Todd Sutler is one of three teachers on a mission to discover, share, and utilize the best of America’s education system through the nonprofit Odyssey Initiative. OI’s goal is to find the best and brightest teachers and practices from a variety of schools—public, private, charter—and to examine what works and what doesn’t. They will do this by taking a cross-country tour that culminates in the opening of Compass Charter School in Brooklyn, New York in September of 2014, where they will apply their findings.
The lure of education wasn’t instantaneous for Sutler, who started his professional career as a bond trader, but wasn’t quite sold on his job. In 2004 he changed paths drastically, entering the education sector as the director of a social and academic enrichment program at the Boys Club of New York. Something clicked, clearly, as Sutler went on to attend Bank Street College of Education, where he earned his Master's degree in Elementary Education.
Sutler was a co-founding teacher of the third grade at Community Roots Charter School in Fort Green, Brooklyn, where education emphasizes connecting classroom teachings to the real world. Two years later, he helped start the school's fifth grade. These experiences in the youth development field gave Sutler the experience that eventually led him to Odyssey Initiative.
This year, OI is creating a virtual learning community for the numerous schools it has visited, which will serve as an online meeting place where schools can collaborate and foster professional development. OI is now seeking master-educators to help develop this program and lead these professional development sessions.
“We plan to pilot our learning community during the 2013-2014 school year and will launch a larger effort in September of 2014,” Sutler says.
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