by Michael Shulansky
Students, parents, and educators met with Manchester Mayor Jay Moran as he visited Odyssey Community School for the first time recently, and shared the incredible work the school is doing for students in the Silk City.
Odyssey currently serves 325 students in grades K-8 and has another 108 students on a waiting list to attend to school, according to Principal Chris Bugbee.
NECSN Connecticut State Director Jeremiah Grace commended Odyssey for its work with students and their families.
“Every time I meet a student, parent, or alumni from Odyssey, their enthusiasm and appreciation for the school is infectious,” said Grace. “It’s clear that students here are being prepared not just for high school and college, but for life.”
According to the school’s student council president, the sense of community shared by Odyssey students, staff, and parents is what makes the school so special.
“It’s such a small school that everyone knows each other – everyone has a friend,” said Laura Mund. “The sense of community is felt by everyone.”
That sentiment was shared by vice president Michelle Dihn, who also praised the school for its efforts to expose students to the world outside Manchester.
Recalling a 4th grade trip to Ellis Island to learn about the history of immigration in America, Michelle lauded, “what Odyssey does, how they make kids get up and interact, and have hands-on experiences is really cool. And it stays with us.”
Odyssey student council president Laura Mund and vice president Michelle Dinh speak at NECSN’s Manchester legislative breakfast.
Odyssey parent Vanessa Cameron spoke passionately about the positive effect the school has had on her son.
“He knows that someone else besides me is holding him accountable for his behavior,” said Cameron. “I feel comfortable that he is being taught respect and how to deal with other kids.”
“I run into people who are willing to talk about how they made the right choice with Odyssey,” she added.
Odyssey board member and parent Beth Mix also praised the school, noting, “at Odyssey, I found the support to be a better parent. We need options and I'm glad this school is here for us.”
Manchester Mayor Jay Moran speaks at NECSN’s Manchester legislative breakfast.
After listening to school leaders, students, and parents, Mayor Jay Moran made the most of his first-ever visit to Odyssey by speaking directly to the students in attendance.
The mayor praised the students for representing the school’s values of courage, integrity, respect, curiosity, leadership, and excellence, noting, “all you have to do is come in this room and you know what this school is about.”
Mayor Moran also urged the kids to have a positive attitude and believe in themselves, telling the students that with those traits, they can accomplish anything.
Take a look at a slideshow of more images from the breakfast below.
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