Pictured, from left to right:

Amanda, Amy, Bob, Jennifer, Annie


Bob wants Odyssey to be the finest educational childcare and preschool program in the country and he wants to be known as the most engaged childcare executive anywhere.

Please reach out to him with any suggestions and feedback for Odyssey.

G. Robert (“Bob”) Mitchell

President & CEO
Odyssey Early Schools

217 Country Club Park #114
Birmingham, AL 35213

Email Bob
(205) 337-2012 | Phone
(205) 879-3368 | Fax

Bob was born in Tuscaloosa when his parents were in graduate school.  Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Washington state, where they spent the next fourteen years before moving to Virginia, where he finished high school and started college.  The family finally returned home to Birmingham when his father became the first Superintendent of the Hoover City Schools in 1987.

After attending the University of Virginia and the University of Alabama (B.A. 1992), and the completion of his M.B.A. (UA, 1995) and J.D. (UA, 1996), Bob served as Odyssey’s Executive Vice President for Operations from 1996 through 2004.

In August 2004, Bob purchased Odyssey from his father and their four partners and now serves as its President and CEO. Each day, you are likely to find Bob jumping between the two Odyssey schools, staying in touch with its staff and customers.

Bob also is active in the community, having served on the Board of Directors of several area non-profit and civic organizations, including the following:

  • Salvation Army (2012 - present)
  • Children’s Aid Society (2012 - present)
  • Camp Smile-A-Mile (2007 - 2011)
  • Monday Morning Quarterback Club (2012 - present) - Coach, Alabama Team Fundraising (2015 Season)
  • Mountain Brook Sports Corporation (2009 - present)
  • Birmingham Rotary Club (2008 - present)
  • Birmingham Business Alliance (2004 - present)
  • Hoover Chamber of Commerce (2004 - present)
  • Shelby County Chamber of Commerce (2015 - present)
  • Alabama Bar Association (1996 - present)
  • Canterbury United Methodist Church (1993 - present) - Church Council Member (2012 - present)

Bob married his wife, Jennifer, in 1993. Jennifer manages all of Odyssey’s financial operations and, like Bob, has been very active in the community, serving on the boards of several civic groups such as The Junior League of Birmingham and the Children’s Aid Society. They have two wonderful children, Sara Chandler and Hughes.

When not managing Odyssey or attending meetings and special events associated with the organizations above, you likely will find Bob attending Sara Chandler’s volleyball matches and Hughes’ baseball games, following Alabama and UVA athletics, and perhaps somehow managing to squeeze in a round of golf every now and again.

Leadership — Inverness


Annie Fine

Inverness Campus

104 Heatherbrooke Park Drive
Birmingham, AL 35242

Email Annie
(205) 991-0039 | Phone
(205) 991-7005 | Fax

Annie first came to Odyssey in 1996 when she and her husband enrolled their young son, Kyle, and became Odyssey parents. It wasn’t too long thereafter that Dr. Mitchell knew that Annie could contribute substantially to Odyssey as an employee and offered her a position as its Business Manager. In 2005, her duties expanded exponentially when Bob Mitchell offered her the Director position at Odyssey’s Inverness Campus.

Annie moved to Alabama from Kansas City in 1989. She and her husband, Erik, were married in 1991. After spending many years in law enforcement, Erik now spends his days as an attorney in Birmingham.

Annie enjoys spending her weekends outside in nature or antiquing. Most of all she enjoys spending quality time with Erik and her sons watching SEC and NFL football. The entire family always looks forward to attending Kevin’s high school football games and watching the Hornets play under the lights on Friday night. GO CHELSEA!

Because of Annie’s experience as both an Odyssey parent and administrator, she has an intuitive first hand perspective when dealing with our staff, children and parents.


Jennifer Swatek

Assistant Director
Inverness Campus

Email Jennifer
(205) 991-0039 | Phone
(205) 991-7005 | Fax

Jennifer joined the Odyssey family in 2001 when she was searching for a preschool for her two sons, Hunter and Ethan. When she discovered Odyssey, she knew she’d found not only their school, but a terrific place to work too.

Jennifer initially taught toddlers but soon moved to the preschool program. In 2003, she was invited to become a member of the administrative team as Odyssey’s Assistant Director. She loves this position because it allows her to work hand-in-hand with all of the children, parents and staff as she uses her knowledge and background as a mom, teacher and administrator to best meet everyone’s needs.

Jennifer and her husband, Michael, were married in 1997. Michael is an executive at Honda. They are busy with following their boys' soccer and football careers and Michael tries to squeeze in a bit of golf too.

It was their family that led Jennifer and Michael to Odyssey, and Jennifer’s goal is to work hard so that every Odyssey parent can enjoy the same quality experience that they shared with their boys.

Leadership — Trace Crossings


Amanda Bentley

Trace Crossings Campus

401 Emery Drive
Hoover, AL 35244

Email Amanda
(205) 988-8829 | Phone
(205) 988-8505 | Fax

Amanda grew up in Mobile and graduated from the University of South Alabama, majoring in Early Childhood / Elementary Education. She was awarded the CDA Credential in 1996 by the Council for Early Childhood Professional Recognition. Amanda served as a preschool teacher at Odyssey Inverness in 1997 before being promoted to an administrative position. When Odyssey opened its new Trace Crossings school in 2001, Amanda was moved to that location and has been its Director ever since.

Amanda married Rux Bentley in 1999. They live in Columbiana, where Rux is an owner of the Rux Carter Insurance Agency. Their daughters, Maddie and McKlane, both attended Odyssey and now are at the Briarwood Christian School. Amanda’s hobbies include spending time with family, being outdoors and shopping, and participating in fundraiser events supporting Ovarian cancer, of which she is a survivor.


Amy Dagnan

Assistant Director
Trace Crossings Campus

Email Amy
(205) 988-8829 | Phone
(205) 988-8505 | Fax

Amy Dagnan has been a standout personality in the Odyssey family since her arrival at the Inverness school in 2000.  Her extensive knowledge of early childhood development and many years of classroom teaching resulted in her promotion to Assistant Director in 2006.

Amy’s responsibilities include opening the Trace Crossings school each morning, supporting the teachers and being available to parents who may need her assistance. Her favorite part of each day is greeting the families as they arrive to school each morning. Amy adores every child attending Odyssey and takes joy in ensuring that Odyssey is run to the highest standards every day.

Amy married Perry Dagnan in 2000 and they have a beautiful daughter, Taylor Grace, who attended Odyssey and now is at the Briarwood Christian School.


Water main break near Inverness closes part of Highway 280 s.al.com/KPlZOhE