Odyssey School celebrates 10 years as integral design school

August 15, 2017

Since its inception 10 years ago, Odyssey School has followed an integral model which provides all students from pre-K through twelfth grade with multiple perspectives of subjects. Students are encouraged to lead with an authentic sense of self. Odyssey School is a place where students are supported through their strengths and weaknesses to find their paths to life-long learning. “I am very proud of how Odyssey is developing from a grassroots, alternative program into a community treasure of real lasting importance,” says Cory Adams, Executive Director of Operations. 

In celebration of this milestone in the school’s history, the public is invited to a Founder’s Day Celebration on August 28, 8:00a.m. – 11:30a.m., at Odyssey School. Educators, students, and parents (former and current) are especially encouraged to attend. Founder’s Day recognizes Odyssey School’s founding families and the growth and support required to continue. The morning will include music by Kat Williams, Asheville songstress, and River Guerguerian, Odyssey School Music Director and world-renowned percussionist. Students will participate in a flower weaving which will symbolize the strength of the school’s commitment to fostering creative and critical thinkers. 

In February of 2007, several families approached Dr. John Johnson, now retired, with a desire to create a new school committed to nurture a life-long love of learning and self-knowledge. “We have to teach today’s children how to learn,” said Dr. Johnson. “We have to lead by example, invest in the self-knowing techniques of inquiry, honesty and authenticity. We have to present our students with an inclusive, integrative, and creative world.” 

Families also wished for multi-age, continuous progress classrooms that provided emotional safety and citizenship. The result, Odyssey School, assimilated the integral philosophy of author Ken Wilber and fostered a creative community inspired by solution-oriented thinking, reflection, and development of the greater human experience. “It’s very rewarding to know that we are on the cusp of graduating a class of students that have been with us since the very beginning,” says Megan Martell, Executive Director of Programs.  

In 2014, Odyssey School underwent a transformation. The Board of Trustees began a search for new leadership and created a three year strategic plan to relocate the school. After a community-wide effort, the school selected its current co-directors. This change from one leader to two reflected a growing commitment to collaboration and deepened the school’s dedication to an integral model.  

“Odyssey is simply magical,” says senior high school student Rhianna Reckmeyer. “I feel that I can truly and confidently be myself.” 

Odyssey School is located at 90 Zillicoa Street, Asheville. Questions about the school or the Founder’s Day Celebration are welcome and may be addressed to learn@odysseycommunity.org or 828.259.3653

Odyssey’s Vision: Through the study of the Integral Model and the application of Design-Thinking, our students, families, and faculty communicate with brave kindness, lead with an authentic sense of self, and make positive change through connecting consciousness and creativity.