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.


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

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