Teachers & Instructors

You Will Be Known And Nurtured

At the heart of our exceptional program are caring and supportive educators committed to providing the very best educational experience for your child.

Kindergarten

rdavis@odysseycharter.net

My name is Rachel Davis. I was born and raised in Nevada. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Elementary Education and also have my Early Childhood Endorsement.

I grew up helping out in my younger siblings’ elementary classes during the school year and worked as an optometrist’s assistant in the summer. While attending BYU I volunteered in an elementary school’s after school program where I was then offered a job as a reading and math tutor while in college. I still enjoy tutoring. When I am not working with children, I love watching sports, spending time with family in Nevada, and eating popcorn.

This will be my seventh year as a teacher at Odyssey. I am very grateful for the opportunity and excited to work with your children.

sshaw@odysseycharter.net

Hi, my name is Sarah Shaw and I am thrilled to be teaching Kindergarten at Odyssey again this year! I was born and raised in Utah and attended Utah Valley University. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and am now starting my fifth year of teaching.

My husband and I currently live in Provo. We like to spend time with family especially our baby girl, playing with our dogs, skiing, going to Lake Powell, and just relaxing at home.

When I was young I knew that one day I would be a teacher.  I had wonderful educators throughout my schooling that taught me to read, do math and to be successful. One of the best things I learned in school was how to read.  To show my students my love for reading, I try to read to them every day.

I am ready and excited for this next school year and the journey it will bring!

tyorgason@odysseycharter.net

Hello!  I am Tammy Yorgason and am very happy for this opportunity to teach kindergarten this year!  When I was very young, I remember driving by a school and feeling like someday I would like to be a teacher.  I didn’t know then that someday I would be so blessed to teach kindergarten children!

I have gone back to UVU to acquire all the classes that I’ve needed to earn an Early Childhood Endorsement.  I graduated from  BYU in  Elementary Education and have taught a half-day, full-day and then two half-day kindergarten classes.  I have been a Title 1 paraprofessional for a first grade class and taught as a first grade writing specialist.  I have also substituted for a variety of classrooms and ages for Kelly Services.  I have five beautiful children  (two boys and three girls)!  I have been so blessed to have these beautiful children in my life!  I love to play games, watch movies, and spend time in the outdoors together with my family.  I also enjoy a variety of exercise classes and now tennis and hiking!  I look forward to a wonderful year with your children at Odyssey!

I was born and raised in Hawaii.  I graduated from BYU-Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in Music.  I was also in a rock band while going to school.  I went on a LDS mission to Japan Sapporo.  I’ve been married for 34 years and have 3 daughters whom are all married.  I have 5 wonderful grand children.  I’ve worked at Odyssey since it began.  I love working at Odyssey with the staff, parents and students.

rwilkinson@odysseycharter.net

I grew up in Fresno, California where I majored in Early Childhood Education.  Shortly after getting married I moved to Utah and it has been my home for the last 21 years.  I have 4 beautiful daughters.  My oldest is serving a mission in Manchester England.  They all have attended Odyssey.  When my girls were little, I ran my own preschool.  Once they were all in school, I spent my time volunteering in their classrooms.  My girls started attending Odyssey in 2006 where I spent my time as the Room Parent Chair for a few years.  In 2010, I started my employment here as the Parent Volunteer Coordinator.  In 2012, I moved into a part time position as an instructor for 4th grade.  A few months into the school year I switched over to full time kindergarten instructor.  This is my 6th school year as a kindergarten instructor and I LOVE all our wonderful, cute and smart kindergarteners. When I’m not at school, I enjoy digital scrapbooking, vacationing to Disneyland, and spending time with my girls and my husband.

1st Grade

eeast@odysseycharter.net

My name is Erica East and this will be my sixth year teaching first grade at Odyssey Charter School. I absolutely love teaching at Odyssey! The curriculum is rigorous, interesting, and a lot of fun. The teachers and staff are passionate and dedicated. The students are hardworking and the parents are supportive. It is the best school family to be a part of.

A little about me…I am originally from a small town in North Carolina. I moved to Utah in the summer of 2005 and fell in love with the mountains. I received my Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Utah Valley University.

