High School Faculty

2017-18 High School Faculty

Pictured (from top left): Michele Tornio Hower, dance; Melanie Wester, drama; Melissa Myers, Spanish II; Paul Forrest, geometry; Jeff Wilson, discrete math; River Guerguerian, music; Matt Kinne, algebra; Kristin Erhard, Spanish I; Shalene Hill, music; Gabe Johnson, English; Andrew Saldino, fall social studies; Andrew Rabin, science

Not pictured: Ellen Ray, social studies; Mallory Nuckols, design; Keith Knox, design; Nicholas Rake, coding; Neal Harris, chess


Gabe Johnson

High School Homeroom & English Teacher

Gabriel Johnson completed a B.F.A in Literature at UNC-A in 2001. As a young man, Gabriel pursued his love of literature in the form of songwriting, by founding and performing in several bands and musical projects here in the US, and also in Dublin, Ireland where he lived after college. As a teacher, Gabriel believes that learning control of language is essential for navigating the modern world. He also believes that learning to appreciate literature is one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can pursue.

When he’s not reading, Gabriel loves exploring the natural world, hiking, playing guitar, biking and gardening. He is especially excited to be a part of the Odyssey community and loves connecting with the students, staff and parents of this exceptional institution. This is his fourth year.

Andrew Rabin

High School Homeroom & Science Teacher

Andrew Rabin has recently moved to Asheville from Boston. He has taught high school science since 2001. In previous career incarnations he was a wildlife biologist studying owls in the desert southwest, an assistant director of an environmental education camp for NY city public school kids, and the head chef of a French restaurant in Tucson, Arizona. Andrew attended Earlham College for an undergraduate degree in Biology, Prescott College in Arizona for his teaching licence, and has recently completed a Masters of Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University in Massachusetts. He is a lifelong learner and is passionate about science as a means of understanding the world around us. While teaching in Boston, Andrew created a democratic science classroom as part of an action research project for his Masters degree.
His interests include spending time with his family, bird watching, cycling, playing the banjo, gardening and playing Ultimate Frisbee. He is the proud owner of a pair of fifteen year old Ball Pythons. Andrew has visited and/or lived in 45 different states, but is very happy to call Asheville and Odyssey home.

Ellen Ray

High School Homeroom & Social Studies Teacher

Ellen is thrilled to bring her passion for history, philosophy, literature, and politics to the Odyssey community. A graduate of Yale (BA), Middlebury (MA), and Hollins (MFA), Ellen has had the honor of teaching at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia; Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia; and St. Albans School in Washington, DC. Currently, she writes a political column for the literary magazine Scoundrel Time and is at work on a novel.

While earning her B.A. in Humanities from Yale, Ellen was selected to participate in the renowned Direct Studies program, and, ever since, she has sought to understand how historical, philosophical, and literary texts converse with one another across time and discipline. This stance informs every aspect of her teaching, from the texts she assigns to the discussions and reflections she leads. She believes that we must invite students to peer at life’s most driving questions through multiple lenses if they are to come to meaningful answers about what it means to be human. During her years at The Lovett School, Ellen studied the principles of design thinking and project-based learning and learned how to foster a compassionate classroom culture. At Hollins, moreover, she gained a nuanced understanding of what writing, speaking, and research skills students must have in order to thrive in college. She used this knowledge to prepare her St. Albans students for the rigors of Georgetown, UVA, UChicago, and other top institutions across the country.

Ellen believes that the primary task of any teacher is to equip students to be the best versions of themselves. For her, this means acting as a facilitator, one who crafts a supportive and safe environment in which each student can question, reflect, experiment, and grow. A progressive educator at heart, Ellen believes that we learn best by doing. She structures her courses so that students are active participants in their learning, required to prove their understanding of material by teaching it to others and translating it into action and art. She believes in the adage that what we learn with joy we never forget and strives daily to make her classroom ring with laughter, delight, and discovery. She helps students develop not only as historians, but also as empathetic thinkers and writers, powerfully equipped to communicate their ideas to the world.

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

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