High Spirit's residential programs are lead by individuals drawn to the work of living in community with people with and without disabilities. Each of our lifesharing homes has two Householders and two or three co-workers who typically spend a year with us, working as interns under the supervision of the Householders. For inspiration, we look to Camphill Communities around the world. From them, we've learned the beauty of building a community of people who are interdependent.
Derek and Lesley (and June)
Tembo Householders Derek and Lesley Eshelman joined High Spirit in 2013. They bring rich life experiences to High Spirit's residential and farming programs.
Derek is a graduate of Oberlin College and the Stanford University School of Education, where he obtained a masters degree in secondary education. Lesley is a graduate of Macalaster College. Prior to moving to Massachusetts about two years ago, Derek taught high school and Lesley worked as a social worker, dedicated to bettering the lives of the San Francisco Bay area's homeless population.
In 2012, the two settled in the Great Barrington area to devote their considerable energy and enthusiasm to farming and life sharing. Before coming to Tembo House, they worked at Blue Hill and North Plain Farms in Great Barrington, dairy farms loosely associated with the North Plain Farm life sharing community.
Courtney and Brett
Courtney Santasero and Brett Kane joined us as Householders in 2021. Courtney and Brett both have a background in Criminal Justice, with a focus on restorative justice. Brett's work has focused on the importance of community building. His Master's thesis is titled "Restorative Justice and Recidivism: Successful Reintegration through Connection to Community." Courtney's recent work has been helping people resolve barriers to employment and vocational training. Her resume starts with "My mission in life is to provide interactions and experiences that facilitate growth, education and relationship-building. We think that's a pretty good fit for High Spirit!
Courtney and Brett are Householders at Seekonk House. We are delighted to have Courtney and Brett as part of our leadership team, and part of the Community.
Justin joined the High Spirit team in 2021. Justin is in charge of managing our residents' contracts as well as new admissions. Justin has worked with people with intellectual disabilities for many years, providing job training, residential support and in recent years providing case management for individuals in shared living homes. We are delighted to have Justin at High Spirit!
For admissions inquiries please contact Justin directly at (413) 717-5250.
After moving into High Spirit, Derek and Lesley added a puppy to the mix - June. June is much loved by all members of the household.