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.


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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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HayleyHayley Chamberlin Skating Instructor
Hayley is a USFS Gold Medalist in Moves in the Field, and has passed through my Junior Freestyle test. She has six years of coaching experience, and has worked for various programs in Minnesota and Michigan. She recently graduated with a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and through her coursework became certified by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP). She is a member of the Professional Skaters’ Association and also holds a certification in CPR/First Aid/AED through the American Red Cross. In her free time, she enjoys reading, bowling, visiting new coffee shops, and traveling.


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Vanessa Gonzalez Skating Instructor 

Vanessa Gonzalez is a Junior at the Northfield High School. She has been skating with the Northfield Skating school since she was 7. This is Vanessa’s second year assistant coaching and loves spending time with the students and helping them improve. When she is not skating she enjoys art and listening to music.

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Kelly Gulbrandson
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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EmilyH2Emily Huang
Skating Instructor

Emily is a sophomore at Carleton College and plans to major 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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Charlotte Kuntz Skating Instructor

Charlotte has been skating for over ten years. She is currently a freshman 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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Elizabeth PennySkating Instructor

Liz is a senior at Northfield High School. She has been skating for seven years and began skating at NSS. After taking a group lessons for a few sessions, she began taking private lessons with NSS Director Carey Tinkelenberg. She trains year-round, skates in shows, and competes regionally. 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. Liz has also coached with the St. Paul Figure Skating Club Rising Stars Camps and Apple Valley Learn to Skate program. She has skated in workshops with national/international coaches including Audrey Weisiger and Drew Meekins. When she’s not skating she likes to hang out with her friends, read, and spend time outside.

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Julia BianchiniSkating Assistant

Julia is a junior at Northfield High School. She has been skating since she was four. Julia currently skates for the St. Paul Figure Skating Club and is part of the Minnesota Ice Theater. Julia has passed her intermediate moves in the field test and is working on her intermediate freeskate. Julia has been assisting at NSS for three years, she loves working and getting to know the new skaters. She is also a part of the high school swim team during the fall and part of the lacrosse team during the spring.


Sofiya BrigueneSkating Assistant

Sofiya is in eighth grade at Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis. She has been working with NSS director Carey Tinkelenberg for five years. She has passed her Pre-Juvenile Moves in the Field test. She competed at the Minnesota State Competition for the first time in August. She participates with Minnesota Ice Theater and is planning to travel to Alabama for nationals with the team next year. In her spare time she likes to shop, be with friends, and spend time with family.

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Emily NorthSkating Assistant

Emily is a sophomore at Northfield high school. She has been part of the Northfield Skating School since 2006 and has been assisting for 2 years. She loves working with the kids and seeing their skills on the ice grow every time they skate. When she is not skating, she enjoys playing sports, music, and drawing

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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!