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Excel High School Staff




Chief Academic Officer / President

Mr. Mark Ulven, M.Ed

serves the critical role of President and Chief Academic Officer for Excel Schools. Mark is a State licensed educator and has taught both math and science for many years in the public school arena. Mark is passionate about education and online learning. Mark received his M.Ed from St. Mary's University and is currently completing his doctorate degree in Educational Leadership at Capella University. Mark joined the team at EHS to assist with the school's mission and goals related to continuing quality improvement and a student centered approach to learning.

Prior to coming to Excel, Mark worked for Capella University, where he played a vital role ensuring student success.

Mark is married and has two children. Mark's Blog




Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Rod Clarkson, M.A.

is the founder and CEO of Excel High School. With a background in business and technology, Mr. Clarkson realized the value in providing alternative educational opportunities for students in need of quality education services.

Rod holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Leadership and a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling. Rod also holds Private School Administrator's certification. Mr. Clarkson is a good standing member of the American School Counselor Association and the National Christian Counselors Association.

Rod has a strong background in executive leadership and genuinely cares about each student that we have the opportunity to serve.

Rod is passionate about serving others and volunteers with various community outreach efforts. In addition, Rod also volunteers as a family counselor assisting individuals and families through crisis situations. Rod spends a month each summer, serving overseas mostly with organizations focused on caring for orphan children.

Rod enjoys spending his free time with his family and close friends. Rod's Blog




Chief Information Officer

Mr. Koorosh Vaziri, B.S.

has been with Excel since our inception. He is the talent behind our student information management system; and manages all aspects of the school’s technology infrastructure.

Mr. Vaziri has holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota. Mr. Vaziri is currently working on his PhD in computer science at the University of Minnesota. He also holds several MS certifications. Koorosh is a vital part of the Excel team and works closely with the senior management team to make Excel a great school. Koorosh spends his free time with his wife and close friends.




Dean of Students, English Chair

Lori Applegate, M.Ed

Lori lives in North Carolina with her husband and 3 children (ages 8 & 6 year old twins). She received a Bachelor of Education degree from William Carey College and earned her Master's in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. Lori taught in Mandeville schools (Louisiana) for seven years. She worked and served on various curriculum committees within the school district to improve Language Arts/Social Studies teaching methods. She assisted with coordinating several Social Studies World Travel Days and served as a committee member for an event that helped local teachers enhance their teaching practices. Lori also mentored/trained high school students toward future teaching careers.
She has fond memories of playing college soccer with her twin sister. She continued with her interest in soccer by coaching at the local high school and select soccer travel leagues.
In her spare time, she enjoys jogging, reading, family time, and church activities. Lori is excited about mentoring and encouraging people for Excel High School. She truly enjoys each family with whom she comes in contact and provides “online” support and motivation for a successful Excel High School experience. Lori is a great asset to the Excel High School Team!




Director of Admissions

Jay Bergland, M.A., MBA

Serves in a leadership role for the Admission departments for Excel College and High School. He believes that providing students with a well-rounded and engaging admission process is vital to their success and long-term persistence. Jay has spent his career working as a frontline educator and administrator.

Prior to coming to Excel, he worked at a number of other educational institutions including; Bemidji State University, Saint Mary’s University, St. Olaf College, Minneapolis Community and Tech. College, University of Minnesota and Capella University.

Jay holds an Associates of Arts degree from Northland Community College. He also has a Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Psychology & Coaching from Bemidji State University. Jay has also earned a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling & Psychological Services from Saint Mary’s University as well as a Mini MBA from the University of St. Thomas.




Eliza Osae-Kwapong

Math Department

Eliza Osae-Kwapong joined the online faculty of American Public University as an adjunct in 2006. During this time, she has taught Pre-Algebra, Introduction to College Algebra, College Algebra, and Contemporary Math. Since 2012, she has also taught Liberal Math, Statistics for Business, Integrated Math and other math courses for other colleges.

She has about 8 years of experience working with education publishing companies as a Math Curriculum Specialist designing curriculum and assessment for Grades 6 - 8 and High School math.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems from University of Baltimore and a Master of Science degree in Applied & Industrial Mathematics from Towson University. Her master’s project was a mathematical analysis of the Carroll Area Transit System (CATS) in Maryland. The focus of the analysis was to provide optimal operation models for the transit system. She received a Masters Certificate in Integrating Technology in Education at George Washington University.

While teaching and tutoring students she has published a series of math guides to help students master their algebra skills.

Eliza has a deep love of teaching math and a deep intuition for how people learn math. When she is not busy teaching or writing curriculum, she loves to travel with her family and explore the city they live in.




Media Manager / Curriculum Coordinator

Mr. Robert Ulven, B.M.

is responsible for the accessibility, organization and archiving of the various types of educational media used within the coursework at the school.

Robert holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Industry, with a concentration on audio recording technology and music copyrighting, licensing and management.

Throughout Robert's professional career, his areas of media expertise expanded into video, with nearly 20 years of combined experience in television broadcast production and management. With another 15 years of print, digital and web media experience, Robert brings a versatile set of
skills to the school to enhance the student learning experience.

Robert is married with two children.




Registrar/Office Manager

Sheila Christoffer

Brings over 20-years of customer service experience to Excel High School to help serve our student population. Sheila plays a critical role at the school and has direct oversight for student records. Managing records for a large school is a daunting task and Sheila’s high attention to detail shines through daily. Sheila loves the challenge of working for a large virtual high school. In her free time, Sheila enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends.



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Excel High School is a State recognized regionally accredited High School. Excel High School is accredited by AdvancED the parent organization for the North Central Association CASI, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools CASI and Northwest Accrediting Commission - agencies recognized by the State Department of Education.