Growing Years Staff

Adele Matthe Melnick- Director

I live in Basalt with my husband and two children ages 9 and 6 years. I was born and raised in South-Africa and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2001. I have been the Director for Growing Years in Basalt for 12 years. I have over 17 years of experience working in Early Childcare. I am currently involved with the Cradle to Career initiative through the Aspen Community Foundation, The Basalt Elementary School Accountability Committee, and the Basalt Childcare Coalition. I served on the board for the Roaring Fork Association for the Education of Young Children (RFAEYC). I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Studies with a minor in Early Childhood through Colorado State University, Fort Collins. The best part about my career is working with children, families and seeing how children learn and grow. During my spare time, I play tennis, enjoy camping, snowboarding, hiking and spending time with my family.

 Betty Morales- Toddler Teacher
 Elizabeth was born and raised in the State of Chihuahua Mexico.  She spent the majority of her childhood being raised by her grandparents.  Elizabeth moved the New Mexico when she was 15 years old.  After graduating and getting married, Elizabeth and her husband moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2004.  Elizabeth has worked in Early Childhood Education for 10 years.  When not working Elizabeth enjoys hiking, traveling and spending time with friends and family. 



Darion Gobert- Toddler Teacher

Darion Gobert was born and raised in Alaska and lived there just shy of 22 years.  She moved to Rhode Island with her boyfriend in the summer of 2015 then moved to Colorado in July of 2017.  She lives with her boyfriend and her dog Jasmine.

Darion loves getting outdoors, camping, road trips, photography and having fun!  She also really loves working with children, watching them grow and learning more each day.  That’s “so rewarding.  It’s one of my favorite things about working with children.”

She is looking forward to getting her degree in Early Childhood Education and working at Growing Years!


“It takes a big heart to teach little minds.”


Brigitte Buckingham is our Pre-K room teacher and has been with Growing Years since August, 2014.  Brigitte was born in Peiskretscham, Poland and grew up mostly in Germany until 2003 when she came to Colorado as an Au Pair.  She got her degree in Germany in Early Childhood Education and has always worked in this field.  She is married to Willis and has 2 children of her own, Hayden (9 years old) and Savannah (7 years old).  She also has 1 dog and 2 cats to keep her busy!  Her other interests include photography, skiing, hiking, dirt biking and spending time with her family.

She has always loved children and feels “it is a special gift to be around them.”  “I get to do things with them that I enjoy and help them grow and see changes in their lives

“While we try to teach our children about life, our children teach us what life is about.”

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