From the Head of School: Reflecting on the 2022-23 School Year

June 7, 2023

Dear Odyssey community,

It is hard to believe that the end of the school year has arrived. As our students and faculty prepare for summer break and our Windjammers prepare to walk across the stage, I am reflecting back on the momentous year we’ve had here at Odyssey. This year has been a joyful one, full of many opportunities to appreciate the strong sense of community that is The Odyssey School.

A heartfelt thank you to you, our parents, for entrusting your child’s educational journey to Odyssey, and for partnering with us to make so many things possible this year. Please know that the administration, faculty, and staff are grateful for all that you have done to demonstrate your appreciation of Odyssey’s commitment to the growth and development of your children.

Here are a few highlights that defined our 2022-23 school year:

  • We experienced the much-awaited return of beloved occasions like Grandparents Day, the Winter Choral Concert, the Drama Club Showcase, Edible Art, Alumni Day, and so much more. We also began new traditions such as the Parents’ Association Book Swap.
  • In January, we received a historic gift of $5 million from the James F. Knott family. In making this gift, the Knott family demonstrated their commitment to making certain that Odyssey’s facilities reflect our dynamic and vibrant school community. I am profoundly grateful to the James F. Knott family for their friendship and continued support of our Mission.
  • Across the school year, Odyssey faculty continuously shared and developed their expertise. Teachers traveled to conferences across the nation (and globe!) to offer insights from our experience here at Odyssey, and to expand their knowledge of evidence-based methodologies. Odyssey also made national news! Our tutoring department coordinators were featured in leading national education news outlet, Education Week, demonstrating Odyssey’s effective approach to reading instruction.
  • This spring, we announced our first ever Assistant Head of School. Currently serving as our Middle School Head, Matt Cowan will transition into his new role ahead of the 2023-24 school year. We know Mr. Cowan will continue to exemplify Odyssey’s Four Pillars and serve as a guiding force in our students’ success. With Mr. Cowan’s transition, we look forward to welcoming dyslexia advocate and educator, Mrs. Christine See as our new Middle School Head. Be on the lookout for opportunities to meet Mrs. See as we move into the new school year. We also announced our first Director of Outreach, Mrs. Kate McElderry, to extend Odyssey’s knowledge on dyslexia to the greater community.
  • Our students, faculty, and parents proudly served their community by completing 100 Acts of Service. What began as a school-wide challenge on MLK Day turned into a truly transformative experience, allowing our community to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of service.

Odyssey has continued to maintain a steadfast commitment to providing our students with specialized instruction, character education, opportunities to explore and expand their passions and interests, and the development of self-awareness and self-advocacy skills. We are truly proud of the accomplishments of each of our 165 students.

Our faculty, as always, is our greatest strength. Their commitment and expertise are the true foundation of our School. We thank them for continuing to provide our students with a safety of spirit and a sense of belonging. We honor and extend our deepest gratitude to our faculty members who are moving on to new adventures, including our retiring faculty: music teacher Doug Forbes and tutors Paula Mainolfi and Megan Schuler. Additionally, our tutors Shari Loewenthal and Liz Cannon will be pursuing new and exciting opportunities. We value the service and professionalism that each of these individuals has provided to the Odyssey community and we wish them all the best.

In closing, we hope you’ll join us for graduation, tomorrow, June 8 at 9 a.m. in the North Garden to celebrate with our Windjammer students as they reflect on their journeys at Odyssey and delight in the bright steps ahead of them.

We Are Odyssey!