5th-6th Faculty

Samata DeCori

Fifth and Sixth Grade Homeroom, Social Studies and Language Arts Teacher Odyssey Mindfulness and Wellness Coach

As an elementary teacher at Odyssey, Samata has the training, vision, and enthusiasm that are hallmarks of the school’s spirit. She believe that childhood is a time of creativity and joy, and also a time to learn self-discipline and empowerment. Samata infuses her students’ days with these elements through song and kirtan, yoga, centering, and goal-setting, and takes care that the children practice speaking from the heart center of power.

As a professional musician and co-founder of Sangita Devi Kirtan, a kirtan group that meets weekly to share in devotional sacred music, Samata has a deep understanding of the power of heart-centered communication. She brings the magic of childhood alive, and is thrilled to have found resonance at Odyssey.

After receiving a BA in Elementary Education from Warren Wilson College, Samata studied education in India, with the plan of opening a mind-body-spirit oriented school for children. Samata has been teaching at Odyssey since 2008.

Paul Forrest

Fifth and Sixth Grade Homeroom, Math & Language Arts Teacher

Paul grew up in Atlanta and graduated from the Paideia School before attending Emory University, where he earned a B.A. in English Literature. As a private tutor in Atlanta, Miami, and Asheville, Paul has helped hundreds of students improve their grades, prepare for their SAT and ACT exams, and polish their college essays and applications. He has taught ESL classes to children and adults at the Sarapiqui Learning and Conservation Center in Costa Rica, and has worked with students ranging in age from kindergarten to high school at various after school programs and summer camps. While working as Odyssey’s College Readiness teacher, Paul was asked to step in as a Middle School homeroom teacher midway through the 2015-16 school year, and he hasn’t looked back. He enjoys working with middle school students and the energy and unique perspective they bring to the classroom. This year Paul is thrilled to be teaching Language Arts, in addition to Math classes in the Middle and High School.

Paul comes from a family of educators, and believes that a good education and the ability to think critically are fundamental to living a happy and fulfilling life. He also believes that every student has their own unique learning style, and appreciates the value of an integral approach to education that focuses not only on intellectual growth, but also on emotional, physical, and spiritual development. When he is not teaching, Paul enjoys reading, playing guitar, composing music, cooking, hiking, playing games, and spending time with his wife and their two young children.

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

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