Meet the Teachers

Meet the Teachers

Victor Arenas


Growing up near New York City exposed me to the intricacies of living in a melting pot of cultures and languages. As a child, I often helped my Latino immigrant parents navigate the new world whenever they didn’t understand English. I quickly learned to value my bilingual abilities and devoted myself to helping others in my Latino community.

My passion and patience for language learning emerged when I became an adult. I studied at Brigham Young University – Idaho, where I majored in International Studies with a minor in TESOL. During my time there, I studied Portuguese, French, German, Russian, and Mandarin Chinese – all to different levels. I even lived six months in Germany to take intensive language courses for 20 hours a week! I have tutored English and Spanish at my university for many years; I enjoy helping others learn. My most meaningful experience was when I interned at the International Rescue Committee as an English teacher to refugees.

I understand that learning another language can be a scary challenge. But I promise to be patient with you in order to help you understand complex ideas. If you work hard and believe in yourself, then your English will improve. I am eager to work with you!

Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Victor Arenas

Sora Block

International Student Advisor

As a DSO and International Student Advisor, I am dedicated to helping students achieve their goals while providing excellent service to students. With a Bachelor’s degree in K-12 Spanish education and a TESL endorsement, I am passionate about forming meaningful and strong connections with people. I seek to help others feel comfortable to explore their interests and hone skills that they are able to apply to their field of interest.

Through my personal experiences and through schooling, I have had the opportunity to travel abroad quite a bit. From studying abroad in Nicaragua to visiting family for the summers in Japan, I am thankful to have traveled to various countries around the world. This has aided me in expanding my worldview and in learning so much about different cultures.

Teaching ESL is such a joy for me as I am able to see students get one step closer to their goals each and every day. It is my hope to make language learning challenging yet fun for each person that walks through my door. It’s such an honor to be a part of their language learning journey.

Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Sora Block
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Josh Champney

Josh Champney


I have taught English as a foreign language for over ten years. I started my career as a member of the United States Peace Corps, where I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to teach at a language school in Shumen, Bulgaria. I enjoy the social aspect of teaching, as well as the opportunity to constantly be introduced to non-American perspectives.

My advice to any language learner is to take it one step at a time. “Rome was not built in a day,” as the saying goes. Another important aspect of learning a language is to remember to have fun.

I have not worked at Excel English Institute for very long, but the staff and co-workers have been generous and welcoming. And of course, the school would be nothing without its fantastic students.

Guillermo Colderon


My name is Guillermo A. Colderon. I was born in Caracas, Venezuela, raised in Miami and New York, and lived for nearly 30 years in Turin, Italy.

I’ve been teaching English for over 30 years, i.e. General English and Business English mostly for top managers of the most important Italian companies: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, IVECO, Lavazza, Leonardo, Martini Rossi, ENI, Telecom Italia, Diageo Italia, etc.

I have also tutored HB4545 ELAR and ESL high school schools at Dallas ISD. My teaching philosophy is not only limited to teaching grammatical rules, but understanding American culture in its entirety.

Guillermo Colderon, Instructor | Excel English Institute
Meet The Teachers

Maria Donovan

TOEFL Instructor

I joined the Excel teaching staff in 2014 when I moved to Dallas. However, my life as an ESL instructor began when I ventured from Ireland to Brazil and found I enjoyed teaching English there even more than I enjoyed my work as a registered nurse. Many hours in the classroom and many courses through the University of Cambridge, England, followed, providing me with the knowledge and the skills to be an effective and engaging instructor. Upon moving to the US, I earned a Master’s Degree in Education, specializing in TESL, from Oral Robert’s University, Tulsa, OK.

What I love about being an ESL instructor is the opportunity to learn, first-hand, about the people and daily life in the amazing countries my students come from. I have to thank them for teaching me so much about their people and their cultures. Also, with my broad educational background and years of experience, I believe I can help my students improve their English so that they can reach their personal, academic or professional goals and live life to the fullest, be it here in the USA or in their own country.

Kitsie Ferrer


I have been teaching English for over 15 years. I majored in French and Art at Austin College where I spent my junior year abroad studying in France and living with a host family. That is where I got my true taste for travel and love for learning about new cultures. Upon graduating, I spent time traveling the US and abroad before deciding to get my Certification to Teach English as a Second Language. I taught ESL for 6 years in various places throughout Mexico such as Campeche, Guadalajara and San Luis Potosi. In 2009, I returned to the US and taught for 3 years at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio. Finally, I came back to Dallas to be closer to friends and family, and start my own family. I have been teaching at Excel English Institute since the Fall of 2015.

