TreehouseHi, My name is Nicole Johnson. Together with Melissa Juliano I set up the Community Treehouse in 2019. I felt Bayfield needed a place where parents could meet while kids could play. A place where parents could find support from their peers and kids could make new friends. I am originally from the Netherlands and moved to America when I was 16 years old. You might hear that accent once in a while. I have worked with children for over 30 years; but my true passion is early childhood development. I was a preschool teacher in Italy as well as in California prior to moving to Durango and working as the Family Center of Durango coordinator from 1998-2006. I have been the program leader for the Tumbling Tots program at Sun Ute since 2007. I also love  to teach infant massage and to connect with new mothers and their children of all ages. Bayfield has been my home for the last 15 years , where I live with my husband and my 10 year old daughter. Some of my favorite moments at the Treehouse are seeing parents exchange phone numbers, kids coming in the Treehouse so excited to see their friends , or parents working in the Parent lounge while their kiddos are playing in the Treehouse. It has been an amazing journey to build the Treehouse for Bayfield this past year. Now we can focus on the needs of this amazing community and continue to grow!


Nicole Johnson

Joe Poynter

Joe Poynter received his Director Qualification in 1986 from the University of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. Additional education is BSL from Ozark Christian College, Masters of Art from Hope International University in Fullerton, California, and Montessori AMS Certification accredited through the University of Colorado at Denver. In 1990 Joe worked as Director/Principal of Valley Christian Academy into Albuquerque, NM. Valley Christian Academy this is a toddler through K-6 preschool and elementary school. In 1998 Joe became the Director of NE Montessori in Denver. This site was chosen by CNN to be broadcast nationally as a quality early learning center. In 2002 Joe became the Coordinator of Southern Ute Montessori Early Head Start 0-3 program where he worked for 10 years. At the present time Joe is the acting Executive Director of Bayfield Early Education Programs in Bayfield, Colorado. Some additional information: Joe was selected as a Fellow with the Children’s Defense Funds in Washington D.C. It is the world’s leading child advocacy organization.  As a child advocate Joe has lobbied several years in D.C. for child related issues.

Char Gustafson

Char has worked for the Bayfield Family Center from 1991-2001. She also is a substitute teacher for the Bayfield Early Education program. Her concern for her daughter with a new baby ignited her passion to help set up this program for future moms and families.

Melissa Juliano

Melissa is born and raised in Bayfield, Colorado and is an alumni from Fort Lewis College, earning a BA in Early childhood. She is married to her highschool sweetheart and they have two daughters (8-10) attending the Bayfield school district. She has worked for the Southern Ute Montessori Headstart as an early childhood teacher, special needs coordinator and as a mentor who coached and supported teachers for 6 years. 

Hello, I am Jane St Onge, a veteran, a wife and a mother of two located in beautiful Bayfield, Colorado. I currently teach undergraduate business courses at Adams State University. I have a BS in Business Administration and an MBA in public administration and finance. I am looking forward to helping the Community Treehouse grow to support our community needs.

Jane St Onge

Born in Great Bend, Kansas in 1958.  Family moved to the Denver area in 1964 and I grew up in Arvada, Colorado (SW suburb of Denver). Graduated from Arvada High School in 1976. Worked as Assistant Manager at Arvada Dairy Queen from 1974-1978.

Started employment with Amoco Production Company in Denver in 1978 as a Production Technologist, supporting a team of petroleum engineers until April of 1998, when I was transferred to the Durango Operations Center in SW Colorado.  Amoco and British Petroleum merged soon after my transfer and the company then became BP. Continued in my role as Production Technologist and also served as Durango’s contributions committee chairperson up until my retirement in June of 2015.  


Through my role in BP community relations, I worked with and became friends with many of the non-profit organizations in Durango.  I continue to volunteer with several of these organizations. I’ve been a member of the Durango Choral Society for the past 20 years and have served as a member of the Durango Lions Club for 7 years.  I’m also quite involved in my church. My other interests include music, mountains and motorcycles.  


I was introduced to hot-air and gas ballooning back in 2001 and have served as crew chief for several pilots over the years.  This role has been the greatest blessing of my life, allowing me to travel internationally and meet incredible people from all around the world.

Dave Smith

In 2005, Lauren attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas for a degree focused in art. Enjoying all the new opportunities for creative expression, she learned new mediums and tools, as well a deep history of the subject that helped to round out her love for the artistic realm. It was with an overzealous outlook that she earned a collective GPA above 3.75 and made the Dean's List. Halfway through this pursuit, she and her (now) husband found out they were expecting their first child. It was at this point she realized a different reason for her life, and Dorothy was born.  Maintaining the commitment to continue her education, Lauren graduated in 2011 with her BA in 3 Dimensional Art and a Minor in Studio Art. She once thought art was her passion but after welcoming their first child, they went on to have three more; Fred, Carrielynn and Leslie, and she now lives a life filled with love and purpose, and extends her commitment to the children of her community volunteering in after school programs. Lauren still finds time to live out her first love; taking on projects that range from handmade baby shower invitations, to charcoal portraits, to interior murals in a pediatric dentist office. Lauren loves her life and appreciates the journey she has made and the ever-evolving lessons of being a mother and solving problems creatively.

Lauren Farr

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