High School Faculty
Pictured (from top left): Kristin Erhard, Spanish I; Grant Yost, Mathematics; River Guerguerian, Music; Gabe Johnson, English; Andrew Rabin, science; Ellen Ray, Social Studies; Melissa Myers, Spanish II and College Readiness; Mallory Nuckols, Art and Design
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 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
Ellen is thrilled to bring her passion for history, philosophy, literature, and politics to the Odyssey community. A graduate of Yale (BA), Middlebury (MA), and Hollins (MFA), Ellen has had the honor of teaching at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia; Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia; and St. Albans School in Washington, DC. Currently, she is at work on a novel as well as a number of essays, stories, and poems.
While earning her B.A. in Humanities from Yale, Ellen was selected to participate in the renowned Direct Studies program, and, ever since, she has sought to understand how historical, philosophical, and literary texts converse with one another across time and discipline. This stance informs every aspect of her teaching, from the texts she assigns to the discussions and reflections she leads. She believes that we must invite students to peer at life’s most driving questions through multiple lenses if they are to come to meaningful answers about what it means to be human. During her years at The Lovett School, Ellen studied the principles of design thinking and project-based learning and learned how to foster a compassionate classroom culture. At Hollins, moreover, she gained a nuanced understanding of what writing, speaking, and research skills students must have in order to thrive in college. She used this knowledge to prepare her St. Albans students for the rigors of Georgetown, UVA, UChicago, and other top institutions across the country.
Ellen believes that the primary task of any teacher is to equip students to be the best versions of themselves. For her, this means acting as a facilitator, one who crafts a supportive and safe environment in which each student can question, reflect, experiment, and grow. A progressive educator at heart, Ellen believes that we learn best by doing. She structures her courses so that students are active participants in their learning, required to prove their understanding of material by teaching it to others and translating it into action and art. She believes in the adage that what we learn with joy we never forget and strives daily to make her classroom ring with laughter, delight, and discovery. She helps students develop not only as historians, but also as empathetic thinkers and writers, powerfully equipped to communicate their ideas to the world.
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 has spent the past two years since graduating from UTC teaching mathematics in Nashville, TN.
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, 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.