Our History

Our History

In 1979, Thom and Louise Hartmann founded the New England Salem Children’s Trust (NESCT) in New Hampshire, and continued to spread the Salem message of peace and environmental respect (described in his book “The Prophet’s Way”). Since that time, NESCT have served over 250 children here in Rumney, New Hampshire.

Thom Hartmann introduced the theory of hunters and farmers in his groundbreaking book, “Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception”, which was first published in the early 1990′s. In the book, Thom hypothesized that traits that were advantageous in a hunting culture – being alert to every sound in the environment, willingness to take risks, etc – became not so helpful when society switched to farming, and the prized trait was the ability to stick patiently to a task. This led him to a key insight: if we understand each individual’s unique features, we can leverage them in ways that work for them. A successful serial entrepreneur himself, Thom wrote that many successful leaders have those same traits. The trick is to know yourself.

The theory of ADHD children is the idea that they are the “hunters” who are able to take in continuous stimuli and react quickly to changing circumstances. Whereas, non-ADHD children are the “farmers” who are patient, methodical, and focused over long periods of time. Unfortunately for ADHD children, traditional schools teach for the patient “farmers”, and not the alert and quick reacting “hunters.”

In 1998, NESCT determined the children who lived there, and many others in the surrounding region and beyond, were not being adequately educated because of the challenges their situations presented. In order to provide these children with quality educational opportunities, the New England Salem Children’s Trust established The Hunter School.

The Hunter School opened its doors that year, and began to serve children who struggle in traditional education settings because of the educational and behavioral differences associated with ADHD, Anxiety, High Functioning Autism, Mood, Sensory and related conditions.  Since opening, the Hunter School has served hundreds of students helping them to find academic, social and behavioral success resulting in positive self-esteem for these wonderful children.