Administrators

Eric Howard, MSW, Ed.D

Dr. Eric Howard, Odyssey Head of School

Head of School
(he/him)

Dr. Eric Howard grew up in Europe and the Pacific and Southeastern United States as a child of a master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Eric moved to his wife Nycole’s hometown of Burnsville more than twenty years ago so that their two sons could have a small-town Western North Carolina childhood. The family enjoys hiking, fishing, arts and culture, and waking up each day with gratitude for each other, their friends and communities, and our beautiful mountains.

As Odyssey’s Head of School, Eric will help us continue and expand how we encourage all students to be citizens of conscience with an authentic sense of self. He is focused on ensuring we invest in our students and provide faculty with the resources they need so that Odyssey School, its students, families, faculty, and staff thrive.

Eric studied and practiced social work because he was drawn to its core competencies: engaging diversity and difference in practice and advancing human rights and social, environmental, and economic justice. He was already a seasoned social worker when he began applying his passion to the field of education.

Eric’s experience with pre-K-12 includes advanced social work practice and school administrative roles including serving as Director of Student Services for Asheville City Schools (ACS); Social Worker, Community Liaison, and Leadership Team for William Randolph School alternative school; and Site Administrator for ACS Preschool.

Eric is an advocate for equity and serves as an expert witness and consultant on bias, race equity, and inclusion. He enacted bias-reducing policies as statewide Director of Problem Solving Courts in Iowa and established Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court as a model during his time as its Coordinator. He consistently makes time for community service. His current and past board and commission service includes LEAF Global Arts, OpenDoors Asheville, Evergreen Community Charter School, and Our Voice.

Eric holds a Doctorate in Education, Leadership & Policy Analysis from East Tennessee State University, Johnson City; a Master of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina, Columbia; a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, North Carolina; and an Associate of Science degree from Georgia Military College, Milledgeville.


Administration

Integral Education is deeply rooted in a collaboration of multiple perspectives. Odyssey School aims to echo this value, using Dynamic Governance to organize responsive circles throughout the organization. Our administration is supported by program directors in each of the four arms of the school: PreK, Elementary, Middle, and High School. This circle works in tandem with the administrative circle to guide programming, faculty, and families in our unique learning adventure.


Jen Stradling

Jen Stradling

Director of Finance

she/her
Originally from the mountains of South Carolina, Jen moved back to her Appalachian roots more than a decade ago when she and her husband enrolled their daughter at Odyssey and she began working in our office. She manages all aspects of the school’s business and operational needs and also recently served as Interim Executive Director.She works hard to take care of our faculty, enrolled families and students needs and does so with a smile. 

Prior to moving to Asheville, Jen was the office manager of the family funeral home business in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Other interests include travel, camping, music, herbalism, knitting and cooking.


Covid-19 Update 6/9/2022

Odyssey’s five and half acre campus is currently a “mask-optional” environment, meaning that we encourage the use of facial coverings but do not currently require them (as of June 2022).

In the summer of 2022, here’s what we are doing to mitigate risk of Covid-19 transmission:

  • Optional Masking in School
  • Eating Outdoors
  • Sending Symptomatic Kids Home
  • Open Windows / HVAC Filters
  • Maintain Strong Community Communication

We are continuing to utilize a layered approach to COVID safety to mitigate risk on Odyssey’s campus. Below is a summary of definitions that more fully detail our responsibilities and we ask that you review this page or call our main office for up to date guidelines:

  • Optional masking in building: individuals may make a choice to be unmasked or masked.
  • Required masking in the building: regardless of vaccination status, all students and staff on site at school are required to be masked at all times while inside the building. 
  • Eating outdoors whenever possible and spacing out in a larger physical space, such as the gym, when weather conditions are too dangerous outside.
  • Physical distancing indoors: masked students are to be distanced by 3’ whenever possible while indoors in accordance with NC Safe Schools and CDC guidelines
  • Sending symptomatic children home: children showing any symptoms of illness will be quickly isolated and caregivers called to bring them home and pursue testing or quarantine. 
  • Contact tracing and required testing: in conjunction with the Buncombe County Health Department and the NC Strong Schools public health program, any students or staff with positive COVID test results are to quarantine in line with current recommendations. As a school, we reserve the right to screen and require testing to monitor for the presence of COVID.
  • Keeping windows open in classrooms to allow for greater fresh air exchange in compliance with guidelines to reduce the concentration of any potential viral particles in the classroom.
  • Installing appropriate filters on the air handling equipment in accordance with recommendations. 
  • Policy adjustments as needed: Odyssey reserves the ability to make adjustments to classroom spaces, student groupings, building use, or any other measures to lower risk or improve instruction, and to clearly communicate these changes to the Odyssey community as we adapt to new information, research, and changing conditions.  

With sincere gratitude and appreciation for your partnership, consideration, and compassion,

 The COVID Committee of the Board of Trustees of Odyssey School


General Covid Update 9/10/2021

Dear Odyssey families,
 
We have another student who has tested positive for Covid in the 5-6 classroom of IS. To our knowledge, the two positive cases are not related, i.e. they were not close contacts. And we have a third student home sick today in this classroom. 
 
Siblings of these students are being kept home and quarantined (because they are not vaccinated or able to be vaccinated) in order to keep other classrooms safe. 
 
When our community transmission rates rise into the high level, (today we are still at 9.5% positivity rate in Buncombe County and the counties around us are even higher) we begin to see exposure and positive cases more consistently. So please, if you are able to be vaccinated or if your student is able to be vaccinated, please vaccinate. And please partner with the school in following our protocols as best as you are able. 
 