When I am not teaching, I love to read! Some of my favorite books are Ish, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, Harry Potter, The Mortal Instruments, and the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary. I also love to spend time with my family, especially my niece and nephews.

I have always loved to learn and I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be a teacher. My teachers were a great inspiration in my life and I hope to be the same to all of my students. I feel extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work with children. I am constantly learning and growing as I teach them.

I look forward to the upcoming school year and the exciting journey ahead!

klowe@odysseycharter.net

Mrs. Lowe is from Columbia, Missouri.  She is a graduate from BYU.  She loves working with children and is passionate about helping those around her succeed.  She loves to be active!  Her favorite sports to play are soccer, basketball and volleyball.  She also loves to be outside and go hiking.  Her favorite food is watermelon, but she also enjoys cookie dough ice cream.  In her spare time Mrs. Lowe enjoys reading books of all kinds.

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gnovotne@odysseycharter.net

This is my second year teaching at Odyssey Charter School, and I feel so honored to be working with such a great team of teachers. I am passionate about teaching, and I love working with children. I am especially drawn to the primary grades, where so many foundations are laid. I have always had a great love for childrenʼs literature, and it is a delight to pass that joy of reading along to these young learners. I am very dedicated to each childʼs success, and it is my goal to help my students develop a love for learning as they are discovering so many new ideas.

I was raised in Colorado, where I met and married my darling husband. We attended college in North Dakota, California, and then Tennessee, where I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

I have 3 beautiful children who inspire me and make me laugh every day. My oldest daughter and son are both students at UVU, and my youngest son is in middle school. I am also “mom” to an adorable weimaraner. I enjoy cooking, gardening, hiking, snowshoeing, reading, and hanging out with family and friends.

ppassi@odysseycharter.net

This will be my eleventh year at Odyssey Charter School. I am so excited to be a first grade instructor again this year. First graders are precious!

When I am not in school, I love to be with my family. My husband and I have four adult children, three of whom are married and have given us our first seven grandchildren. Our family is originally from Minnesota. Each summer we have the amazing opportunity as a family to return to our cabin on the lake. There we enjoy boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, and just taking in the beauty of nature. My favorite thing to do is to watch the sun rise and set over the water.

I enjoy working with children and helping them succeed.

kdastrup@odysseycharter.net

The 2017-2018 school year marks my ninth year working at Odyssey Charter School. Five of those years I have been fortunate to work with the first graders and it has been rewarding helping them in the classroom to improve their handwriting, to memorize phonograms, to learn math facts and to watch their little minds and bodies stretch and grow. It’s amazing how time flies from one school year to the next and it’s almost as sad to say good-bye to one class as it is exciting to welcome a new class in to the first grade. 

I so enjoy working with the administration and staff at Odyssey. I reside in Lindon with my husband, Mat. We are the parents of four sons and now two daughters in law.

2nd Grade

mbarlow@odysseycharter.net

My name is Marta Barlow and I am very excited to be teaching the 2nd Grade at Odyssey Charter School this year!I was born in Bremerton, Washington, but grew up in Northern Utah. I’m the oldest of fourteen children, so I’ve been caring for and loving children all my life. As a child, I would gather up my siblings, cousins, friends, etc. and play school; I was the teacher and they were the students. Over the years, I’ve homeschooled my own eight children, been a teacher in a private school, and have been an instructor in a charter school. I have a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education (Interdisciplinary Studies K-8) from Western Governors University and hold a Level 1 Professional Educators License from the State of Utah. I am currently working on my ESL/ELL Endorsement which I will probably turn into a Master’s Degree eventually. I love reading, crocheting, and my grandchildren; I have 28! Teaching is my passion and working at Odyssey is the fulfillment of a life-long dream to teach in my own classroom!

jgulledge@odysseycharter.net

I had a wonderful childhood growing up in sunny Arizona and California with four energetic siblings. I received my A.A. degree from Eastern Arizona College and my B.Sc. degree from Brigham Young University, graduating in Elementary Education. However, a few months after graduation, I received my “Mrs.” title, moved to metropolitan Washington D.C., and began raising a family. My six children, who continue to bless my life, have been my greatest accomplishment, (just take a peek at the photo on my desk). With my last child in college, I got recertified and began teaching full time, becoming a Level 2 educator.

