Upper Level Faculty
High School Art Teacher
She / her
Nausica is a painter from Asheville, NC. She studied studio art at Warren Wilson College and then moved to Italy in order to study the classics of art with a concentration in creative writing and painting at the American University of Rome. Her work is primarily in oil and watercolor in a figurative surrealism form of expression. As a teacher, she longs to provide students with the fundamental tools of painting, drawing and sculpture and the technical skills of perspective, form, color and design in order that they express and develop each of their unique and original creations.
Caroline Mercurio Spitzer
Yearbook & Design Teacher
Caroline Mercurio Spitzer (she/her) has lived in Asheville since 2008 and is a lifetime creative, focusing on writing, art, and photography. In addition to teaching at Odyssey, she works as a professional residential photographer capturing images of vacation rentals and properties for sale. She has taught writing at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC, Vermont Community College, and Kennebec Valley Community College. Her poems have been published in the Asheville Poetry Review, Louisiana Literature, and Vermont Magazine, among others.
After completing a BA in English and Anthropology from Appalachian State University, she earned her MFA in Writing from Vermont College, then founded and served as the Managing Editor for Hunger Mountain, The Vermont College Journal of Arts & Letters. Caroline has designed and edited several projects, including the Stinehour Press Broadside Series and an anthology titled The Way We Knew It: Fiction from the First Twenty-Five Years of the MFA in Writing Program at Vermont College (1981—2006).
As an artist, Caroline specializes in using hand-cut paper to create decoupage art, including quilt-pattern collages and keepsake upcycled boxes. She is also a partner in Totem Rocks & Landscaping. Caroline lives in East Asheville with her two sons, husband, and two dogs. In their spare time, her family enjoys camping, gem mining, attending concerts, and gardening.
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.
5th & 6th Math Teacher, She / her
Claire Roboski is a part-time instructor with a multidisciplinary background in education, psychology, holistic coaching, Ayurveda, and yoga. Claire has over 12 years’ experience facilitating nonviolent conflict resolution, tutoring, and teaching (both children and and adults), in both classroom and studio settings alike. She is also a certified yoga instructor, with a focus on alleviating trauma and anxiety. She joined Odyssey’s middle school faculty in the winter of 2023 to teach 5th and 6th grade.
HS Spanish & College Readiness, 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.
Founding Teacher, Middle Grades Math Teacher & Program Director
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.
Seventh and Eighth Grade English Language Arts teacher
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.
High School Homeroom & English Teacher
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.
High School Homeroom & Science Teacher
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.
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.
High School Homeroom & Mathematics Teacher
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.
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.