Kindergarten Lead Teacher
Shirley Rotolo has been teaching for over twenty-five years and has been part of the Odyssey community since 2012. Shirley has several degrees in early education and is a graduate of Western Carolina University. She has been involved in diversity programs such as Building Bridges and Cultural Competence Awareness, and has also taken the Young Hispanic Dual Language Learners Achievement class. Shirley is also an accomplished visual artist with a particular interest in Chinese painting.
Although originally raised in New York City, Shirley has an international background and speaks several languages. Shirley loves to share her experiences from living and traveling in France, Italy, Amsterdam, Montreal, Canada, and the Caribbean Islands in the classroom! In fact, she also teaches French to students from Pre-K through third grade in after school!
In her spare time Shirley loves to explore the different lakes and mountains of Western Carolina with her family. She is an avid reader and reads everything from the classics to fantasy, biographies to sci-fi.
Shirley loves working with kindergarten students and looks forward to sharing her rich, diverse background with them through a calm, effective environment that allows student to learn, explore, and develop.
Sam is from Tallahassee, Florida where she graduated from Florida State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and Art History. During this time she also danced professionally as a soloist with The Tallahassee Ballet. After graduation she joined the Chattanooga Ballet Company as a principal dancer, instructor, and graphic designer. During her five years with the company she taught ballet and created a curriculum for students ranging from age three to adult. She led summer workshops for young dancers, choreographed for the company, and acted as the Young Children’s Coordinator for the ballet’s school. During her time at Chattanooga Ballet, Sam developed a love for teaching which prompted a career shift toward education. This led her to Odyssey School in 2020. Sam loves the team she and Shirley have formed in kindergarten and is excited for another great year. She values compassion, humor, and creativity in the classroom. In her free time Sam dances as a soloist with the Asheville Ballet, teaches dance, and loves to paint and hike.
Join Odyssey School parents and many others from the greater Asheville community as we celebrate spring together in a fundraiser and silent auction that is Out of this World! Heavy hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, live entertainment, and more rounds out this galactic party.
Special thanks to The Collider for providing a beautiful, downtown sunset view!
Give peace a chance, grab anything with fringe on it and join us for a groovy cocktail! This year’s Positively Odyssey party has time traveled to the stardust age of the 1970’s! Gals, leave the macrame at home. Get down with blue eye shadow, bells, leather or chiffon flutter. Guys, break out the silk butterfly collars and sunglasses–just because.
We will have a best dressed awards ceremony and DJ’ed music from art waves — Studio 54, CBGB’s all the way to Graceland. Come in high-heeled disco glam, hippie, soul, or punk– as party-goer, you bring the funk and charitable support to Odyssey.
$20 at the door.
This is one of Odyssey’s biggest celebrations of the year, as we create a fun carnival-like event out on our tennis courts, complete with bounce houses and pie throwing! Autumn Faire is open to the public – all family and friends are invited!
Each class creates a booth – which students, teachers, and family volunteers help run – with activities or homemade wares for sale, in addition to local vendors. This is a great time to start holiday shopping, to come and support classroom fundraisers, to throw a pie at our pie-throwing booth, and to be a judge in our annual Chili Cook-Off.
When: Saturday, October 28th from 11 am – 2 pm
Where: On Odyssey’s Tennis Courts
Who’s Invited: Everybody!
Do we need to RSVP? Nope, not for attendance. However, if you’re interested in volunteering, please let your classroom teacher know.
We are excited to welcome and celebrate Odyssey elders on October 27th! This Fall Festival is a coming together of generations as we invite grandparents, or another special elder in our students’ lives, to join us in celebrating the coming autumn. Together, we find the beauty in changing leaves, cooler weather, longer nights, and the wisdom that follows a full spring and summer.
Elders will get to experience Integral Education, visit classrooms, enjoy a picnic lunch, and celebrate the changing of the seasons with us!
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.
You are invited to join us on Saturday, September 30th, from 12:00-5:00! This party is brought to you by Odyssey’s Garden Committee, led by Chelsea Potter and Carrie Chisholm, and is sure to be a great time had by all.
Please mark your calendars with this very important date! Parent Orientation is not a night to be missed, as so much valuable information is shared and connections are made. Start the year off right, earn volunteer hours for your attendance, and join us!
Here is some information that will likely be covered in your meetings:
- How your child’s teacher incorporates Odyssey’s philosophy into his or her teaching
- Classroom policies
- Technology at Odyssey
- Daily schedule
- How we communicate
- How to volunteer and get involved
- Ways to connect with other parents in your class
- Registration for Listening Conferences.
- The Parent Handbook.
Middle & High School meetings will also cover:
- Grading Philosophy
- College Readiness
- Experiential Seminar
- Journey Week
- Absences Policies
Child care will be provided with RSVP!
We are excited to see you on Friday, August 25th!
Our pool party is a great way to get your feet wet (pun intended) before the first day of school, meet your teachers, see old friends and make new ones. Faculty will make sure you get all the information you need to feel ready on Monday, August 28th, and there will be plenty of time to enjoy handmade pizza cooked in our student-made cob oven and swim in the pool!
Please remember to register so that we ensure we have enough pizza dough, and so that we know what toppings your family is planning to bring. The registration link was included in your Back to School newsletter, sent on August 8th. If you didn’t receive your newsletter, please let us know right away! You can also search your Promotions tab for the title: “Welcome Back to School! 💚 Odyssey School Supplies & News.”
Let’s go swimming!
We love celebrating intergenerational relationships, and every year we look forward to this celebration with our community elders – grandparents and other great, grand family members our students hold dear.
Please save the date for this day of shared stories, discovery, and play! Stay tuned for scheduling and other details as the day approaches!
Join us as we celebrate the first day of school, our founders, and Odyssey’s 10th birthday!
There will be light snacks and coffee in the cafe for parents and guests leading up to the celebration, and we have the honor of welcoming our beloved 2015 commencement speaker, Kat Williams, back to our campus for a Founders Day performance. Attendees will join our students in the traditional weaving of a natural object into the Web of Life, and kick off another wonderful academic year!
Looking forward to see you there,
Megan & Cory