Even though I grew up in a family of educators (my father was a college president and my mother also received her degree in education), my desire to teach stemmed from my love of children and the wonderful hobbies I continue to enjoy – reading, sketching, scrap booking, sports, drama, and music.  Additional “favorites” of mine include brownies, musicals, “Ever After”, and “Pride and Prejudice”. Some of my favorite children’s books include the Fablehaven series, Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings and Brad Wilcox’s, Hip, Hip, Hooray for Annie McRae!

I have been fortunate to travel to Europe, Chile, and Japan. History came alive for me as I saw first-hand the sights I had only previously read about. Some of my favorites were the Roman Colosseum, the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Crown Jewels, the Eiffel Tower, and the Spanish castles. For me the most powerful were the sites in the Holy Land of Jerusalem.

Having raised my family for 18 years in the Washington D.C. area has also given me unique opportunities. I am especially excited to be teaching history this year and share with my young students my love for my country, in hopes of instilling in them an appreciation for our heritage and an eagerness for learning.

tlandon@odysseycharter.net

My name is Terri Landon and this is my third year teaching 2nd grade at Odyssey Charter School and my fifth year teaching.  I graduated from UVU 4 years ago.  I grew up in Sandy, Utah and have lived in Highland for the past 10 years.  I have 7 girls, 2 boys and 2 grandchildren. As a family we like to go to our cabin in Fairview to escape the heat and go 4-wheeling.  I also like to try new recipes for my family to try.  We have about 30 fruit trees and a large garden, so during the fall I am not only busy teaching but canning and freezing.  One of my favorite things to do to relax is read books; it is a great way to take your mind off the crazy world for a few minutes.

hsmith@odysseycharter.net

I was raised in Southern California (yes, I miss the sunshine and beach!) and ever since I was in Kindergarten, I’ve wanted to be an Elementary Teacher. I moved to Utah after graduating high school and have been in school studying to do just that. I love it, and I have loved Odyssey! I am looking forward to starting my fifth year here. I am even more excited to be teaching 2nd grade.  I love singing, dancing, reading, hiking, ice cream and anything chocolate! I love Odyssey students and staff. It is a great feeling to love your job and to go home smiling after work!

ldhalls@odysseycharter.net

I grew up in Pleasant Grove, UT.  I graduated from Pleasant Grove High School.  I have 5 daughters, 4 son-in-laws & 11 grandchildren.  I’ve been PTA President & President of American Fork Council PTA.  I was an aid at Cedar Ridge Elementary.  I was the American Fork High School Drill Team advisor for 4 years.  I still love BYU football, gardening, holidays & quilting.  I still want to travel to England & Denmark.  I love Beatles music. This will be my 5th year at Odyssey and I enjoy working with all the great teachers and students.

rsummers@odysseycharter.net

I grew up in Sandy Utah. I was a Beetdigger at Jordan High School. I am the oldest of 5 kids in my family. I worked for two years as an instructor at American Preparatory Academy before coming to Odyssey. I am aspiring to become a second grade teacher myself. I love nature walks, singing, and spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy doing crafts and watching movies. This will be my 2nd year at Odyssey.

3rd Grade

mhowa@odysseycharter.net

My name is Melissa Howa and I am honored to be part of the 3rd grade team at Odyssey Charter School. I grew up in the fabulous state of Utah, but had the opportunity to travel and spend my summers with my family, and the wildlife in the wilderness of Alaska.

I graduated from Dixie High School in St. George, Utah and graduated with honors from the University of Phoenix, with my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. I grew up in a family of educators, and knew from an early age that “Teaching” is where I was meant to be.

My experience in teaching started at an early age. My first paying job as a teenager was teaching afternoon classes at a daycare after school for over 2 years. I then coached gymnastics and dance at studios for many years all over Salt Lake, and Utah County. This is where I learned the importance of step by step teaching and learning. My life experience with children kicked into high gear when I had my own 2 children and had a wonderful experience while learning and growing with them. I decided to further my life experience with children when as a family we decided to take in a foster child for 4 years. This experience furthered my knowledge with teaching, learning and growing while making a difference in the life of a child who was unfortunately not my own.

