Upper Level Faculty


Karina Byers

HS Spanish

She / Her 

Karina is a native Spanish speaker from Santiago, Chile. She has been living in North Carolina since 2009 and became a US citizen in 2016. She studied at Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello in Chile and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Karina taught elementary and middle school for 8 years in Santiago before moving to the United States. In addition to teaching, Karina also was a private tutor for students with academic support needs and was also involved with many social and community outreach programs in her native Chile. 

Since coming to the United States, Karina has continued her passion for Education by teaching the Spanish language and culture to students from ages 3 to 65 years old. She teaches private lessons and also taught in a middle school preparing students for advanced High School credits. Karina was also responsible for leading student trips each year to a bilingual school in Heredia, Costa Rica, sharing information and ideas with educational professionals from there.

In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband, two daughters, and dogs. Biking, hiking, exploring nature, dancing, cooking, and traveling are her favorite hobbies. 

“Fue el tiempo que pasaste con tu rosa lo que la hizo tan importante” El Principito.


Karina Byers

High School Spanish and College Readiness Teacher: Karina Byers

She/ her

High School Spanish & College Readiness Teacher

Karina is a native Spanish speaker from Santiago, Chile. She has been living in North Carolina since 2009 and became a US citizen in 2016. She studied at Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello in Chile and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Karina taught elementary and middle school for 8 years in Santiago before moving to the United States. In addition to teaching, Karina also was a private tutor for students with academic support needs and was also involved with many social and community outreach programs in her native Chile. 

Since coming to the United States, Karina has continued her passion for education by teaching the Spanish language and culture to students from ages 3 to 65 years old. She teaches private lessons and also taught in a middle school preparing students for advanced high school credits. Karina was responsible for leading student trips each year to a bilingual school in Heredia, Costa Rica, sharing information and ideas with local educational professionals.

In her free time, she loves spending time with her husband, two daughters, and dogs. Biking, hiking, exploring nature, dancing, cooking, and traveling are her favorite hobbies. 

“Fue el tiempo que pasaste con tu rosa lo que la hizo tan importante” El Principito.


Kalyan Volpe

Private School 7-8 Teacher Kalyan Volpe

Founding Teacher, Middle Grades Math Teacher & Program Director

he/him

Kalyan is one of Odyssey’s founding teachers, and he first came to teaching after a series of adventures, including traveling and living in Japan and considering monkhood in Nicaragua. When he visited a Long Island alternative elementary school, he was so enraptured by their joy and excitement that his life goals shifted from the monkhood to working in alternative education. His passion is to help children discover and honor their inherent brilliant selves and use those gifts to add to a vibrant community.

Kalyan achieved a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut and an M.A. in Education from Goddard College in Vermont, where his master’s thesis focused on the design of holistic elementary schools. After working as a lead teacher in a school in Fukuoka, Japan, and head teacher as PSOLI in Merrick New York, Kalyan taught at Odyssey for six years before taking a hiatus to explore other career opportunities. He rejoined Odyssey Middle School in 2016.

In Kalyan’s classes students focus on going deeply into subjects and ideas. Critical and creative thinking is encouraged and developed. Students are given ample opportunity to shine in the areas where they are strong and to be supported and grow in those areas where they need help. Key components of Kalyan’s classes include mutual respect, fun, participation, and dialogue. He encourages students to follow through with their visions, develop their own voice, and encounter the diversity of humanity.


Elijah Allred

Elijah

Seventh and Eighth Grade English Language Arts teacher

he/him

Elijah Allred grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina where he regularly attended summer camp in the mountains. After four years of film school and one gap year of hitchhiking in Alaska, he received a B.S. in radio, television & film from University of Texas, graduating in 2015. During that time he developed unprofitable interests in cooperative living, social justice, and sad poetry.  After several years of living in co-ops and working in food service, Elijah moved out to west Texas to write sad poems and work behind a motel desk. Elijah returned to Austin in 2016 to sign an NDA and work for a very large social media company with a blue logo doing content moderation and account memorialization.  During that time he published several very sad poems, developed an interest in continuing his education, and quitting his job as quickly as possible. 

