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Board Bios

Heather Houk, Board President  Email Heather

HealtherHeather and her family moved to Durango to start their own organic farm and become active in our local community. She comes to the board with a strong background in non-profit management, consensus decision making and restorative justice practices. With an undergraduate degree in agroecology and community development and a graduate degree in sustainability education Heather brings her passion for nature, education and team building to the table. A former adjunct faculty at Prescott College, volunteer coordinator for Habitat for Humanity and camp ranger for the Girl Scouts in Arizona, Heather has a wide breadth of experiences to share and is excited to be a partner with The Juniper School as she watches her own son thrive in this academic environment.

Adrian Tillery, Board Vice President  Email Adrian
R.J. Rieger, Board Treasurer  Email RJ
RJ moved to Durango in 2017 after being recruited by Bank of the San Juans where he is employed as the Senior Vice President/Commercial Lending Officer.  RJ comes to the board with a strong finance background holding his degree from Minnesota State University in Finance and Economics.  He has a strong back ground in finance management of not for profit companies and has served on numerous boards for an array of companies as well as creating a company specialized in small business revitalization and development.  RJ has a passion for the out doors and when he isn’t in his office or helping the school you can typically find him on the river or hiking in our beautiful community. 
Marcus Burtner, Board Secretary  Email Marcus
Melanie McKinney-Gonzales, Board Member
Melanie has been part of the Durango community since attending FLC in 1997.  She married into a Durango family and has been here ever since.  At FLC, where she attained a degree in Spanish, she was very active at the Environmental Center and helped to create their Waste Reduction program.  She completed a Master's degree in Public Administration while working in the Bayfield Town Hall administration.  From there, she moved on to the City of Durango's Recycling and Sustainability program for three years before shifting her focus to the education of her children.  She has been homeschooling her three boys since 2008 and has recently stepped back into community work.  She and her family love to travel, explore and play games.
Leah Roy-Ehri, Board Member Email Leah
Leah came to the board as a Juniper parent. She believes in the mission and vision of Juniper and wanted to do more to support the school, and public education options for our community. Leah has a background in health care, as a RN and Lactation Consultant, and has primarily worked with families from pregnancy through childhood. She has done considerable work in adult education, including teaching nursing at a community college, but the world of elementary education and the structure and governance of public charter schools has been a new and exciting learning opportunity for her. Leah now lives in Mancos with her husband, 2 kids and a flok of beautiful chickens. Leah is grateful to have this opportunity to work with her partner board members, fellow parents, 9-R leaders and supporters and, especially, the amazing Juniper staff.