My formal teaching experience started when I was employed for Jordan School district for many years. I worked with administration, and children in many scopes of the educational process such as: nutrition services, teacher’s aide, special ed. asst., substitute teaching, testing coordinator, and school secretary while volunteering in my own children’s classrooms.

I am looking forward to showing the passion I have for children, learning and teaching while striving to grow, and find the best way to optimize my students’ individual strengths, and successes while helping them to develop a passion for life and learning.

I show my passion for learning through my teaching, and my passion for life through the hobbies that I enjoy. I love reading, traveling, riding motorcycles, dancing, gymnastics, running and hiking while spending time with my family.

I am excited to get to know my students, their families and have a fabulous school year!

 

kjewell@odysseycharter.net

I was born in Long Island, New York. I graduated from BYU with a degree in Elementary Education.  I previously had the pleasure of working in a variety of areas.  The ATAC Center at UVSU teaching reading and math, overseeing the computer learning center, and assisting students with individual learning plans and registration. I was a Director/Instructor for Child’s Play Preschool for 8 years, developing curriculum and teaching.  I had an opportunity to work with my wonderful husband Alan Jewell and be an Executive Director for Animation Creation where I got to delve into the world of 3D.  I also had the delight of teaching science and the annual class at American Heritage.

I have six awesome children, two dogs, two turtles, a bunny, and a snake.  Friends would say that I never keep still, when I am not with my kids I love to go dancing, read a book, cook, take pictures, scrapbook on line and off, see every animated movie ever made (good and bad), play games, crafts, bike rides, traveling (Israel is my favorite), etc. The most priceless is time spent with family, friends, and the wonderful world of teaching. I am a forever learner.

mallen@odysseycharter.net

My name is Mark Allen. I am a 3rd  grade teacher at Odyssey Charter School. I graduated from Utah Valley University with an AS degree in Fine Art and a BA degree in Elementary Education with a Specialization in Fine Art. I taught for Tooele School District for several years, most of which was 5th grade. During this time I attended and graduated from BYU with a M.Ed. Degree in Educational Leadership. I have also done some work towards a Ph.D. in Educational Technology and Leadership. Since then I have worked with Salt Lake Arts Academy, DaVinci Academy of Science and the Arts, Montana State University, and as a Superintendent/Principal for a rural school district in Montana. I have also done many “fun” jobs like driving Bus, Semi Truck, and Heavy Equipment.

I have spent the majority of my life in Utah but was born in California. I attended Dixon Jr. High and Provo High School growing up primarily in the Provo / Orem area.

I have a wonderful family of seven. I met my wife while I was attending UVU and we have been happily married for more than 21 years now. I enjoy a good four-wheeler or motorcycle ride, a fun X-Box game now and then, or playing games with the family. I love having my wife read to me or listening to a great book on audio, especially while traveling, which I did a lot of for many years while driving truck. I have enjoyed restoring old cars but now I mostly just keep the transportation I have rolling down the road.

I am excited to working with 3rd graders and look forward to all of us learning and growing together this year.

jclegg@odysseycharter.net

I am from Lehi, Utah.  I received my bachelors degree in History Secondary Ed teaching and a second bachelors in Near Eastern Studies at Brigham Young University.  I have traveled extensively in the Middle East and throughout the United States.  I love to read, travel, and hang out with my six children.

kluse@odysseycharter.net

This will be my 6th year at OCS as a staff member. Before that I was an OCS parent for 4 years. My husband, David and I have been married 29 years. We have 3 children, our youngest is a senior in high school. We have lived in many states, therefore have held a drivers license in 5 states, so far.

I am looking forward to another fun year with our awesome 3rd grade team!

4th Grade

sclements@odysseycharter.net

I am a native Utahan and absolutely love it here.  No matter where I moved as a child (Germany, Arizona, Nevada, etc.) we always came back here.  Utah is home 🙂  I currently live in Springville with my husband (Don), three daughters (Shayli, Sierra, and Saydie), 3 salamanders, 3 chinchillas, 1 mouse, 2 toads, 1 tortoise, several cats, and 8 assorted lizards.  I love hanging out with my family (including the fuzzies and scalies).

I have been teaching full-time since 2003.  I have taught 4th grade and 5th grade.  I am very excited to be here at Odyssey in 4th grade.  The 4th grade team is amazing!