Meet The Teachers
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Alireza Ghasempour

Alireza Ghasempour


My name is Alireza Ghasempour. My MA and PhD are both in English Language Teaching and my BA is in Translation. I teach general and academic English, IELTS, and TOEFL. I have more than 20 years of educational experience as a teacher, translator, editor and policy maker. My teaching style encourages maximum communication, comfortable classroom environment, and intercultural understanding. My biggest ambition is to see my students using English perfectly. I believe that the main mission of teachers should be to enable students both educationally and economically.

I joined Excel in March, 2023 and found it an excellent facility. I am working with knowledgeable colleagues, passionate students, and lovely managers.

Meet The Teachers

Don Gleason


My name is Donald Gleason, but the students call me Mr. Don. I have been a teacher since 1974. When I was in college, one of my professors told me that you did not have to be a famous rock singer, politician or movie star to make a difference in the world; you could do it by being a teacher. That’s what I have been trying to do for more than 30 years. My grandparents were immigrants, and I work with immigrants. Believing that I am helping them to have better lives makes it all worthwhile.

I have taught in a number of schools, but Excel English Institute is the best by far. The facility is beautiful, modern and functional. My colleagues are top-notch, and the students are wonderful. Just wonderful. I am very fortunate to be here.

William Gordon


From September 1991 to July 1993, William was an English language instructor at Sendai English School in the Miyagi prefecture of Japan and Koriyama English School in the Fukushima prefecture of Japan. He taught TOEIC and TOEFL preparation courses in both corporate classrooms and in private lessons. William was also a visiting instructor at Koriyama Technical College in Japan.

He has a Master’s Degree in International Political Economics from the University of North Texas, and has had global operating responsibility in countries around the world in various business roles over the years.

His new passion is helping students from around the world reach their English goals as they pave their way for educational and occupational success.

William Gordon, Director | Excel English Institute
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Miguel Guzman

Miguel Guzman


I specialize in teaching beginning levels due to my desire to help the students build confidence in themselves while providing them with the basic building blocks of language skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing.

I grew up in Los Angeles, which is a cosmopolitan city. While living there, I constantly found myself helping people from other countries. That is how I discovered my knack for languages.

In my opinion, the most difficult part about learning a language is “losing your fear to speak [which] is hard for many introverted students.” However, I always advise any new students interested in coming to Excel to learn English to come aboard and do your best. “You can do it!”

Marjan Heidari


My name is Marjan Heidari. I am doing my PhD in English literature. Both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in English literature. I got my TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from Trinity College London. I have taught general and academic English as well as IELTS at different language schools and colleges for more than 20 years. Teaching as an IELTS instructor and working as an academic coordinator at one of the leading language centers in Malaysia with its multicultural atmosphere gave me valuable experience.

I am passionate about teaching and my ambition is to help my students with English language skills mostly speaking and writing. I always welcome my students’ mistakes which open more opportunities for them to learn. I started teaching at Excel in June 2022. I am happy to be working at this institute because of my amazing colleagues, amazing managers and lovely students.

Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Marjan Heidari
Meet The Teachers

Janice Hinokuchi


“Inspire Boldly to Aspire Boldly”
First and foremost, my passion to teach English surges from the depths of care for students yearning for a better chance in life. I find myself training students to have unswerving confidence that can be the sail which will take them far and beyond in their English language learning. I make streams of encouragement and exhortation for a positive mindset; a mind and heart that can focus clear goals and organize accordingly with reminding tips on good study habits to aspire a desired target outcome; exerting daily praise and attentive motivational feedback are the sparks that keep students pedaling on the track of success. I predominantly have been a foundational link in the chain of success for students in the lower levels, thus I feel it truly has been my calling to be an instructor who “inspires” to face the new untrodden road ahead with confidence, stamina and patience.

It’s awesomely fulfilling for me to see measurable improvement in speaking that comes alive from the rock bottom. It’s my heartfelt aim to wait for the revealing moment when students witness themselves declaring, “I can be more than a conqueror!”

