Middle School Faculty


Kalyan Volpe

Social Studies Teacher

Kalyan is one of Odyssey’s founding teachers, and he first came to teaching after a series of adventures, including traveling and living in Japan and considering monkhood in Nicaragua. When he visited a Long Island alternative elementary school, he was so raptured by their joy and excitement that his life goals shifted from the monkhood to working in alternative education.

Kalyan achieved a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in Education from Goddard College in Vermont, where his master’s thesis focused on the design of holistic elementary schools. After working as a lead teacher in a school in Fukuoka, Japan, and head teacher as PSOLI in Merrick New York, Kalyan taught at Odyssey for six years before taking a hiatus to explore other career opportunities.

In Kalyan’s classes students focus their study on celebrating and understanding diverse cultures, belief systems, and greatness. What does it mean to be great? How does a person achieve greatness in life? Kalyan has had poets, artists, and puppeteers visit his class and discuss what moved them to their achievements. He sees these discussions move students who are lukewarm about their studies into having a passion for learning. He encourages students to follow through with their visions, develop their own voice, and encounter the diversity of humanity.


Paul Forrest

Middle School Homeroom, Math & Science 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 prepare for college entrance examinations and polish their portfolios, essays, and college 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.

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 helping students achieve their academic and personal goals, Paul enjoys playing guitar, composing electronic music, gardening, cooking delicious and nutritious meals, hiking through beautiful landscapes, playing games, and spending time with his wife and baby.


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

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