My hobbies include reading, camping and 4-wheeling with my family, and playing guitar.  I love any excuse I can find for eating cheese enchiladas, chips and salsa…and of course chocolate.

I just love being a part of Odyssey Charter School.

jhathaway@odysseycharter.net

I am truly excited to continue my teaching career at Odyssey!  Utah has always been my home and I love it. Teaching Fourth grade gives me the opportunity to share that love for Utah alongside my love of learning with the best fourth graders around.  Following my graduation from Bingham High School, I went onto Snow College and then Utah State University.  I taught primary grades at a private school in Salt Lake for 2 ½ years before taking time to be a stay at home mom.  Stay at home is not entirely accurate as I spent many hours volunteering and working part time in the local schools over the years.  I love teaching in the classroom full time.

My amazing husband Kirk and I have been married three years and have 5 incredible boys between us (KJ 22, Jace 18, Tom 15, Zack 10, Ethan 7).  We have a lot of crazy fun at our house including building fires, riding go-carts, performing nonstop experiments, reading, biking, road trips,  and of course the boys enjoy their x-box gaming.

I believe that every child can succeed and look forward to helping the students at Odyssey reach for their dreams!

ahall@odysseycharter.net

My name is Aimee Hall. I love teaching! I taught at Odyssey Charter School from 2005-2009 and am very excited to be returning and teaching your children at Odyssey Charter School this year! I have taught first grade for eight years, third grade for three years and I am very excited to be teaching fourth grade this school year! I have my level 2 teaching certification and my Masters in Education specializing in curriculum instruction and technology. I was honored to receive the 2013 UAPCS Educator of the Year award. I graduated from Utah State University  with a Bachelor of Science degree in History and minors in Family and Human Development, Folklore, and British Commonwealth Studies. I also have my certification in Ornamental Horticulture.  I am passionate about helping students feel confident and successful and instilling a lifetime love of learning. I am also passionate about Core Knowledge and would never want to teach anything else. I say that because I have seen the amazing impact it has on students. Core Knowledge engages all students and captures their interest like no other curriculum I have used or observed. It excites students to where they absolutely love to learn and they just can’t get enough of building their knowledge base.

I have always loved learning new things. I have an amazing family and adore being an aunt!  I also love to travel and so far I have traveled to 29 states, 16 countries, and 3 continents. One of my many lifetime goals is to be able to travel to all seven continents. Since receiving my degrees, I have lived and taught in Utah, Alaska, and Switzerland.

 

jsmith@odysseycharter.net

I was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, lived in San Diego, CA,  Eager, AZ and Orem, UT.  I graduated from BYU, been married for 31 years, have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.  I love hiking, biking and running. My husband and I love to travel any chance we get and always love to play with the grandkids.

This will be my 7th year here at Odyssey as an instructor working 1 year in 1st and 2nd grade and the last few in 4th grade.  Working with the children and staff has been wonderful and I am looking forward to coming back for another year.

ehussey@odysseycharter.net

I am so excited to return to Odyssey as a part-time instructor in 4th grade and a floating sub for the rest of the school.  I am thrilled to work with all grades!  I was born and raised in State College, Pennsylvania and return every summer to visit.  I now reside in Pleasant Grove with my husband Devin and 3 great kiddos; Savannah, Emma and Liam, two of which attend Odyssey. I graduated from Utah Valley University with my dual degree in Early Childhood Development and Elementary Education. Since then I have worked in multiple preschools, provided childcare for several families, enjoyed volunteering and teaching. I look forward to seeing past students and getting to know new ones, here’s to another great year at Odyssey!

5th Grade

jbaginska@odysseycharter.net

My name is Joanna Baginska and I am from Poland. I first came to Utah 11 years ago, while visiting a friend. During my visit I realized Utah was going to be my new home. I was very impressed with the scenery (love the mountains!) and with the friendliness of the local people. I returned a year later and started my teaching career in Utah. I taught 4th grade at Odyssey for eight years. I loved 4th grade, and I especially loved teaching Utah’s history and environments! However, after eight years I felt I was ready for a change. Therefore, I moved up to 5th grade, which I am very excited about. 

My formal education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Master’s Degree in Political Science. I am a proud holder of a Utah teaching license with an English endorsement. I am also a certified Spalding teacher. 