William Joyner


My name is William Joyner, and I have been teaching English as a Second Language for over 20 years. I have a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics and a Master’s Degree in English and Creative Writing.

While studying at British Study Centres, I earned a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults (CELTA) in Oxford, England. I have spent many years teaching English in Saudi Arabia and experienced Arabic and other diverse cultures there. I taught college students in various English Preparatory Programs in Saudi Arabia. I was an IELTS examiner for Speaking and Writing and a TOEFL teacher preparing students for study in English-speaking countries.

I moved back to Dallas, Texas, in 2022 and was ready for a new chapter in my life. That chapter began with Excel English Institute. Since returning, I have been teaching Advanced English with Excel and thoroughly enjoy the experience. I believe in the communicative approach to teaching, so students must use each other and all resources around them to improve their English language skills. I like to get students talking and have them figure things out while I act as a guide and resource for them along their English learning path. We have lots of fun in my classes, and everyone gets a chance to express themselves.

What are you waiting for? Come on and join in on the fun! Sign up with Excel English Institute today!

Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | William Joyner
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Theresa Kiefer

Theresa Kiefer


For more than 20 years, I have had the pleasure of teaching ESL students, from all parts of the world, both in the United States and abroad.  I am strong believer in maintaining a constructive, active learning environment, where students are encouraged to take an active role in their own learning and empowered by creating a meaningful approach to their advancement.

Pearl Lee


I first discovered my love of teaching English and working in multicultural environments in Xinjiang, China in 2003. Since then I have taught in various university and college settings in the US, including teaching immigrants basic reading skills all the way to helping international graduate student instructors with accent reduction. I enjoy interacting with students from all over the world on a daily basis.

My background is diverse because I love to learn. I have a BA in History from the University of Michigan, an MA in Intercultural Studies & Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Wheaton College, and a second MA in Christian Studies from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Currently, I am working on my dissertation focusing on literacy in pursuit of a PhD in Educational Leadership & Policy Studies.

At Excel English Institute, students are able to learn English in an academically challenging, as well as, safe and caring environment. I am proud to be part of a language school that is centered on the needs of its students.

Meet the Teachers - Pearl Lee
Korina Luna, Student Services Coordinator

Korina Luna

Student Services Coordinator

My name is Korina Luna. I was born and raised in Mexico. I love art and helping people, and I consider myself a dedicated and passionate person. I have a BA degree in Business Administration and a strong background in customer service. As a bilingual student services coordinator, my goal is to ensure that every student feels valued, supported and empowered to achieve their academic and personal goals.

I enjoy meeting new people and getting to know their cultures. I’m excited to contribute to a welcoming and inclusive student community.

Joseph Malfitano


Joseph has studied French for almost 10 years, Attic Greek while earning his MA from St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, and Latin at the University of Dallas, where he is currently pursuing his PhD in Literature at the Institute of Philosophic Studies. He is devoted to the renewal of classical pedagogy and aspires to channel his love of & wonder at the written and spoken word to all those he is privileged to instruct.

He is a Virginia Beach, Virginia native; an avid reader; and, if he weren’t working with the written word, he would be pursuing a career in his other passion: horticulture!

Joseph Malfitano, Instructor | Excel English Institute
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Paula Molano

Paula Molano

Student Advisor/Office Manager

Hola! My name is Paula Molano and I am from Colombia. With a BA in Modern Languages, I have been teaching English as a second language for over 6 years. During this time, I have been able to be instrumental in supporting foreign students who want to be proficient in the English language. With a “creative point of view”, my teaching competence and aptitude are strongly fastened to virtues that have prepared me to be able to happily offer my talents, skills, and knowledge to further support and help fellow bilingual educators and learners.

Although teaching is my passion, as a Student Advisor at Excel I have been able to understand the challenges that foreign learners face when they start their academic journey in a new country. Speaking languages like Spanish, French and Portuguese has given me the opportunity to connect with students easily. I love to be able to make them feel understood and acknowledged at every moment of their learning process. In this role, I feel like I am able to fulfill my purpose in life and to give the best of me!

Shandi Porter

International Student Advisor/DSO

Saludos! My name is Shandi Porter and I am a dedicated advocate for language and cultural immersion. Armed with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish from West Texas A&M University, my passion for second language acquisition was ignited throughout my academic journey and international experiences.

