1-2 Faculty


Agustin Palomo Ramos

Music Teacher, Pre-K – 12th : Healing Through Drums & Music

Agustín is a national and international musical artist born in San Jose, Costa Rica. He earned a degree in Music & Social Behavioral Sciences from the University of Central Florida (UCF), and later attended Florida State University for Jazz Studies. He has been a Qualified Professional in North Carolina and has over 20 years of experience working with the IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) community.

As a drummer and percussionist he performs, tours, and is a recording artist with his bands.  Agustin is currently featured in the original rock band ExciterBox, who have a newly released album. He plays with Zabumba, a Brazilian drumline and dance troupe based in Asheville, NC. Some past ensembles include the 1995 Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps and Walt Disney World (3 ensembles). He has also played in several orchestras/symphonies, concert bands, percussion ensembles, steel drum bands, jazz bands, marching bands, percussion for theater productions and many pop/rock bands.

Since 2021, he has been the music teacher at the Odyssey School in Asheville NC for pre-kindergarten through high school students. He is a resident teaching artist at LEAF Global Arts (Schools & Streets program) in Asheville, NC. His music pedagogy work has included Winter Park and Trinity high schools in Florida, The Austin Waldorf School in Texas, and as a percussion master class clinician at festivals and conventions. He arranged and composed for Appalachian State University, UCF, Wake Forest, and high schools.

Agustín is also a live event producer and a sound mixing engineer whose Front of House/Monitor A1 work can be heard with XL Live Media USA, IATSE, local production companies and independently. Some of his past crews in Austin, TX include the Bass Concert Hall, Erwin Center, and numerous events (Broadway Across America with The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, Mama Mia!, Jersey Boys, The Lion King, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, George Strait, John Meyer, Neil Young, George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic, SXSW, Austin City Limits, Santana, Willie Nelson, Blueman Group, Tom Petty, and Deadmau5). In New York City his credits include work at Studio Instrument Rentals (SIR), Rocket Studios, and more (Fiona Apple, Beyonce, Trey Anastasio, LL Cool J, My Chemical Romance, Burning Spear and The Foo Fighters).


Nica Rabinowitz

K-8th Art Teacher

She / her

Nica has been teaching art and helping people of all ages access their inherent creativity for more than 10 years. After receiving a Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2023, Nica joined the Odyssey community ready to develop an integrated art curriculum for elementary and middle school learners to connect, cultivate, and create in kinship with the natural world.

A native-New Yorker, Nica graduated with a degree in Fashion Design with a focus on community-supported textiles from Parsons School of Design, and quickly discovered a love for art education. Nica brings with her many years of experience creating liberating learning environments and teaching children art in classrooms, museums, community gardens, farms, makerspaces, galleries, parks, and anywhere else creativity can flow. 

When she is not teaching, you can find Nica in the weeds, collaborating with plants, mushrooms, microbes, and fiber animals at the Fiberhouse Collective in Marshall, NC.


Lydia Hearne

Kindergarten Teacher

she/her

Lydia earned her bachelor’s degree from Earlham College in 2005, and has worked in early education ever since. She loves the connections made with children, and is excited about the tremendous learning that happens during these early years. In addition to her work with children, Lydia is also an artist. She attended Haywood Community College’s professional craft program, where her focus was in clay, but she also enjoys drawing, painting, and weaving. She grew up here in the mountains of Western North Carolina on a small farm. Some of the wool in her weavings comes from the sheep on her family’s farm! Lydia will bring aspects of her background and of these passions to her work at Odyssey’s Kindergarten. 


Shirley Rotolo

Private School Kindergarten Teacher Shirley Rotolo

Kindergarten Lead Teacher

she/her

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.


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 lives of intention and purpose with an authentic sense of self.

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