Three words that describe me as a teacher are: demanding, hands-on, and caring. I believe that every student that walks through my classroom door has a potential to excel through hard work, and I hold all of my students to high standards. What is more, I strive to create a stimulating learning environment through numerous science experiments, art projects, technology assignments etc. Finally, I truly care about each of my students and their future. Their academic success is not all about good grades. Independent thinking, open-mindedness, perseverance and treating failures as a stepping stone and not an obstacle, hard work ethics – these life skills are far more important in real life, so I want my students to acquire these skills just as much as I want them to acquire knowledge.

 I have a beautiful son named Rafael. He is as active and rambunctious as toddlers get, and so he keeps me very busy. But whenever I get a chance, I go salsa dancing to unwind and recharge my batteries. 

I am looking forward to this coming school year.

 

mschultz@odysseycharter.net

My name is Michael Schultz and I enjoy being a 5th grade teacher at Odyssey. I still remember how stimulating and fun elementary school was for me those many years ago in Idaho where I grew up. Because of those amazing memories I am motivated and passionate about teaching. But not simply teaching in the common sense of the word; it is my goal to motivate, inspire and excite our students about learning.  Their love for learning should not end once they enter jr. high or high school but continue through and beyond university studies.

My passion for service and teaching has taken me through both the civilian workforce and military service. You will find that I love to be accessible to those I serve and relish the opportunities to help students succeed.

My formal education includes both undergraduate and graduate degrees and formal military schooling. I graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism and entered the workforce where I went to work with youth in various capacities throughout the Salt Lake Valley. I went on to work as both a state of Utah employment counselor and state of Utah law enforcement certified park ranger. I eventually entered service in the Utah Army National Guard where I went on to complete Officer Candidate School (OCS), and Engineer Basic Officer Leader’s Course as an Army engineer officer. With a strong background in leadership, instruction and mentoring I was appointed to active duty orders in the U.S. Army and assigned to instruct as an Assistant Professor of Military Science at Utah Valley University.   It was during my three years teaching at UVU that my love for teaching was cemented. After 8.5 years of Army service and having attained the rank of CPT I left the military to complete my M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction.

I am the father of three children (4, 7 and 9 years old) and as such am constantly on the run. Whether it be hiking, running, camping, fighting with light sabers or taking my kids on motorcycle rides there is never a dull moment. I wouldn’t have it any other way. With my spare time I’m often found researching cryptozoological animals, trail running, riding or working on motorcycles. I love road trips and outdoor exploration, even more so if it’s on one of my motorcycle(s) with a family member or friend.

djames@odysseycharter.net

This will be my 8th year working as an instructor at OCS.  I’ve had the opportunity to assist in Kindergarten, 4th grade, and in 5th grade.  I’ve loved every age group that I’ve worked with.  I especially enjoy helping to improve reading skills.  I come from a family of educators so I was exposed to learning and helping in the classroom at an early age.  I have 3 boys, 1 girl, and 5 grandchildren.

I was born and raised in San Diego where I graduated high school then attended Dixie Jr. College for 3 semesters, returned home, and graduated from a local junior college earning an A.A. degree.  Fast forward 18 years and I returned to school where I earned an A.S. degree and a Dietetic Technician certification.  3 of my children and I moved to the central coast of California where we lived for 6 years before moving to Utah in 2003.

I love to read and I enjoy visiting my family, writing, walking, and getting together with friends.  I look forward to another great year with the fabulous staff and students at the Best Charter School in Utah Valley!

rsmith@odysseycharter.net

My name is Becky Smith and I am in my 2nd year as an instructor at Odyssey. I am excited to see all of the wonderful students again!

I was born and raised in Orem, Utah. When I was 11 years old, I had a great teacher that I loved. She encouraged me a to set goals-and I set one; to get a full-ride scholarship to BYU. I worked hard and achieved that goal! While at BYU, I studied English and Geology before finally graduating with a degree in Child and Human development.

In 1991 I met and married my wonderful husband, Bart. We’ve been married 26 years and have six children-four boys and two girls. Two of our boys are married and we have a cute little two year old grandson. Our third son is planning to be married in September.

