The Excellence Christian School Governing Board consists of Spirit-led individuals, with diverse experience and expertise, who are committed to making a positive difference for the Excellence Christian School community. Working with the school leadership, we strive to ensure the integrity, effectiveness, and solid reputation of Excellence Christian School through the establishment of sound policy, provision of sufficient resources, and assurance of a quality educational program for all of our students. We invite you to meet our Board members who are all “Soaring for Excellence through Grace and Knowledge.”
Dale William Bethel attended District of Columbia Public Schools and graduated from McKinley Technology High School in 1967. Following high school, he attended D.C. Teacher’s College, and graduated with a B.S. Degree in Health & Physical Education in 1971. He earned a master’s degree from Virginia Tech in Guidance and Counseling.
Mr. Bethel is a retired educator that has worked in Arlington County School System for 34 years and eight years in Prince George’s County Public School System, where he served at Annapolis Road Academy and Dr. Henry A. Wise High School. He has endorsements in Health and Physical Education K-12, and Secondary School Guidance Counselor. His Secondary School endorsements include Health and Physical Education teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal. During his career, he coached varsity basketball for nine years at Washington-Lee High School. He has served on multiple Arlington County and Arlington Public School committees.
Mr. Bethel has been married to his beautiful wife, Paulette for over 51 years. They have two grown children and four grandchildren; two of which attended Excellence Christian School. His hobbies include outdoor cooking and bowling.
Rev. Lesley Poole
Lesley Poole is the Chief Executive Officer at The SEED Foundation, where she is responsible for the overall health and vitality of the SEED network of public, college-preparatory boarding schools and their mission-critical college success programming. Lesley joined The SEED School of Washington, D.C. 18 years ago as a founding faculty member and has held positions ranging from Director of Admissions to Director of Parent & Community Relations to Head of School for Student Life. Since transitioning to The SEED Foundation, Lesley has served in several management positions, including the Director of Outreach and Government Relations, before becoming CEO.
Lesley began her career in education as a mathematics instructor. Later, she served as the service area director for the School Division of the San Francisco Educational Services (SFED), where she oversaw five programs for inner-city children with special needs in San Francisco. She received her bachelor's degree, from Patten College in organizational management.
Lesley remains heavily involved in both the SEED community and the greater Washington community; she serves on the board of Educare, an early childhood education school and community center in Ward 7, as well as Excellence Christian School, located in Upper Marlboro.
Rev. Dwight Benjamin
Dwight Benjamin received his B.A degree in Business Administration and Computer Information System Science from the University of the District of Columbia in 1993. Over the past 40 years his work has been supporting senior level management in Information Systems Technology, Instructional Technology, Mediation, Conflict Management and Community Based Support in private industry, university, parochial and public schools.
Mr. Benjamin’s last 29 years of service have been with the Archdiocese of Washington, DC school and Maryland’s 2nd largest and most diverse school districts providing Customer Service training, navigating constituents through the school system, reviewing and instituting school system policies and procedures, intrapersonal, organizational and communication skills encapsulating a number of position competencies. He has worked closely with Senior Level Administrators, School Board Members, Elected Officials, United States Department of Education (USDE), and Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) has allowed him to realize, embrace and contribute to student learning.
In May 2016, he organized the first convening of PGCPS and Faith - Based Organizations. The
purpose of this meeting was to collaboratively discuss how the school system and faith-based
organizations can coherently align vision and activities toward the development and
implementation of a “Systemic Strategic Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) Partnership Plan”
that would increase mutually beneficial engagement opportunities to meet the needs of the
Mr. Benjamin’s professional philosophy is “A goal is not a goal until an individual commitment is made to make it happen.”
Jenice Pellam is a woman who loves God, and is a passionate educator. She is from Rich Square, North Carolina. Jenice graduated from East Carolina University and Bowie State University. She has served in the church as a Sunday school secretary, member of the choir and a teacher. Her service to education has been for 38 years. She has degrees in Special Education and Education Leadership. She has taught pre-k through grade 12 and is currently an Assistant Principal of a high school in Prince George’s County Public Schools. As she approaches retirement in September, she is anxious to see what God’s plans are for her next.
