Director of Programs
Megan McCarter has been involved in teaching in classrooms for almost 20 years, beginning as an apprentice teacher with the SummerBridge program, now called Breakthrough Miami: an educational outreach program designed to empower students to become dynamic and successful learners, leaders and teachers. Her pathway from that first summer of teaching has meandered through a wide range of classrooms across the world, including preschool through adult education. Megan has been teaching at Odyssey since 2011 and has centered her work, both in the classroom and as an administrator, on fostering community relationships, programming partnerships, and leadership in professional learning communities.
Megan studied Creative Writing and Child Development at Pitzer College in Claremont, California, as well as Literature and Language at UNC-Asheville; she holds several professional licenses in teaching. Along with her love of art, mountains, and word play, a love of learning itself feeds her love of teaching; she is driven by her desire “to guide students and educators in their interaction with the satiating world of learning, to unlock their ultimate potential to discover through engaging research, reflection, and design, to understand, process, analyze, question, innovate, and communicate… In other words, to create brave and positive change in this vast and ever-growing world.”
Director of Operations
Cory Adams has lived in Asheville since 1997, is a graduate of Warren Wilson College, has worked in Chinese medicine, and is a former business owner in the natural products industry. She was originally drawn to Odyssey after her son started the preschool program, “I was looking for a school that would lay a supportive emotional foundation while teaching our son how to learn and think—and of course have fun. As he grows older, I keep him at Odyssey partly to prepare him for the technological and design world that is becoming part of every job—and because he loves it here. A few years back, I was so taken with Odyssey that I ‘envisioned’ a job here. Then it was a matter of pestering the Headmaster until something finally opened up.” Cory’s work evolved from bookkeeping, to administration. In her spare time, she cares for her two sons, is finishing her first novel, and produces local movies with her production company, Gorilla with a Mustache Films.
Prior to moving to Asheville, Jen was the office manager of the family funeral home business in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Needless to say, getting to spend her day at Odyssey brings a lot more smiles! Jen loves to spend time with her family – and especially loves working where her daughter goes to school. Other interests include travel, camping, music, herbalism, knitting and cooking.
Dr. John Johnson, M.S., Th.D.
How must the education of our children transform if we are to expect them to be competent and personally fulfilled adults twenty-five years from now? Answering this question is critical to the work of Dr. John Johnson, whose vision of education assimilates the integral philosophy articulated by Ken Wilber, the emergent cosmology voiced by Thomas Berry, and our cultural possibilities according to Thomas Friedman. “We have to teach today’s children how to learn, along with what to learn,” says Dr. Johnson. “We have to lead by example, invest in the self-knowing techniques of inquiry, honesty and authenticity. We have to present our students with an inclusive, integrative, and creative world.” Dr. Johnson has been at the forefront of educational change in Asheville for over thirty years. In 1979 he sponsored a conference at the UNC-A Owen Conference Center titled “Holistic Perspectives in Education and Health.” He was a founder of Rainbow Mountain Children’s School in Asheville, in the late seventies. As the executive director, Dr. Johnson extended Rainbow Mountain to fifth grade in 1991, and subsequently created The Omega Program, a holistic alternative learning experience for the middle school student, in 1993. In 2007, as a co-founder and Executive Director, he opened the doors to Odyssey Community School, welcoming a new generation of children and families into what he considers the next step in educational innovation – an integral learning community. Dr. Johnson aims not to create another “alternative educational center,” but to integrate outstanding academic reform with a deep commitment to cultivating self-knowledge.