Faculty

Abbi Hurt

Abbi Hurt

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
New York University
Howard University

Favorite Book/Author:
Beloved, Toni Morrison

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
7 years

Ann Tedesco

Ann Tedesco

Elementary Director

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
B.A.J. from The University of Georgia
M.S.Ed. from Walden University

Favorite Book/Author:
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
Currently reading Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio
Love reading Parker Palmer, including The Courage To Teach

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
Started STARS/Odyssey in 2002

Antwan Joseph

Antwan Joseph

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Bachelors of Science in Early childhood education-Georgia State University
Master’s in Educational Leadership-University of West Georgia
Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction- Lincoln University

Favorite Book/Author:
Think like a man by: Steve Harvey Years

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
4 years !

Dr. Brent Shropshire

Dr. Brent Shropshire

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Clemson University – BA Psychology Vanderbilt University – M.Ed. Human Development Counseling School Counseling Concentration
Lincoln Memorial University – Ed.S Administration and Supervision
Capella University – Ph.D. K-12 Educational Leadership

Favorite Book/Author:

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
8th year with Odyssey!

Bridgette Ukah

Bridgette Ukah

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Fort Valley State University B.S. Social Work

Favorite Book/Author:
Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This is my 3rd year

Calvin Johnson

Calvin Johnson

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Georgia State University, bachelor’s degree in mathematics Currently completing PhD in Mathematics at Georgia Tech

Favorite Book/Author:
Young, Gifted, and Black

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
4th year with Odyssey!

Dr. Cassondra Zielinski

Dr. Cassondra Zielinski

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Mercer University – PhD in Curriculum and Instruction
University of Phoenix – MA in Adult Learning & Distance Education
East Stroudsburg University – BS in Mathematics

Favorite Book/Author:
Orson Welles – War of the Worlds

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
First year!

Charkeshia Toatley

Charkeshia Toatley

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Undergraduate degree: University of North Georgia Earned: Early Childhood Education and Minor in Reading
Master’s degree: Central Michigan University Earned: Curriculum and Instruction and Minor in Urban Education
Specialist degree: Lincoln Memorial University and Leadership/ Curriculum and Instruction and also Educational Enforcements in: Reading ESL( English as a Second Language)

Favorite Book/Author:
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
5 Years!

Chelsea Kirk

Chelsea Kirk

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Albany State University: Bachelors of Science Degree in Middle Grades Education
Central Michigan University: Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction

Favorite Book/Author:
Learning to Dance In the Rain by Mac Anderson

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my first year!

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
American University B.A.
Georgia State University M. ed

Favorite Book/Author:
Robert Caro, Robert Dallek, or Richard Reeves

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
4 Years!

Curtis Engsberg

Curtis Engsberg

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Kennesaw State University, MAT Mathematics
Georgia Institute of Technology, BS Mechanical Engineering

Favorite Book/Author:
J.R.R. Tolkien or C.S. Lewis

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3 years!

Deborah Peart

Deborah Peart

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
BA from GA State University in Speech Communications and Early Childhood
Master’s degree from Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY in Educational Studies with a concentration in Literacy

Favorite Book/Author:
Brown Girl Dreaming written by one of my favorite authors, Jacqueline Woodson.

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This is my first year!

Demarkus R. Taylor

Demarkus R. Taylor

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Degrees: Richard Stockton University BA Sociology/Anthropology Minor African American Studies and Psychology

Favorite Book/Author:
Henry Lewis Gates/Life Upon These Shores

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
2 Years With Odyssey!

Derico White

Derico White

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Currently teach 7th grade Gifted Social Studies in Gwinnett County Public Schools (Sweetwater Middle). Undergraduate-College of Charleston (B.S. in Elementary Education) 01′
Masters-Walden University (Integrating Technology into the Classroom) 14′
Specialist-Central Michigan University (Administrative Leadership) 18′

Favorite Book/Author:
To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite Author-J.K. Rowling

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
First year with the Odyssey Program

Elena Michiels

Elena Michiels

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Florida State University Bachelor of Science Florida State University Master of Science in Education

Favorite Book/Author:
Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Alborn

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
First Year!

