Upper Level Faculty
Student Credit Recovery
He / him
Dean joins Odyssey School to facilitate Credit Recovery for high school students to successfully complete a course of study if not completed during the regular term.
Dean’s full career is in education with many years as a community college Adult Basic Education and GED instructor. Prior to moving to Asheville in 1988, Dean was a facilitator at the West Area Learning Center of Central Piedmont Community College, tasked with administering entrance exams; then, guiding adult students through college preparation in either reading, language arts or mathematics. After moving to Asheville, he taught for AB Tech as an ABE and GED instructor at the Craggy and Buncombe Correctional Center throughout the 1990s.
In the fall of 1999 until 2006, he worked for Asheville City Schools teaching at the Metro School Program which later became part of Randolph Learning Center. While there, he was honored with a Teacher of the Year award and earned tenure in NC Public Schools. Then, Dean taught for a new credit recovery and long-term suspension program in Asheville called the New Day School. He was the sole teacher in a program that accommodated tuition-free adjudicated, long-term suspended students and after school credit recovery students. Long-term suspended Middle Schools students were able to earn passing grades, and high school students earned credit recovery through the software program. During the summer, Dean ran credit recovery, for all core subjects, summer school sessions using the credit recovery software at the New Day Program.
Dean was NC licensed and certified in middle and high school language arts, social studies and math. From 2008- 2021, he taught mostly 11th grade English and occasional math classes at Buncombe County School’s Community High School in Swannanoa. There, he retired from public schools with twenty years of service. Since then, he has been a part-time GED instructor at the Western Correctional Center for Women in Swannanoa, a program under AB Tech. He is grateful to join the Odyssey School community.
7th & 8th Math & Science Teacher (They / Them)
Katie has five years of engaging the public in science and math in different settings. They have worked as an educational park ranger with the National Park Service, created lessons for museums and science centers, and worked directly with school districts. In the classroom, they are excited to embark on a long-term educational journey with the Odyssey community. Katie has a B.S. in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin, where they focused on bridging scientific understanding with cultural and historic learning.
Katie believes that holistic learning within science and mathematics creates a stronger, more capable, and more interconnected society. When not teaching, Katie enjoys playing baseball, rock climbing, researching a bug they just saw, and planning for Halloween year-round. Katie has been charged by a moose, bear, and bison… but not at the same time.
High School Math Teacher (she / her)
Melissa Knowles joins Odyssey this year as High School Math teacher. She has been teaching and tutoring high school and college math for the last nine years. Melissa graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota with a B.A. in Biology and has been in the Asheville area for almost twenty years. She prizes an ability to develop problem-solving skills in the math classroom so as to tackle “real world” applications. She believes that every math student can be successful with the right guidance and encouragement. Outside of the classroom you can find Melissa gardening, bird watching, nature journaling, and cooking.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 their 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, nerd, heathen, hedgewitch, and a passionate, grateful being.
Middle School Co-Director & Fifth / Sixth Grade Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
Amy Wright Glenn and her family relocated from Florida to North Carolina in the fall of 2021. She began her teaching at Odyssey School in the fall of 2022. 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 entitled “Grief Work for Teachers: Three Practices in Holding Space for Sorrow” in the 2023 anthology Reframing Self Care published by the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE).
Amy is the mother of an active and creative 11-yo 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 inspiring and academically rigorous Social Studies/ELA curriculum. Amy loves to garden, meditate, study, travel, dance, and color!