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Dea Angiolillo


Dea is a physician and mother of three.  Her middle child, Will, has lived at High Spirit's Seekonk House since the age of 22. Dea has been a part of High Spirit from the planning stage when it seemed an impossible dream. Her husband, Peter von Mertens, is a past board member and continues to be enthusiastically involved in the High Spirit mission. 

Martha Bedell

Martha is the Treasurer of the Board of Directors. She has served on the board at Shady Hill School, where she was the Chair of the Committee on Trustees and a member of the Building and Grounds Committee. In addition to her work with us, Martha is an architect, an educational mentor and happy organizer of her own extended family of seven.  

Dagmar and Lucy.jpg

Dagmar Herzog


Dagmar is a Professor of History, proud to call western Massachusetts her home. She is currently writing on resistance to the Nazis and the history of disability rights activism.  Above all, she is the mother of Lucy, a cherished member of the High Spirit community. 

Tamara Sheen


Tamara has worked with individuals with special needs for over 30 years. She was a houseparent and vocational teacher at Camphill School for most of these years, developing a commercially run Kitchen Day Program at Beaver Farm.  She moved up to the Berkshires 5 years ago to be close to her family, with two grandchildren in the area. 


Tamara has been involved with High Spirit as a friend and occasional relief staff, and working with our young people cooking nutritious meals for the community.

As well as cooking and teaching, Tamara loves gardening and singing traditional music. 

Bob Swain


Bob is President of the Board of Directors. He is also a geologist, founder and President of Trap Rock Oil Company and President of the Beaver Run Foundation. At the Beaver Run Foundation he stewards the endowment, scholarship and General Support Funds for Camphill Special School. Bob served on the Finance Committee, Philanthropic Programs Committee and Board of Camphill Special School for six years.  


Bob and his wife Ginny are the parents of three, and their eldest, Bar, is an integral member of High Spirit. 

Ginny Swain


Ginny is Clerk of the Board of Directors and spearheads High Spirit's fund raising efforts.   She is also an architect and painter. Ginny and Bob have been involved with High Spirit since the initial concept meetings and continue to work to ensure that High Spirit is strong and will serve more individuals and families in need.  

Jay Wallace


Jay lives in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts, in the shingle-style home he built for his wife, three (now grown) kids, and assorted pets. He is a big fan of experiential education and a big fan of High Spirit Community Farm:  “What is going on at High Spirit epitomizes the essence of the best foundation for teaching --  finding what makes life interesting, rewarding and inspirational for every human being.”


Jennifer Potter-Brotman
Derek Eshelman



Peter Von Mertens



Peter has been an active supporter from the beginning of High Spirit's history. Peter continues to offer his skills and services wherever they are needed, including designing and building our chicken and goat sheds along with his brother Carl.  Peter is married to Board Member Dea Angiolillo and is the devoted stepfather of Will.  

Eric Maskin


Eric is a Professor at Harvard University. He also serves as a board member of the Camphill Foundation. Eric won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2007.


Jennie Reins


Jennie is the founder and director of Leander House in Great Barrington. Since 1996 Jennie has run Leander House, which includes three lifesharing households for individuals with disabilities. Leander House and High Spirit often enjoy each other's company throughout the Great Barrington community. She is also the mother of two daughters, who have grown up sharing their home and lives with Leander household members.

Board of Directors

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