Meet the Staff

Our coaching staff includes regional and national athletes as well as long-time recreational skaters from around the nation. Instructors are hired for their skill, enthusiasm, professionalism, and desire for ongoing development. All staff is professionally trained. Being an NSS coach means much more than teaching skating skills: It means being a role model, a team member, and having an active voice in our organization.

Our Core Values: QUALITY ~ COMMUNITY ~ COMMITMENT ~ LEADERSHIP ~ ENTHUSIASM

Our Team

Jump to bios:

    • Carey Tinkelenberg, Founding Owner/Director
    • Kelly Gulbrandson, Assistant Director, Skating Instructor
    • Sara Anderson Skating Instructor
    • Emily Huang Skating Instructor
    • Gabriella Moore, Skating Instructor
    • Kit Pavlekovsky, Skating Instructor
    • Elizabeth Penny, Skating Instructor
    • Anna Sheehan, Skating Instructor
    • Sasha Zerin, Skating Instructor
    • Charlotte Kuntz, Skating Assistant
    • Alicia Reuter, Skating Assistant
          Hear it from the coaches:

      NSS is my sanctuary, my home away from home, and my favorite part of the week. Let me tell you why. NSS connects me with kids of all ages, parents and families, other college students, Northfield businesses and resources and combines all into a unique and vibrant community. Coaching allows me to share my knowledge and love for skating while empowering the skaters to be leaders. Every Sunday afternoon is a new opportunity for the skaters´ energy to revitalize, renew and rejuvenate me.
      - Michaela McLaughlin, NSS Skating Instructor and Assistant Director 2006-2012

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Carey Tinkelenberg
Founding Owner
Executive Director
Head Coach

Carey is a U.S. Figure Skating Double Gold Medalist and a PSA Master Rated Coach and Program Director. Carey began skating in a USFS Basic Skills Program and trained with Olympic Committee Developmental Coaches of the Year Mark Mitchell and Peter Johansson, and with Kate Wilkins McManus at the Colonial Figure Skating Club and the Skating Club of Boston. She was the 2010 U.S. Adult National Silver Medalist in Masters Pairs with Peter Biver and the 1998 New England Regional Silver Medalist. She was also a national competitor with The Colonials synchronized skating team. Carey has taught competitive and recreational skaters ranging from beginner through Senior level skaters, including State Championships finalists, regional competitors, and international skaters. Carey holds a B.A. in Psychology from Carleton College. She writes articles about leadership and management for SKATING Magazine, Professional Skater Magazine, and RINK Magazine and she delivers presentations at national and international skating conferences as a consultant of U.S. Figure Skating and the Professional Skaters Association. She is a member of multiple U.S. Figure Skating governance committees and serves as a mentor to directors and author of training materials for the national governing body of skating. In addition to skating, Carey loves dance, yoga, cooking, writing, and traveling.

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Sara Anderson
Skating Instructor

Sara is a teacher at Bridgewater Elementary in Northfield. She teaches fifth grade Companeros. She began skating when she was six years old. She continued skating through college when she skated for UMD’s synchronized skating team. When she isn’t teaching or skating she enjoys being outdoors.

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EmilyH2Emily Huang
Skating Instructor

Emily is currently a sophomore at Carleton College and plans on majoring in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience. She grew up in southern California where she skated competitively from the age of 5. She was Southwest Pacific Regional Champion of pre-juvenile girls in 2005 at Cactus Classics in Arizona. After taking a break from figure skating to focus on academics, she recently found a passion for coaching while teaching her classmates how to skate at Carleton during her first “real winter” ever! Emily is a Student Wellness Advocate and focuses on promoting a balanced lifestyle with exercise, meditation, and nutrition. During her free time, she loves to do yoga, dance, read, play the violin, and travel!

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Kelly Gulbrandson
Assistant Director, Skating Instructor

Kelly started skating when she was 3 years old and joined the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club at the age of 6. She started competing when she was 7 and continued to skate and compete until graduating high school. While in high school she worked as an instructor for Albert Lea’s Learn to Skate program and assisted coaches for the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club. She took a break from figure skating while completing her Doctor of Pharmacy at Drake University in Des Moines, IA. She currently works as a Pharmacist at Hy-Vee Pharmacy in Faribault. Kelly is currently a member of the St. Paul Figure Skating Club and is working on her Adult U.S. Figure Skating tests.

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Kit Pavlekovsky
Skating Instructor

Kit is a junior at Carleton College. She has been skating since she was 5 years old. She skated as a member of the Starlights Synchronized Skating teams for 4 years. She has passed her Novice Moves in the Field test. This is Kit’s third year of teaching at Northfield; she also teaches at Carleton College. Kit is majoring in Chemistry. When she isn’t skating, she enjoys sailing, dancing, and working on theatre productions.

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Elizabeth Penny
Skating Instructor

Lizzy is 16 years old and a junior at Northfield High School. She has been skating for six
years and began with NSS. After taking a group lessons for a few sessions, she began adding private lessons with NSS Director Carey Tinkelenberg. She had the opportunity to join the St. Paul Figure Skating Club and has had the chance to compete, skate in shows, and take many different classes. Elizabeth is a USFS Regional Championships competitor and was a finalist at the 2013 Minnesota State Championships, placing within the top 15 skaters in her division in the state. When she’s not skating she likes to hang out with her friends, read, and spend time outside.

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Anna Sheehan
Skating Instructor

Anna Sheehan is a senior in high school attending the Northfield School of Arts and Technology. Anna started skating 5 years ago with the Northfield Skating School, and loves the physical, mental and artistic challenges that figure skating provides. Anna has enjoyed being given the opportunity to be an assistant coach during previous skating season, and loves working with the children and the other coaches.


Sasha Zerin
Skating Instructor

Sasha has been figure skating for 18 years. She has passed her Senior (Gold) Moves in the Field test and is currently working on her Junior Free Skate test. She has been a member of the Eagan Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club since 2003. Sasha has been teaching at the Eagan Skate School since 2006, and enjoys working with skaters of all ages and abilities. Sasha teaches off-ice conditioning classes for the Eagan Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club. She has also been a presenter
at several area skating camps and seminars, instructing primarily in off-ice conditioning and nutrition. Sasha is a student at the University of St. Thomas and expects to graduate in the Spring of 2013 with a degree in Health Promotion and a minor in Community Health Education. She also enjoys running, yoga, and spending time with her younger brother and sister on the ice.

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Charlotte Kuntz
Skating Assistant

Charlotte has been skating for over ten years. She is currently a freshmen at St. Olaf College and plans on majoring in Art Education. She loves working with people and seeing how they improve and love being on the ice. When she is not skating, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, or painting.

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Alicia Reuter
Skating Assistant

Alicia Reuter has loved figure skating for as long as she can remember, and held Tara Lipinski as her skating idol when she watched her win the Olympic gold medal in fourth grade. Alicia got back into figure skating with the Northfield Skating School after she graduated from St. Olaf. She now works at Planned Parenthood, and also plays bass clarinet in the Minnesota Symphonic Winds.

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Gabriella Moore
Skating Instructor

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Interested in joining our team? Contact Carey!

Interested in taking private lessons with one of our coaches? Contact Us to make a request!