I had the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica and after graduating college, I moved to Nicaragua, where I spent six enriching years teaching English to elementary school students. Beyond imparting language skills, my time in Nicaragua fostered deep connections with my students, profoundly impacting my life’s mission to help others.

My unwavering commitment to fostering both academic excellence and personal development have shaped me to be an empathetic and compassionate DSO and International Student Advisor here at Excel. Driven by my love for teaching and my belief in the power of education, I am committed to creating engaging and inclusive learning experiences for our students, as well as utilizing my proficiency in Spanish as a valuable tool to connect with a broader range of individuals. For me, the most rewarding aspect of working for Excel is witnessing the meaningful connections that form between students from different corners of the world!

Shandi Porter, Student Advisor | Excel English Institute
Brandon Raskin, Instructor | Excel English Institute

Brandon Rankin


Hello, my name is Brandon. I am from the U.S. I have been teaching English since 2008. I taught in China from 2015 to 2023. I have taught students as young as 2 and as old as 60, and everything in between. I enjoy teaching each student with patience and understanding. I believe in a learner-centered approach to education to meet the needs of each student through differentiated instruction and learning activities.

My goal as a teacher is to develop students to be confident, curious enough to ask questions to gain understanding, think critically, express themselves clearly when something doesn’t make sense to them, and discover ways to communicate to others their ideas to foster a collaborative approach to solving problems.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with family, hiking, skiing, exercising, listening to music, reading, and learning new skills. I am a lifelong learner, and desire to inspire my students to be the same.

Shahram Rohani


As one of the Directors at Excel English Institute Arlington, I am excited to work with students to assist them in any way I can to achieve their goals. As a former F-1 student myself, I understand what it takes to master the English language and complete my education with a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

I have been in academia for over 30 years and currently am a professor at University of North Texas. With my work in teaching a diverse student population, I am dedicated to ensuring that Excel students receive the best service and guidance on their path to higher education or to achieving their occupational success.

Shahram Rohani, Director | Excel English Institute
Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Mani Shapiro

Mani Shapiro


Teaching is not only my profession but my passion! I love teaching, and especially inspiring, guiding, and patiently supporting my students to learn how to learn since my most important tool and goal is to help them to become successful independent learners!

My diverse and extensive experience has helped me to learn how to help my students gain the patience, self-motivation, and perseverance needed to become successful learners. My students’ success energizes and motivates me to continue to strive to pave the way for them to learn how to learn and become independent learners so they can continue to grow as successful people and professionals.

Maxx Wageman


My name is Magxina Guzman Wageman. I was born in Cuba, but grew up in Chicago. I have a Masters in English with an Emphasis on Applied Linguistics from Texas A&M University-Commerce. I have taught in colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad including China and South Korea.I have also created the language programs at Grayson College, Texas A&M University-Commerce, and Konkuk University.

I have been teaching English for 16 years in both academic and non-academic settings. Having taught in higher education, I understand the rigor required to be successful in undergraduate and graduate programs. Having worked in adult education programs, I understand the challenges students face when arriving in a new country and need to learn a language to communicate. My broad experiences, I hope, allow me to engage students where they are and to where they want to be in their language learning.

Meet the Teachers at Excel English Institute | Maxx Wageman

The Founders

Mallous Rohani & Cindy Gordon

We are both ESL certified veteran teachers with more than 35 years combined of experience teaching, writing curricula and working with students in college and independent schools in Dallas and abroad. As co-workers, we always thought we could provide a better education than what we were offering at our previous places of employment. We decided to embark on a journey in 2014 to open our own school, which would be a place to learn, make new friends and have an unforgettable experience.

After Excel earned its full accreditation in 2017, the school that started with only 8 students, has since grown to serve several hundreds in its short life. The thing that makes Excel different from any other school we have worked at is that we are teachers who wrote and taught the curricula. We know what works and what doesn’t, and we work closely with our teachers to provide them with the resources and training to make our vision of a top-notch English school become a reality.

Excel English Institute Mission Statement

Our mission at Excel English Institute is to provide non-native speakers with English language acquisition in well-crafted programs by fostering a total immersion learning environment. Excel’s programs combine language attainment benefits with vital cultural and interpersonal skills to prepare and empower students to successfully communicate and thrive in social, academic, and professional environments.

If you can dream it, you can do it!

If you can dream it, you can do it!

Contact Us

We're not available right now, but you can send us an email and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt