Skip to main content

Meet our Admin

Heidi Gasca

Heidi Gasca

Executive Director
hgasca@excelacademy.education

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!

Keri Schneeweiss

Keri Schneeweiss

Director of Operations
kschneeweiss@excelacademy.education

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.

Joe Sorrera

Joe Sorrera

Director of Business Services
jsorrera@excelacademy.education

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.

Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig

Director of Assessment & Accountability
jcraig@excelacademy.education

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.

Lara Ulmer

Lara Ulmer

Director of Special Education
lulmer@excelacademy.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.

Megan Anderson

Megan Anderson

Assistant Director of Human Resources
manderson@excelacademy.education

Megan joined the Excel Academy team in January 2020 as the Assistant Director of Human Resources, and is such an asset to the team! She is an Orange County native and received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Chapman University. Megan started her career in insurance (Business Policy Division) before moving into the private sector as a Human Resource Manager. She loves being with her family and has a passion for cooking, surfing, and snowboarding.

April Saade

April Saade

Assistant Director of Intervention
asaade@excelacademy.education

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 served on Excel's 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. Currently, as the Assistant Director of Intervention, April support's students in a multitude of ways: SST meetings, the WIN program, the ELD program, SEL, 504 Plans, Crisis Team, & more. She is grateful that her position 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.