Nicole Johnson
Founder and Executive Director -

Hi, My name is Nicole Johnson. Together with Melissa Juliano, I set up the Community Treehouse in 2019. I felt Bayfield needed a place where families could connect with their community in a fun and relaxing way. 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 supporting our parents. 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. Bayfield has been my home for the last 17 years , where I live with my husband and my 12 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 these past two years. WE have had some challenges through the pandamic but I feel our mission has become more clear. We are all working together to strengthen our community, one family at a time!


Jamie van Houten 

Jamie has a passion for creating space for community and connection. So naturally, she was an excellent fit for the Treehouse when she moved here with her husband and four kids (ages 11,10,7,&4). Having first heard about the Treehouse when someone recommended they check out our support group for caregivers and families of children with special needs, she was quick to make friends and get involved - volunteering her time to help with events and fundraisers. You will often hear her say, “I wish I had the Treehouse when my older ones were little!”


Jamie grew up in Southern California but has moved and traveled a ton. She has lived in Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, Mexico, studied abroad in Germany, and visited her most favorite place of all, Italy. Traveling, non-profits, and living life on mission with her values and passions by bringing people together is what drives her. 


Many hats have been worn by Jamie; mom, being the most important. Others include event planner, banquet manager, care coordinator, merchandiser, office manager, baker, server, missions leader, and youth mentor. She loves to go big and is all about the details. Being well-rounded and having love, compassion, and an understanding heart that woos you is part of what makes her such a fantastic asset to the Community Treehouse.

Lynden was born and raised in Virginia, and found Durango in 2010. Lynden moved here with her then husband, 2 year old son, William, and baby girl on the way (Adilyn). She married her current husband, Bobby, in August of 2017 and they welcomed their son, Cash, in June 2018. Lynden attended Fort Lewis College where she studied accounting, but always knew this wasn’t her passion. In March 2021, Lynden and her family became members at the Community Treehouse where they have jumped in feet first. Lynden is not only a board member, but volunteers with childcare and manages the social media. Volunteering and spending free-time at The Treehouse has reminded Lynden of her love to connect, help and care for others.

Lynden Miele


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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.


Ashleigh Ewing

Renni and Larry Hogue 

Eileen Wasserbach

and Julie Goodman