Middle School Faculty
Middle School Math and Social Studies Teacher
Kalyan Volpe serves as the Middle School Homeroom, Math and Social Studies teacher at Odyssey. He came to teaching after a series of adventures, including travelling and living in Japan and considering monkhood in Nicaragua. When he visited a Long Island alternative elementary school, he was so raptured by their joy and excitement that his life goals shifted from the monkhood that he as pursuing to alternative education.
For example, Kalyan’s classes study greatness. What does it mean to be great? How does a person achieve greatness in life? Kalyan has had poets, artists, and puppeteers visit his class and discuss what moved them to their achievements. He sees these discussions move students who are lukewarm about their studies into having a passion for learning. He encourages students to follow through with their visions.
Kalyan achieved a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Conneticut and an M.A. in Education from Goddard College in Vermont, where his masters 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 came to Asheville and met John Johnson, discovering great resonance in their visions of education.
Middle School Arts and Fine Arts Teacher
Megan McCarter is the middle school language arts and fine arts teacher and co-coordinator of the middle school program at Odyssey. She also teaches electives including creative self-expression, ceramics, yoga, and research methods. Megan finds her place in Odyssey’s community to be synchronous with her life, as well as with her professional goals, a sentiment which is strengthened every year through faculty meditations, community building, leadership opportunities, and sharing of best practices with colleagues. Odyssey’s commitment to fostering the growth of the “whole” child, learning through discovery, and promoting the power of collaboration and community resonates deeply within her own relationship to what it means to be an educator.
Along with her love of art, mountains, and word play, a love of learning itself led naturally into her love of teaching; her desire “to guide students in their interaction with the satiating world of words to which they have the ultimate potential to discover and learn how to understand, process, analyze, question, innovate, and communicate in their modern world” is fed by her own curiosity.
Megan attended Pitzer College in Claremont, California and graduated from UNC-Asheville with a degree in literature, concentration in creative writing, and an English teaching license. In 2011, she completed her student teaching, working with English III Inclusion and English III Honors classes at T.C. Roberson. From 2006 through 2008, Megan also taught English as a second language, social studies, and science as well as directed and developed the art curriculum in the international school of Varee Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai, Thailand.