504 Plans, Crisis Team, & more. She is grateful that her time at Excel Academy so beautifully encompasses her passion for ensuring ALL students receive the attention and support they need to flourish; academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. Currently, April is the Elementary Principal and eagerly diving into strengthening Tier 1. As the principal she values the voices of all stakeholders: staff, parents, and students. Together we can Excel!
Lorrie knew she wanted to be a teacher from a young age because the school setting provided an environment which sparked ideas and allowed her curiosity to flourish. In working across a variety of educational settings spanning elementary through college, she sees her calling to help ignite this same love for learning in all students. Her philosophy is that in the right environment every student can learn. She is also a strong advocate for the community college where she began her higher educational journey. She graduated from California State Northridge with a focus in the teaching program. She taught high school English while simultaneously pursuing both her credential and her Master’s degree in English.
Lorrie has enjoyed working with families as a Teacher of Record, a Curriculum Coordinator, a High School Coordinator, the High School Assistant Principal, and currently serving as the Secondary Principal. During her free time she enjoys spending time with her family camping, hiking, and reading a great book.