K-1 Teachers

Mary Virginia Bunker

Kindergarten Teacher

A born and bred storyteller, Mary Virginia fills the days of K-1 students with mythic lessons taken from folktale and legend. Inspired by Joseph Campbell’s work describing the cultural basis of the hero’s journey through myth and folklore, she believes it is through learning ancient stories that truths of personal power, justice, and interpersonal understanding are embodied.

Mary Virginia passionately enjoys teaching at Odyssey, guiding her young students to see purpose and meaning in their academic lessons, celebrating their shifts in understanding, and helping them learn how to manage their energies, through imaginative play, social skills and the developmental tasks related to academics.

A graduate of Loyola College of Maryland (Bachelor of Elementary Education) with graduate-level work in special education, Mary Virginia has also earned a Masters of Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State and a Masters of Library and Information Science from UNCG. In 2011, she completed a post-master’s level CASE (Advanced Study in Education) degree from the Notre Dame of Maryland University.


Selma Neel

Kindergarten and First Grade Teacher

Selma is originally from the Asheville area and her teaching style is inspired by the nature, magic, and creative expression that characterized her own childhood. Selma has a B.A. in Elementary Education from UNC Chapel Hill and completed part of her student teaching in North Carolina and part in Hamburg, Germany. She taught kindergarten on the Dutch Caribbean island of Saba before returning to the mountains and teaching first grade at Black Mountain Primary School. In addition to her education related experiences abroad, Selma loves to travel and explore different cultures and seeks to bring a multicultural perspective into the classroom. Outside of school, she is interested in sewing, reading, hiking, and enjoying the local music scene. Selma is excited to be a part of Odyssey and our K/1 classroom community!

Preparing students, families, and educators to lead the 21st century with an authentic sense of self.

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