In 2018, he began working part time as a substitute teacher in a special education classroom. By 2019, he received his teaching certification from Austin Community College and worked for two years at Austin Discovery School, a small public charter specializing in eco-wellness and project-based learning. Elijah moved to Asheville in the summer of 2021 to work for Odyssey, be closer to his family, and, eventually, send his newborn son to summer camp. 

Outside of school, Elijah spends his free time reading about western esotericism, writing less-sad poetry, changing diapers, and collecting antique typewriters.


Gabe Johnson

Private School Teacher

High School Homeroom & English Teacher

he/him

Gabriel Johnson completed a B.F.A in Literature at UNC-A in 2001. As a young man, Gabe pursued his love of literature in the form of songwriting, by founding and performing in several bands and musical projects here in the US, and also in Dublin, Ireland where he lived after college. As a teacher, Gabe believes that learning control of language is essential for navigating the modern world. He also believes that learning to appreciate literature is one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can pursue.

When he’s not reading, Gabe loves playing card and board games, hiking, playing guitar, biking, and gardening. He is especially excited to be a part of the Odyssey community, connecting with the students, staff and parents of this exceptional institution, and has been teaching at Odyssey School since 2012.


Andrew Rabin

Summer Camp Counselor Andrew Rabin

High School Homeroom & Science Teacher

he/him

Andrew Rabin has lived in Asheville since 2014, and he has been a high school science teacher since 2001. In previous career incarnations, he was a wildlife biologist studying owls in the desert southwest, an assistant director of an environmental education camp for NY city public school kids, and the head chef of a French restaurant in Tucson, Arizona. Andrew attended Earlham College for an undergraduate degree in Biology, Prescott College in Arizona for his teaching licence, and has a Masters of Ecological Teaching and Learning from Lesley University in Massachusetts. He is a lifelong learner and is passionate about science as a means of understanding the world around us. While teaching in Boston, Andrew created a democratic science classroom as part of an action research project for his Masters degree.

Andrew’s two kids also attend Odyssey’s elementary and middle school. His interests include, bird watching, cycling, playing the banjo, gardening, Magic the Gathering and playing Ultimate Frisbee. He is the proud owner of a pair of eighteen year old Ball Pythons. Andrew has visited and/or lived in 45 different states, but is very happy to call Asheville and Odyssey home.


Grant Yost

Private School High School Teacher Grant Yost

Teen Adventure Camp Counselor 

Growing up in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, Grant Yost has always had an affinity for being outside. He attended college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the Tennessee River, where he graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a focus in STEM Education. During the school year, Grant teaches high school mathematics and we are excited for Grant to return for his second summer of summer camp!

Because of his experiences with Mathematics, Grant has a deep appreciation for logic, puzzles, and the thought processes that people use to solve problems. As a teacher, he believes that every student should be well equipped to tackle any problem that he or she is faced with in life. As a camp counselor, he brings the same curiosity, playfulness, and joy for his campers!

Outside of the classroom, Grant spends his time playing music, dancing, hiking, playing video games, and playing board games. While living in Nashville, Grant was actively involved in the contra, swing, and blues dancing communities as a musician, teacher, and dancer. Asheville has one of the best dance communities in the south, and Grant is grateful for the opportunity to be involved.


Grant Yost

High School Homeroom & Mathematics Teacher

he/him

Growing up in the mountains of eastern Tennessee, Grant Yost has always had an affinity for being outside. He attended college at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on the Tennessee River, where he graduated from the Honors College with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and a focus in STEM Education. While at UTC, Grant did research in the field of Fractional Calculus with the Mathematics department and has two papers published in his name on the topic of Fractional Differential Equations. Grant is entering his fourth year teaching Mathematics at Odyssey and his first year as HS Curriculum Coordinator.

Because of his experiences with Mathematics, Grant has a deep appreciation for logic, puzzles, and the thought processes that people use to solve problems. As a teacher, he believes that every student should be well equipped to tackle any problem that he or she is faced with in life. He teaches using many tasks, puzzles, and scenarios that require students to collaborate, think logically about the situation, and discover a solution. Grant believes it is the teacher’s duty to be actively guiding and facilitating student learning while supporting independent discovery. His classroom is a supportive environment where everybody is engaged in asking questions, exploring solution methods, and enjoying the challenge of Mathematics.

