Intermediate School Faculty
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.
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.
Fifth and 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 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!
5-8 Science & 7-8 Homeroom Teacher
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.