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 a native of Tallahassee, Florida where she graduated from Florida State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art and Art History. While in college, she was employed as a soloist dancer at The Tallahassee Ballet. After graduation, she relocated to Chattanooga, TN where she spent five years as a principal dancer with the Chattanooga Ballet Company. While employed at Chattanooga Ballet, Sam also taught ballet to students ranging from age three to adult and was the resident graphic designer for the organization; additionally, she led summer workshops for young dancers, choreographed for the company, and acted as the Young Children’s Coordinator for the Ballet’s School. Throughout those experiences, Sam developed a passion for teaching which promoted a career shift.
Sam is excited to begin her second year here at Odyssey Community School in the Kindergarten classroom, alongside Shirley. Sam values compassion, humor, structure, and fun, and hopes to provide these qualities in a healthy and safe learning environment for the classroom. In her free time, Sam is also a freelance artist and loves to paint, dance, hike, play guitar, and fish.