When I am not at school, I love to read, crochet, play games with my family, and go for long walks. I also love volunteering as a Girl Scout leader and as a Cub Scout leader. I’ve coached two FLL robotic teams and I’ve helped with my daughters’ FTC high school robotic team.

Before coming to Odyssey, I spent many years volunteering and working in various positions in Alpine School District. I love education and working with the students. I look forward to another great year!

6th Grade

rmathew@odysseycharter.net

Hi! My name is Rachel Mathews. I grew up in Spanish Fork Utah with five brothers and two sisters. As a family we loved to go on vacations and play games such Rage and Bananagrams. I went to Spanish Fork High School where I was on the yearbook committee and I played tennis my senior year.

After high school I attended Snow College and that is where I met my husband Brett. We were married in August 2014. After two years at Snow College, I transferred to Utah Valley University and started the education program.  I loved the program and the in-classroom experience it provided me with.  It has made me even more excited to teach. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UVU in April 2016 with high honors.

Some of my favorite things are the color blue, brownies, cheese pizza, Sodalicious (Dr. Pepper w/ peach & vanilla), and the beach. I enjoy reading, watching movies with my husband, trying out new recipes, and being crafty.
Ever since I was in elementary school, I knew I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I am so excited to begin my journey as a teacher here at Odyssey and teach 6th grade!

swells@odysseycharter.net 

This will be my 6th year at Odyssey. For the first three years I worked as an instructor in 5th grade. I then became a 6th grade teacher.  Working as both an instructor and a teacher has allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic within the school. I have developed a true appreciation for how hard each staff member works to make every child successful.

I grew up in Riverton, Utah. I am the youngest of four. My childhood was spent riding horses, participating in 4-H, and later competing in High School Rodeo. At the age of 16 I decided I was ready to go to college. I worked hard and graduated a year early from High School with a full academic scholarship to Westminster College. By 17 I had moved into my college dorm. I now have a family of my own. My husband and I have two children. Our daughter is 13, and our son is 11. Along with our kids we have three dogs. Daisy, a Morkie, Ollie, a Morkie-Poo, and Missy, an English Mastiff.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family. I love new adventures and I am happiest when I’m able to travel to faraway places and experience different cultures, especially if a beach is involved. My favorite place I’ve traveled to is Italy. I love to share my experience with the 6th graders while we learn about the Renaissance.

I am thrilled to be a part of the 6th grade team. I believe in hard work, perseverance and making each child successful. I look forward to facilitating a love of learning in each child! Here’s to a fabulous year!

 

twilkins@odysseycharter.net

Hi, my name is Tammy Wilkins. I’ve been involved with Odyssey since 2001 when it was just an idea. I was a founder, then a room parent. I’ve been the room parent committee chair, served on the board and now work as an instructor. This will be my third year as an instructor and my favorite spot because I love being in the classroom and interacting with the students. I grew up here in Utah county, graduated from Pleasant Grove High, and then got a degree in education from BYU. I taught 2nd grade for three years before taking some time off to raise my family. I have 4 kids, 2 of which are still here at Odyssey. My kids keep me in the car most of the time, but I love watching them excel in softball, gymnastics, soccer, track, baseball, or whatever else they are doing at the time. I love being outdoors, hiking, skiing, kayaking, playing softball and traveling. My perfect day would include a beach somewhere, a beautiful sunset, some chocolate and a Dr. Pepper.

Specialty Teachers

mdaniels@odysseycharter.net

Non scholae, sed vitae discimus – we learn not for school, but for life. (Seneca)

This is why I teach Latin.  Latin, though dead, is expert in teaching logic and learning.  I don’t teach Latin for Latin’s sake, but for the instruction it gives students in how to learn, how to reason, and how to create understanding of words.  We can find Latin in everyday life from law terms, to state mottoes, to Harry Potter spells.  It is woven into the history and literature of the world and our country.

I was born in Aurora, Colorado and graduated high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  Between times, I lived in the Philippines Islands, Maryland, California, Texas, and Georgia.  I am a proud Air Force brat.  I have five brothers, one sister, and a passel of nieces and nephews.  I also have a betta fish named “The Venerable Bede.”

I came to Utah to study at Brigham Young University.  I majored in Latin teaching and history.  I am a die-hard, dyed-in-the-wool, true blue cougar.  I completed my Bachelor of Arts in 2006 and have taught at Odyssey ever since.  I completed my Master of Education through the American College of Education in 2015.

