Sebastian came to Spruce Mountain in 2013 after 10 years of working in education and wilderness therapy programs with youth. Sebastian is passionate about wilderness and experiential programming and provides leadership for Spruce’s TREK adventure program, which engages residents in multi-day outdoor trips designed to build leadership skills and increase self-confidence. He holds certifications in Wilderness First Response (WFR), Outdoor Leadership Programming, flat water and river paddling, and is a Level 1 Nordic Ski Instructor through the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Sebastian is an avid mountain biker and likes to play frisbee golf in his off time.
Brad Beaudet, MA
Brad would like people to know that he had black hair when he started working at Spruce in 2001, and that it wasn’t the residents that made him prematurely grey. Brad is our senior Residential Counselor who provides leadership and training to the entire residential staff, and is generally revered for being a font of institutional knowledge here. His humor and dedication are invaluable to our team. When not at work, Brad can be found strumming a guitar, crooning, and making music videos.
TIm Aiken, BA
Tim has been with Spruce Mountain Inn since 1999, first subbing and then as a Residential Counselor. He currently works the overnight shift. Aside from enjoying the rewarding work he has here at Spruce, he also enjoys woodworking, gardening and collecting sports and gaming cards.
Cameron Mack, BA
Cameron arrived at Spruce after several years working with gifted and special needs clients and survivors of TBI. He has a degree in Anthropology from State University of New York and is an RTY 200 Yoga Instructor and is now leading our yoga group. His passion is contagious for helping others explore the connection between their body and breath, while learning alignment-based poses (asana) and a variety of breathing and mindfulness techniques. Cameron’s other passions are music, movement, and wilderness, which he also shares with the SMI community as much as possible. When not at work instilling passion in others, Cameron can be found at one of the many local disc golf courses in the area slowly working towards global dominance.
Amy Nesbitt, MFA
Amy comes to SMI from the position of Program Coordinator at Karme Choling, a Shambala meditation retreat center in Barnet, Vermont. She has considerable experience teaching at a residential alternative school as well as teaching English in Rome. She has an MFA in creative writing from Goddard College and has received her undergraduate education in writing and literature from Emerson College. Amy is passionate about her study of herbs as a healing modality and is a certified herbalist from both VCIH and Gaia School of Plant Medicine and Earth Education. Amy contributes well to our team of Residential Counselors and Support Workers who support our clients in the milieu as well as facilitating groups.
Suzanne Rexford-Winston, MEd
Suzanne is our Residential Counselor/Art Guru. She is a very seasoned professional and artist, having taught art at Johnson State College, Community College of Vermont, Union Institute and University, Vermont College, Galef Institute and public schools. Suzanne has also been a Senior Academic Advisor at New England Culinary Institute, Academic Advisor at Woodbury College, Education Director at the Vermont Arts Council, Assistant Director of Admissions at Union Institute and Assistant Director of Governor’s Institute on the Arts. She is an excellent listener and support in the Residential Counselor role and facilitates some really cool art activities. She loves to go to the movies–oldies and Independent films especially–and popcorn!
Drew Sy, BA
Drew works overnight at the Inn. He comes highly recommended by many of our local staff. After years of working in early childhood education, Drew is currently working on his Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Northern Vermont University-Johnson, and is planning to become a play therapist. He runs a playgroup at the Plainfield Community Center and spends his free time with his family and his cats.
Conor Teal, BA
Conor is now a Residential Counselor at Spruce, following a year of subbing here. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 2013 with a BA in Planning, Public Policy and Non-Profit Management. Conor has experience in labor activism and legislation promotion. He has several years’ experience working in residential treatment with children in Jasper, Oregon.
Conor enjoys music and playing bass guitar, woodworking projects and built his own tiny house on a trailer. He serves on the Energy and Tree Committees for the City of Barre, where he currently lives with his Labradoodle, Roland.
Jessica Polus, BA
Jess is a Residential Counselor and Support Worker at Spruce. She has Bachelor’s Degrees in Arts and Humanities and French from Michigan State University College of Arts and Humanities.
She has previously worked as a Behavioral Interventionist with troubled teens at CHOICE Academy, a program of Washington County Mental Health. She has also taught English as a second language in Forges-Les-Eaux, France. Jess enjoys hiking, practicing yoga, reading and playing music.