Student housing at Eagle Rock School has always been an exercise in evolutionary change and this trimester promises to be no different. Among the biggest draws to our campus are the living arrangements we offer our students, providing them with an atmosphere that is warm and non-threatening; in a word, supportive.
There are six student houses here on our mountainside campus — each housing seven boys and seven girls in separate wings — and each supported by a pair of house parents. In recent years, we eliminated a student bed, wardrobe, desk and chair from each wing in order to give our students a little more elbow room.
What remains is a team structure within each house that provides students with ample opportunities for interpersonal growth, as well as the lessons that arise from sustained group activities such as intramural sports, service projects, chores, house dinners, outings and retreats.
In addition to house parents within each residential dwelling, our board recently approved adding a residential life coordinator position to the team here at Eagle Rock. Our first such coordinator is J. Jacques Fournet, II, who is tasked with supporting and evolving the residential life experience. Jacques brings an elevated focus to residential life with the ultimate goal of helping us become more responsive to student needs.
Here’s a rundown on how the individual houses looked before the beginning of this trimester:
- Health & Wellness Coordinator Jesse Tovar and his wife Nathalie have been Spruce House Parents for 13 years.
- Science Instructional Specialist Janet Johnson and Learning Resource Center Instructional Specialist Beth Ellis have been Aspen House Parents for over 10 years.
- Professional Development Associate Anastacia Galloway and partner Kevin became Piñon House Parents in the middle of ER 61.
- Human Performance Center Instructional Specialist Anna Magle-Haberek and her husband Nick started House Parenting in Lodgepole at the beginning of ER 62.
- Professional Development Associate Sarah Bertucci and her husband Jason Cushner started House Parenting in Juniper at the beginning of ER 64, as did World Languages Instructional Specialist Brighid Scanlon in Ponderosa. They have two children, Mica and Joseph.
- And now, at the beginning of the new trimester, we see Music Instructional Specialist Meg Tokunaga-Scanlon and her husband Juan taking the helm as House Parents of Spruce house. In addition, Literacy and Literature Instructional Specialist Dan Hoffman and his wife Catherine are the new House Parents of Ponderosa house.
To make things even more exciting than they already are, over our last trimester break the entire Lodgepole community (students and House Parents) switched physical dwellings with Spruce. Why the switch?
At this time there are two house parent houses that have been expanded to have extra room for families. Our board of directors funded that expansion with the expectation that families live in those houses when possible.
So, the new arrangement has Anna, Nick and the Lodgepole students moving to the house currently known as Spruce, and Meg, Juan and Spruce House students to the house currently known as Lodgepole.
They will of course bring their house names with them to these new dwellings. Think of it like a family that moves to a new neighborhood and a new house. The identity is with the family regardless of which building they reside. For the students, the House identity will not change.
Curious to know more about our residential life setup or philosophy? Leave us a question or comment below.