Local man helps students with dyslexia succeed

STEVENSON, Md. - 82-year-old Gordon Jones has walked through these doors at the Odyssey School over a thousand times.  Today it's bitter sweet because after 18 years of service to the school, he is leaving the Board of Trustees.

Gordon got involved with the school because he can relate to students.  He was diagnosed with dyslexia at age 40.

"I was beat up by not being able to read and write.  I was called a dummy and illiterate.  Once I found out about the Odyssey School and how it helps students with dyslexia, I fell in love with the school," said Jones.

The Odyssey School sits tucked away in Stevenson on 42 acres of land.  It started with 24 students in a home in Roland Park and moved to Stevenson ten years ago.  The school currently has 165 students.

Gordon found the land, designed the building and has been instrumental in fundraising efforts.  He's known as Mr. Odyssey.

"He shares his own story.  He talks about the fact that he was not able to access specialized programs like Odyssey. He is willing to share that story with others to help them realize the impact of what it's like to grow up in our country and struggle to read," said Marty Sweeney, Head of School at The Odyssey School.

The Odyssey School has four pillars, kindness, honesty, respect and hard work.  Jones hopes students will always remember the four pillars.

"I want them to know they are dyslexic and they can advocate for themselves.  They can take their strengths and go on in life and be very successful," said Jones.

Although he may not be around as much, Jones says he won't be far away if students need him.

The Odyssey School opened in 1994.

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