Rev. Daniel T. Mangrum
Pastor Daniel T. Mangrum received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in the field of Education from the University of Maryland, College Park. He received a Masters of Divinity Degree from Howard University Graduate School of Religion. Rev. Mangrum worked for ten years as a Social Studies teacher in Fairfax Public schools at George Marshall High School and W.T. Woodson High School. During his tenure as a Public-School teacher, Rev. Mangrum served on the Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Board chosen to advise the Superintendent on Educational policy for Fairfax Public Schools. In addition, Rev. Mangrum was nominated by his school for the Washington Post Agnes Meyer Teacher of the Year Award.
This background in education led to his desire to found the Excellence Christian School. His vision was to establish an educational institution that emphasized academic excellence and sound Christian moral values. There were three cornerstones to his educational strategy. They were to assemble a highly qualified educational staff, maintain small class sizes and have an accelerated challenging educational environment for students to learn. Pastor Mangrum believes instruction on the Bible and practicing our faith is critical to quality education. In his own words, “Understanding the Bible and practicing our faith is what allows what we learn to have meaning in terms of how we use a quality education to make the world a better place for others.” He has served on the Board since its inception and eagerly participates in the work of the Board.
Pastor Mangrum serves presently as the Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Peaceful Bible Baptist Church. He has served in this capacity for 33 years. Excellence Christian School was birthed from the need to serve the community and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Pastor Mangrum is married to the Rev. Sabrina Mangrum since September 11, 1982. In addition to serving as coPastor, she was the co-founder of Excellence Christian School. They have two children, Danielle and Diamond. Both Danielle and Diamond attended Excellence Christian School. Danielle is a graduate of Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia, and Diamond is presently a student at North Carolina A & T University, Greensboro, North Carolina. Pastor Mangrum is an avid golfer and fisherman. One of the highlights of the year is working on the Excellence Christian School Golf Classic that raises money for the School.
Rev. Tia Collins
Tia Collins received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education and M.S. degree in Reading from Bowie State University. She has worked as an elementary
school teacher in Charles and Calvert Counties with over 25 years of professional
Mrs. Collins is currently a Reading Instructional Lead Teacher in the Prince
George’s County Public School (PGCPS) system. She serves as a county trainer for the PGCPS Reading/English Language Arts Office, assisting with training teachers county-wide. She has coordinated a school-wide reading/language arts program.
Tia’s accomplishments include being named Teacher of the Year in 2006 and 2011, New Teacher Mentor, and Master Teacher for Student Teachers. Her certifications include Maryland Teaching Certificate, Certified Reading
Specialist and LETRS (Language Essentials for Teaching Reading and
Pastor Sabrina Mangrum
Pastor Sabrina Mangrum
Dr. Marisha Wright
Dr. Marisha Wright was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. She
began her pursuit of knowledge in 1991 at Montgomery College. After graduating from
Montgomery College, Dr. Wright transferred to University of Maryland, College Park and
received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Hearing and Speech Sciences. After so many years, Dr. Wright
was not satisfied with only a Bachelor’s degree and pursued higher degrees. In 2006, Dr. Wright
received her Master’s degree in School Counseling with a specialization in Mental Health from
Gallaudet University and in 2011 her PhD in Human Services with specialization in Counseling
from Capella University. She enjoys her pursuit of knowledge. Her motto to her students is “it
never matters where you start but that you finish what you started.” She has worked as the CoChairperson/School Counselor at a high school in Prince George’s County for the past 10 years.
Prior to her school counseling career, Dr. Wright worked as a Sign Language Interpreter at a
local community college for 8 years. In addition, Dr. Wright interprets for deaf and hard-of hearing members and visitors at her church and in the community. Over her 18 years working in
education, Dr. Wright has mentored young people to believe in themselves and go after their
dreams. She believes everyone has a purpose in life and wants to help young people believe that
they were born for a purpose.