I have always loved learning and reading, but in Latin I found my true educational passion.  I love the history of words and language, the beauty of literature, and the logic of grammar.  Etymology (the study of word origins) is my greatest interest.  Roman history and mythology are particularly dear to me.

I love airports, traveling, and museums.  My favorite color is periwinkle, favorite animal is the great white shark, and favorite avenger is Captain America.  I am particularly fond of reading Dracula, Jane Eyre, Mansfield Park, and Calvin and Hobbes.  I have a weakness for Fluffernutter sandwiches and Ritter Sport hazelnut chocolate bars.  I spend my weekends watching college football.

I look forward to another year at Odyssey and sharing Latin words, grammar, culture, and history with my amazing students.

I also teach PE to kindergarten, first, second, and third grades.

kperkins@odysseycharter.net

“Teach music and singing at school in such a way that it is not a torture, but a joy for the pupil; instill a thirst for finer music in him, a thirst which will last for a lifetime.   If the child is not filled at least once by the life giving stream of music during the most susceptible period- between his sixth and sixteenth years- it will hardly be of any use to him later on. Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime. This experience cannot be left to chance; it is the duty of the school to provide it.” (Zoltán Kodály, Selected Writings, p. 120)

Zoltán Kodály (a Hungarian musician, teacher, composer, linguist, and philosopher) believed that music is meant to develop one’s entire being- personality, intellect and emotions. He said, “music is a spiritual food for everybody.” (Kodály, 1966) Kodály realized music was part of everyone’s basic heritage, was necessary for human development, and should be started at as early an age as possible. Jenö Ádám, an early and prominent colleague of Kodály, stated, “The most important thing is to actualize the instinctive love of the child for singing and playing, to realize the changing of his moods through the songs, his feelings, his experiences – in other words, to bring about the miracle of music”.

The quotes above sum up why I do what I do.  I love teaching music!  I believe music can change lives and can, in turn, change the world.  I believe in keeping our musical heritage alive and passing it on to future generations, and I believe the experience should be joyful.

I grew up in Rexburg, Idaho as the youngest of four children.  I began piano lessons at age five and would have rather spent my time doing anything other than sitting at that piano bench, but I did learn and grew to enjoy playing piano.  My real love for music began when I started playing trumpet in the 6th grade.   By 8th grade I announced to my band director/trumpet instructor that I intended to major in music.  I wanted to teach band like him.  At this announcement, my teacher turned to me, and skeptically asked, “Are you sure?  You really want to do this?”  I was undeterred.

Throughout high school I was involved in about every instrumental music opportunity available to me: orchestras, bands, solos and small ensembles, and spent three years training, touring, and competing with prestigious drum and bugle corps organizations.

I entered BYU as a Music Major and was introduced to a whole different music career opportunity:  Elementary Music Education.  I hadn’t ever known this was an option.  Did elementary schools even have music teachers!? –not where I came from.  This option changed my course.  I knew it was what I was supposed to do, so I went for it!—and I found a true passion.

Five years of college, a double major (Music Education and Elementary Education), three summers of post-graduate work to obtain my Kodály Certification, and nine years of teaching elementary music brings us up to date.  For the last two summers I have been honored to take my teaching to the next level by teaching other teachers at BYU’s annual summer Kodály certification program.  I love what I do and I love learning more about how to do it better each day/week/year that I teach.

I am married to the love of my life, Daniel Perkins, a drummer whom I met while we were members of the same drum and bugle corps.  Together we now have three beautiful daughters: Anna, Lily, and Sara.  My husband and children are my world outside of music and teaching and I love them dearly.

Heading into my eleventh year of teaching in 2017-2018 I’m excited for the opportunities I get each day to improve the lives of Odyssey’s students through music and to grow further in my teaching.  I have goals this year of increasing sight-reading fluency in the older grades, improving the transitions and flow within each class session, bringing an even greater level of student enjoyment within a high-quality music environment, and further developing the artistry of our school choir.

If you are new to Odyssey, I look forward to meeting with you.  Welcome!  If you are continuing your Odyssey journey and don’t yet know me well, please come visit with me.  I would love to get to know you better!