Hilaire Amouya Anelone

Hilaire Amouya Anelone

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
BS: Southern Tech Major Electrical Engineering BS: KSU Mathematics Education and Applied Mathematics
MS: Georgia State University Major: Education Specialist
EDS: Lincoln Memorial University Major: Curriculum & Instruction

Favorite Book/Author:
How to Lie with Statistics Author: Darnell Huff

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
Joined Odyssey in 1997 when it was called Summer Scholars

Jamie Lyne Thorpe

Jamie Lyne Thorpe

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
College degree: B.S. Health Care Management Administrator
M.A. Early Childhood Education

Favorite Book/Author:
Favorite Book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
11 years at Odyssey!

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
University of Massachusetts Amherst- Bachelors and Graduate Degree
Bachelors and masters in elementary education

Favorite Book/Author:
“I Know why the Caged Bird Sings” Maya Angelou

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3 years!

Jonathan Zamarripa

Jonathan Zamarripa

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Georgia State University, Georgia Tech University

Favorite Book/Author:
Donald Miller ” Scary Close”

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
2nd year!

Julie Corey

Julie Corey

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Central Michigan University
B.S. in Middle Grades Education (concentration in math and science) from Georgia State University

Favorite Book/Author:
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by former President Barack Obama.
One of my favorite authors – who always comes to mind – is Pat Conroy.

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my 3rd summer!

Dr. Kimberlynn B. Criss

Dr. Kimberlynn B. Criss

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Clark Atlanta University- Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education (November/2014)
Troy University- Specialist Degree in Early Childhood Education
Argosy University- Doctorate Degree in Instructional Leadership- Received my Ed.D.

Favorite Book/Author:
The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
10 years

Kristi Amdur

Kristi Amdur

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
B.S. Fashion Merchandising, with a minor in Art, UGA
B.S. Art Education, GA State
M.E. Education Management, Strayer University

Favorite Book/Author:
Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This is my first year!

Lauren Rose

Lauren Rose

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
University of South Carolina, B.A. in Elementary Education
College of Charleston, M.Ed. in Science and Math for Teachers

Favorite Book/Author:
Liane Moriarty Favorite Children’s Book: Andrew Henry’s Meadow

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
First Year At Odyssey!

Loreal Spencer

Loreal Spencer

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Education:Georgia State University May, 2016
Army MOS: Behavioral Health Specialist, GA National Guard

Favorite Book/Author:
Who Moved my Cheese- Dr. Spencer Johnson

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
2012- present

Mark Sommerville

Mark Sommerville

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Hampton University 1984 BS
Central Michigan 2010 Master of Education

Favorite Book/Author:
Bible

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
More than 15 Years!

Mecia Israel

Mecia Israel

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Southeastern Louisiana University- BA Elementary Education
MEd School Counseling
National Board Certification in Science

Favorite Book/Author:

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
Started Odyssey in 2006

Mekeya Upshaw

Mekeya Upshaw

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Alabama A&M University (Undergrad)
Graduate of Walden University (Grad)
Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy

Favorite Book/Author:
Big Little Lies (I love mysteries!)
Favorite Author: Robert Munsch (Children’s Literacy) Liane Moriarty (Adult Literacy)

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3 years!

Melissa Edwards

Melissa Edwards

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
University of Miami – Bachelor’s in Business Administration
Nova Southeastern University – Masters in Ed. Leadership

Favorite Book/Author:
Answers to 10 Questions Young People Ask

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my 8th summer!

Michael Williams

Michael Williams

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Georgia State University – Bachelor of Science in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in English, Social Studies, and Special Education.
Minor in Special Education: High Incidence Disabilities

Favorite Book/Author:
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes Years

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
First Year!

Michael Zachary

Michael Zachary

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
South Carolina State University: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Central Michigan University: Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction

Favorite Book/Author:
The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
2nd Year with Odyssey!

