Sparks Mayor Geno Martini and Washoe County Commissioner Bonnie Weber were among the crowd Friday witnessing the commencement of construction on the new elementary school on Baring Boulevard. Excel Vice Principal Kristopher Dahir said the new building will bring some changes to the school.
“The new facility will help to keep the kids safe and we will also do a lot of mentoring programs where the older students will come over and read to the younger kids,” Dahir said. “We have about 150 kids here now and I believe once we get that building up we will see a quick spike in those numbers. We keep class sizes here, especially on the elementary side, to about 16 students to one teacher.”
Dahir said Excel’s curriculum and extracurricular programs provide the necessary resources for students to thrive in academics, participate in sports and join clubs such as music and drama. Its accreditation with the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) will be completed this year and it offers Honors and Advanced Placement programs for students.
“Students will be prepared for college when they leave her, but they will also be able to avoid walking into college and popping,” Dahir said, “Where all of this freedom causes them to explode. We can get them ready for college but they will also be prepared for life when they leave here.”
Excel’s continual expansion since moving its facility to Baring Boulevard, taking the land formerly occupied by the YMCA, has resulted in school population and program growth. The school now participates in eight-man football, basketball, volleyball, track and field, cheerleading and golf. Excel is also the only private high school in Sparks.
Dahir said students at Excel have worked to improve the community in a number of ways, including its popular Servant Warriors Around Town (SWAT) event. He said students will visit non-profit organizations, homeless shelters and even the Sparks Marina for community service projects during SWAT and throughout the year, which is one of the ways they give back to the community supporting them.
“The City of Sparks has been a huge help to us. We appreciate all of its patience and ideas and we are happy and proud to be able to give back to the community in any way we can,” Dahir said. “We have been in Sparks for 10 years and plan to be here for the long haul because we love it here. Many people did not know we are here because we’ve had such little buildings and smaller facilities but we are working hard at being here, and we want the community to be proud that we are here. We will continue to make our facilities nice so that people can enjoy coming here.”
In addition to an academic education, Dahir said students who attend Excel receive a “balance of teaching,” showing them the importance of being a part of the community and the world on a much larger scale.
“It’s so easy for kids, or any of us, to be selfish and when you get a better teaching effort you realize its not just about you,” he said. “I think when youth or kids get that purpose it changes everything and it makes their lives mean something more. We get to spend that time showing them why they are here and we can help change the lives of these kids, because that is what it’s all about.”
For more information about Excel Christian School, visit www.excelchristianschool.com or call 356-9995.