I hope everyone is able to rest and take good care this weekend. As always, reach out with further concerns or questions.
 
with gratitude,
Cory

Carly Penny

Carly
Director of Curriculum and Programming
she/her

A life-long North Carolinian, Carly grew up in Raleigh, surrounded by artists, inventors, craftspeople, and naturalists. She and her husband made Asheville their home in 2004. Carly is a true generalist, being involved in an array of experiences such as travel (Italy, Greece, Spain, Mexico, Canada, and much of the United States), clothing design, illustration, and flute performance. She sees everything as being connected, believing that an integral education is imperative for teaching the whole child and making meaning that lasts. She brings this foundational perspective to her work with Odyssey’s teachers, weaving together big ideas in education, curriculum, and life, as we teach our students how to think and how to grow into their authentic selves. As an administrator, Carly strives to help Odyssey families have experiences that allow them to feel connected across the community and to know that we are here in support of their children’s journey.

Being an educator from 2000 to 2021, Carly brings her experience as a gifted specialist for elementary and middle grades as well as her understanding and appreciation for differentiation into her role as Curriculum and Programming Director. She has experience teaching PreK through twelfth grades with extended time as a fourth-grade and third-grade classroom teacher. Additionally, Carly has taught reading skills, child development, clothing design, and music.

Carly holds her post-baccalaureate undergraduate degree in elementary education, retaining a concentration in design and a music minor. She earned her gifted education licensure on the master’s level and she continues to be an avid learner from thought leaders on issues, new developments, and best practices in education.

When she is not working with teachers and families or listening to education podcasts, Carly spends time with her daughter, Emaline, and her husband, Grant. You can find them laughing, hiking, reading, and creating works of art.


Faculty Meeting Agenda 8/28

Happy first week of school!

Today’s meeting includes:

*Centering
*Morning/After School Supervision
*Parent Orientation Planning
*Faculty Service Assignments



Ann Tomlanovich

Director of Student Life: Ann Tomlanovich

Director of Student Life

she/her

Anne Tomlanovich grew up in Michigan, earned a BS in Sociology from the University of Michigan, then moved to Oregon. An intended short stint there turned into 20 years, during which time Anne earned her Masters in School Counseling, and worked as a middle school counselor. Anne believes that love and belonging are the bedrock of learning, and that students, staff and families do their best work together when they feel a sense of safety and community. She centers student strengths and helps students access those strengths to work through hard times. Anne is skilled in supporting students as they grow in their ability to regulate their emotions, relate to their peers, and gain independence in their academic lives. As she begins her new role at Odyssey School, Anne’s greatest hope is to become an advocate for and an ally to all of her students, their families, and her colleagues. 

In her spare time, Anne is a voracious reader, a music nerd, an avid vintage clothing shopper and loves hanging out with her family. 


Kristin Harkey

Admissions Director (and Interim Marketing & Development lead)

she/her

An accomplished development, marketing and fundraising professional, Kristin has more than fifteen years of nonprofit experience in raising private dollars from individuals, corporations, foundations and philanthropic organizations. She has effectively led board committees in public relations and fund development. As a parent a tour guide for admissions, Kristin showcases on a daily basis the commitment among Odyssey teachers to guide and support students in learning deeply about themselves and the world around them and she loves meeting new families.

After earning two degrees from College of Charleston, one in English Literature and the other in Sociology, Kristin helped to land nationally acclaimed educational exhibits with the Columbia Museum of Art (in South Carolina) and then later worked for the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street. In 2008, she and her husband moved to Fairview where, during the recession years, she doubled membership, surpassed revenue goals, and secured legacy gifts for Conserving Carolina in Hendersonville. She has additional certification in fundraising and professional writing. When not at Odyssey, Kristin can be found on her porch, with her nose in a paperback of short stories, surrounded by her daughter, two dogs, and husband. She collects vinyl, fancies herself a birder and secretly memorizes poetry.


10/17 In-Service Agenda

*2:30-3:00 Best Practice + Announcements

*3:00-4:00 Break Out Meetings: Review student progress & 4-6th talk about Duke TIP nominations

*4:00-5:15 Group review re: preparing Nov Conference Reports


9/26 Agenda

*Let Jen know about sick days.

*Learning Partners Check In (How are your goals progressing; what do you need to be successful?)

*Buddy Lunch discussion

*Equity Conversation

*Fall Peer Observations

*Attendance

*ACT Preparations (Accommodations, Centering, Art)


Odyssey School is an independent, non-profit school with a focus on whole child, emotionally intelligent, personalized curriculum for students in PreK-12.

Our mission is to prepare students, families, and educators to lead the 21st century with an authentic sense of self.

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Community Announcements

Read our 2021-22 Annual Report. Odyssey to host an Open House, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:30 PM. Rsvp with Kristin Harkey, kharkey@odysseycommunity.org. Be sure to include the grade you seek to learn about. Odyssey Welcomes New Head of School, Dr. Eric Howard. Read More.

Get In Touch

If you have questions about Odyssey’s mission, community, or programs, please give us a call! You can also contact us to schedule a tour, meet our teachers, our directors, and visit our learning spaces.          

Covid-19 Policies and Procedures

Odyssey School has had a strong start the year! As of late October, we've made an update to our Covid policies and procedures.

Newsletter

Odyssey's administration sends out a quarterly newsletter of upcoming events, community news, and notable opportunities. Keep your ear to the ground and subscribe!