In February of 2007, several families approached Dr. John Johnson with the desire to create a new school in Asheville that would embrace the educational philosophy, methodology and spirit that they had once experienced under his influence as a founder, director, curriculum director, and board member of Rainbow Mountain Children’s School. Dr. Johnson was willing and immediately formed a steering committee to explore the possibility of creating a community with a shared commitment to the nurturing of a life-long love of learning and self-knowledge in multi-age, continuous progress classes with a high level of commitment to emotional and physical safety . After connecting with the greater Asheville community through multiple meetings and seminars that generated interest and educated the community about this unique approach to education, the dialogue evolved into Odyssey: A Community of Integral Education.
Within five months of the school’s conception, Dr. Johnson and the steering committee had obtained the initial funding to procure Odyssey’s six acre home at 90 Zillicoa Street and form the existing non-profit 501 (c) 3 . The Odyssey campus, featuring a playground shaded with hardwoods and hemlocks, two tennis courts, a swimming pool, locker rooms, and a gymnasium, has grown into a thriving community that hosts summer camps, pool and tennis memberships and a home for artists who work and teach on campus.