Outside of the classroom, Grant spends his time playing music, climbing, dancing, hiking, playing video games, and playing board games. Grant is actively involved in Asheville’s contra, swing, and blues dancing communities as a musician, teacher, and dancer.


Hadley Cluxton

Private School High School Teacher Hadley Cluxton

High School Homeroom & Social Studies Teacher

(they / them)

Hadley’s intellectual passions lie in the rich borderlands of history, science and society.  They earned two Bachelor’s degrees (simultaneously) from The Ohio State University: one in the Comparative Studies of Science and Technology (basically the history, philosophy and sociology of science and technology) and the other in Spanish, with a focus on Latin American Literature and Language.  They went on to earn a Master’s degree in History from Appalachian State University, where her thesis was a deep dive into the history of science in Latin America. Hadley’s work on the history of science in Latin America has been published in the peer-reviewed academic journal The History Teacher.  Hadley strives towards decolonizing the history classroom by highlighting diverse and often overlooked histories, as well as by engaging students in challenging and valuable discussions. In addition to being an historian and a perpetual learner, Hadley is also a mother, maker, motorcyclist, metalhead, gardener and nerd.


Amy Glenn

Fifth and Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher: Amy Glenn

Fifth and Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher

she/her

Amy Wright Glenn and her family relocated from Florida to North Carolina in the fall of 2021. She is excited to begin a new chapter of teaching at Odyssey School! Amy earned her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. She taught high school for eleven years at The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey earning the Dunbar Abston Jr. Chair for Teaching Excellence. Prior to teaching high school, Amy enjoyed the creative, vibrant, fun loving, and warm hearted company of sixth graders while teaching at Wellspring School in Providence, Rhode Island.

Amy is a birth and death doula, hospital chaplain, Kripalu Yoga teacher, and founder of the Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death wherein she trains professionals in the work of holding space for life transitions with a focus on perinatal loss and grief work. From 2015 to 2020, Amy served as an active contributor to PhillyVoice writing on topics relating to birth, death, parenting, and spirituality. Amy is the author of Birth, Breath, and Death: Meditations on Motherhood, Chaplaincy, and Life as a Doula and Holding Space: On Loving, Dying, and Letting Go. Recently, Amy contributed a chapter to a book focusing on self-care for educators in independent schools soon to be published through the Center of Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE). 

Amy is the mother of an active and creative 10-year-old and together they love to play Legos, rock climb, hike, explore, read, and adventure with the family Golden Retriever named Scout. Amy finds her home in the Unitarian Universalist and yogic traditions and has studied in India, Iran, Israel/Palestine, Turkey, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, and Canada. Amy’s travels, along with her study of the world’s wisdom traditions, inspire the crafting of an integrated Social Studies/ELA curriculum centered upon the Integral Model of education. Amy loves to garden, meditate, study, travel, dance, and color! 


River Guerguerian

Private School Teacher

Administrative Advisor, Music Director, Teacher

he/they

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.


Christa Flores

Christa

5-8 Science & 7-8 Homeroom Teacher

she/her

Christa Flores is a scientist, writer, and educator. She brings twenty years of teaching experience in science education, as well as interdisciplinary units called problem-based science. Call it STEM, STEAM, or just authentic learning, Christa is passionate about how to create learning environments that inspire inquiry and invention. She earned her Masters in Science Education from Teachers College, Columbia University and has written and spoken extensively on the subject of Constructivism, the pedagogical merger of STEM education with the creation of artifacts to expose deep learning. She is excited to work with the Odyssey 7th and 8th graders this fall, building mindsets and skills for making the world a better place.

Outside of the classroom, Christa is a freelance curriculum designer, writer, and volunteer at several organizations around Asheville. Most of the time, she is running the trails of the national forests that surround us or gratefully paddle boarding the mountain waterways.


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.

More about us...

 

For Tuition Payments:

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!