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. Executive Director Coranna Adams is supported by program directors in each of the four arms of the school, PreK, Elementary, Intermediate, and High School. This circle works in tandem with the administrative circle to guide programming, faculty, and families in our unique learning adventure.
Cory Adams has lived in Asheville since 1997 and holds a degree in English literature from Warren Wilson College. As the child of two public school teachers, Cory was drawn to the non-profit world and to Odyssey through her love of learning. Cory began working at Odyssey in 2009, first as an administrative assistant to founding Executive Director John Johnson, then as a teacher and director in the high school program. She began co-leading the school in 2014. Her focus as an administrator is on partnership and collaboration, using Dynamic Governance, the Integral Model, and Compassionate Communication to actualize on strategic planning for the school.
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.
Business Manager & Registrar
Prior to moving to Asheville, Jen was the office manager of the family funeral home business in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Needless to say, getting to spend her day at Odyssey brings a lot more smiles! Jen loves to spend time with her family – and especially loves working where her daughter goes to school. Other interests include travel, camping, music, herbalism, knitting and cooking.
An accomplished fundraiser, Kristin has more than a decade 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 to an Odyssey student and a tour guide for admissions, Kristin is excited to see on a daily basis the commitment among Odyssey teachers to guide and support students in learning deeply about themselves and the world around them.
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, Kristin and her husband moved to Fairview where, during the recession years, she doubled membership, surpassed revenue goals, and secured legacy gifts for Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) in Hendersonville. She has additional certification in fundraising and professional writing.
Administrative Advisor, Music Director, Teacher
River brings to Odyssey his rich and extensive experience as a multi-percussionist, composer, and educator. Born in Montreal, Canada to Armenian-Egyptian parents, he received his Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music Conservatory in 1989. For over 25 years, River has been performing internationally with such groups as the BBC Concert Orchestra, New Music Consort, Grammy and Oscar winning composer Tan Dun, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Tibetan Singing Bowl Ensemble, Talujon Percussion Quartet, Chuck Berry, and Ziggy Marley/Gipsy Kings project. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by chamber ensembles, universities, modern dance companies, and new music festivals throughout the U.S.
River has performed in concert halls in New York, Berlin, Moscow, Tokyo, Rome, Sydney, Hong Kong, Barcelona, Athens, Istanbul, London, and has recorded on over 150 albums and film soundtracks. In 1994, River sold all possessions, left civilization, and lived in a wildlife sanctuary in the Himalaya Mountains. This immersion in nature initiated intense research and experimentation into the physiological effect of sound on brainwave states.
In addition to working with Odyssey students in small, advanced classes and with older students on recording and album production, River also runs Asheville Rhythm and conducts rhythm and sound exploration workshops throughout the country. Visit him at www.ShareTheDrum.com.
Building & Grounds Manager, Fabrication Teacher
Clayton Hufford completed a B.F.A in Graphic Design from Bowling Green State University and an M.F.A. in Glass Sculpture from Rochester Institute of Technology. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Clayton taught glassblowing at a summer camp for high schoolers in Williamsburg, MA, and then moved to take classes and teach at Penland School of Crafts before finishing his masters. In his work at Odyssey, Clayton marries his training in art, design, and sculpture with his on-the-ground experience as a woodworker and renovator.
Ellen Ricker grew up in the crisp mountains of central Vermont learning the value of self-sustainability and living close to the earth. Ellen would go on to receive her Bachelors in Business from Cazenovia College in New York, and then a Psychology degree from Norwich University in Vermont. As a life-long learner Ellen has also studied primary education and biology. During this time Ellen honed her skills through opportunities with the Vermont Commission on Women and The United States Department of Agriculture. These experiences gifted her with skills in office administration, human rights advocacy, and file and data management.
Ellen would take these skills with her when moving to Asheville in 2015. Here in Asheville she has worked in the healing arts, as well as the education sectors. Her dynamic skills and perspective are a gift to the Odyssey community! Whether it’s answering questions, facilitating ideas, or getting documents, Ellen is happy to assist you in any way possible. In her spare time Ellen enjoys spending time with her husband John and cat Opal, and of coarse playing among these ancient mountains.
Technical and Marketing Support and Yearbook & Graphic Design teacher
Eruch Adams learned about computers while working in the video game industry from 1999-2001 as well as running his own company’s IT department from 2002 until 2013 where he also took on more and more graphic design, branding, copywriting, and digital media wrangling. More recently, Eruch has written and co-produced a number of award winning short films here in Asheville, and wrote and published a novel.
Eruch stumbled into the original Founders Day in 2007 and watched the unveiling of the Sword and the Stone that resides in Odyssey’s front yard. The Arthurian legend was a foundational part of his inner landscape so he decided this was his kind of school. When his son, Simon, was old enough to attend Pre-K the following spring, they chose Odyssey. Simon is now in the 11th grade.
Eruch has 12 years experience in counseling and helping facilitate a spiritual camp for teens and enjoys opportunities to interact with Odyssey students of all ages, from teaching photography, film, photoshop, and yearbook to providing tech support for student video or writing projects to chaperoning school camp outs. He can often be found in the Pre K room playing with Magnatiles, ostensibly to help his youngest son transition into a school day (but really to hang out in fun land and see how many pyramids he can get on top of his other pyramids).