Michelle Hayes

Michelle Hayes

Director

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Agnes Scott College, BA Psychology

American Intercontinental University, MA Instructional Technology and Curriculum Design

Favorite Book/Author:
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Don Miguel Ruiz)
Favorite Author: Patrica Bell-Scott

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
12 years!

Nichole Gilliam

Nichole Gilliam

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Alabama State University for my Bachelor’s in English Education
Troy University for my MPA,
Currently enrolled at Kennesaw for an Ed.D. in English Education.

Favorite Book/Author:
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3rd year with Odyssey!

Pamela Dillard

Pamela Dillard

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Tulane University – B.F.A.
Boston University – M.M.

Favorite Book/Author:
John Grisham

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3rd year with Odyssey!

Reverend Ricardo Bailey

Reverend Ricardo Bailey

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
EDUCATION Xavier University of Louisiana – New Orleans, LA (Bachelor of Arts – B.A.)
Saint Mary’s Seminary & University – Baltimore, MD (Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology – S.T.B. & Master of Divinity – M.Div.)

CURRENT POSITIONS Head Chaplain – Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School – Atlanta, GA Vicar & Community Missioner – The Episcopal Chapel of Emmaus House – Atlanta, GA

MINISTERIAL CREDENTIALS Ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons – December 22, 2001 – Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church – Atlanta, GA Ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests – June 7, 2003 – Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King – Atlanta, GA Received into the Priesthood of the Episcopal Church – November 7, 2013 – The Westminster Schools (McCain Chapel) – Atlanta, GA

Favorite Book/Author:
Current: – “The New Jim Crow” by Michelle Alexander

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
5 years!

Sarbeth Fleming

Sarbeth Fleming

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law- J.D. Winston-Salem State University- Political Science- B.A.
The Ohio State University- Masters Degree in Black Studies- M.A.

Favorite Book/Author:
Bebe Moore Campbell- 72 Hour Hold
Maya Angelou – I know why the caged bird sings

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my first year!

Shawn Shepard

Shawn Shepard

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Clark Atlanta University with a BA
Shawn currently produces Atlanta Business Chronicle BIZ, a weekly TV show spotlighting the metro Atlanta business scene airing on 11Alive. He’s also part of an innovation team tasked with developing programming that targets and engages the elusive millennial population. Shawn produced content for Coca-Cola and the ABC affiliate WSB-TV in Atlanta. He’s also created programming for the March of Dimes, the Anti-Defamation League, Bloomberg Television, and The Wesley Woods Center for Aging. Shawn has past experience on the other side of the camera as well. His acting credits include the TV shows Army Wives, Lifetime TV and Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, TBS. For four seasons he played the stern Principal Turner on the hit series One Tree Hill, Warner Brothers Television.

Favorite Book/Author:
Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
5 years!

Shelly Linkon

Shelly Linkon

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Miami University – Bachelor of Science in Education
Georgia State University – Master of Education

Favorite Book/Author:
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my 8th summer teaching in Odyssey!

Susan McMillan

Susan McMillan

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
University of North Carolina of the Arts, Bachelor of Music in Voice

Favorite Book/Author:
It’s hard to pick one! I love them ALL, but if you’re make me choose one, I’ll pick A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
11 years!

Teri Swain

Teri Swain

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Georgia State University- Bachelors of Science in Early Childhood Education

Favorite Book/Author:
The Watchers Series – Lynnie Purcell

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
This will be my first year!

Tiffany Edwards

Tiffany Edwards

Teacher

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Fort Valley State University Bachelors Degree
University of Minnesota Masters Degree
Nova Southeastern University Specialist Degree

Favorite Book/Author:
Bible
Motivational Books

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
3rd year at Odyssey!

Vielka Reina

Vielka Reina

Director

College(s) and Degrees Completed:
Georgia State University: Masters of Arts in Spanish with emphasis in Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition
Roanoke College: Bachelors of Arts in Spanish

Favorite Book/Author:
Americanah (author: Chimamamnda Ngozi Adichie)

Years Teaching with Odyssey:
6 years