Instructor Profiles

Meet some of our instructors!

Schweitzer has an amazing crew of dedicated professionals who are here to help you learn (and continue learning) all about skiing and snowboarding! Here's a peak at some of our incredible team. To reserve a spot with one of them or any of our instructors please contact us with your request at or 800-831-8810 ext 2374.

Ursula Graef 

If "fun" and "learning" go together in your mind, then you will enjoy her coaching. Ursula has been a ski instructor for 20 years. She began teaching at Mammoth Mountain in California. The fall of 1991 was her first season at Schweitzer, and she is still here! She is very enthusiastic about continuing her learning so she can share it with you!!

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: Over 20 
  • Certification: Level 3 Alpine
  • Can teach: ski, telemark 
  • Specialty: all mountain adventure

Spencer Huender 

If it slides on snow, Spencer can teach it. All ages, all abilities, all disciplines. Not only is Spencer one of our most requested instructors for skiing he is also trained to handle adaptive skiing equipment. When Spencer isn’t teaching (which is a rare moment) you can find him charging down his favorite run, Stiles.

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: 15 
  • Certification: Former Level 2 Alpine & Level 1 Snowboard
  • Can teach: ski, snowboard, tele, cross country, adaptive
  • Specialty: adaptive bi-ski and outriggers

Larry Keister 

Larry Keister is one of our most sought after instructors from the more “mature” clientele. Larry will quickly have you mastering the skills needed to enjoy skiing. In a previous life he was a big wig in the military and now he works closely with our Nice Turns program, but with some advanced notice is also available for private lessons.

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: Over 25
  • Certification: Level 3 Alpine, Advanced Childrens Educator, Level 1 Cross Country, Senior Specialist
  • Can teach: ski, cross country
  • Specialty: adults, seniors

Susanne Grutzner 

Although Susanne claims to be a snowboarder we have spotted her occasionally on skis. Her teaching focus is to promote good riding skills and ultimately out ride the boys. In advanced lessons she likes to tear up K-Macs or cruise Cathedral on the backside. Oh, and good luck finding her on a powder day! We highly recommend reservations if Suzanne sounds like the perfect match.

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: 12 
  • Certification: Level 2 Snowboard, Level 1 Alpine, Level 1 Telemark, Freestyle 1
  • Can teach: snowboard, ski, Telemark
  • Specialty: Susanne can do it all.

Tom Bry 

Tom is an incredibly talented all mountain skier. If you are looking for the next step in your skiing skills, give Tom a chance to take you there. Steeps? Deeps? Pure Carve? Moguls? Racing? Powder? Yeah, he can help you with that. Tom's endless reserve of enthusiasm for mountain adventure will surely rub off on you.

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: Over 20
  • Certification: Former Level 3 Alpine & Level 1 Telemark
  • Can teach: ski
  • Specialty: taking experienced skiers to the next level

Tina Sundquist 

Tina is a very patient instructor. She knows how to have fun and put her guests at ease. She challenges her guests just enough for success while staying safe in the process. She is always about the needs of her guests and seeing that a good time was had by all. A very friendly ,fun and easy going spirit she has.

The Facts:

  • Years teaching: 30 
  • Certification: Alpine Level 2
  • Can teach: Alpine, XC, and Telemark
  • Specialty: Young children....timid and shy guests....women who want to be challenged safely.... returning guests from injury

Bob Stiger

Bob enjoys skiing and is grateful for the opportunity to share that love. All skiing is fun, both alpine and Nordic. Nordic is a wonderful way to stay in shape and provides an excellent opportunity to get "out-of-doors" in the winter months. That said, alpine skiing at Schweitzer Mountain is pure enjoyment & fun. Fresh corduroy is a blast, but for a real "e-ticket" nothing beats skiing off piste in the trees or on a steep run. Come see Bob where he loves to be... as long as it is on the mountain in the winter!

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 39
  • Disciplines: Alpine, XC skate, XC classic
  • Certifications: Apline Level 2, Nordic Level 1, Children's Specialist Level 2

Debra Rawuka

Debra has a deep love of all types of skiing.  You can find her rockin' the bumps on Heather's Run or gliding quietly out on the cross country ski trails.  She is a truly gifted women's instructor with a balance of enthusiasm and nurturing to help the client become the skier they've always wanted to be.  From beginner kids to expert adults, Debra can improve  the client's skiing ability while enabling them to enjoy the entire skiing experience.  Prior to coming to Schweitzer, she taught at several resorts including Heavenly Valley, California and Mt. Ashland, Oregon.  If you want to have fun and learn in a relaxed, friendly lesson, be sure to make a reservation with Debra. 

Kris Kingsland

Kris grew up in Sandpoint and joined the ski school in 1995, her love of skiing is infectious! She takes an upbeat active approach to ski instruction based on years of experience. Former PSIA –NW Divisional Clinician and Junior Education team member she is ready and able to help all skiers young and young at heart hone their skills to maximize fun!

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 20+
  • Certification: Professional Ski Instructors of America Alpine Level 3
  • Specialty: Upper level fun!

Kate Mansur

With a bright smile and cheerful encouragement, Kate Mansur is ready to help you improve your skiing or snowboarding. Kate is an experienced instructor specializing in children of all levels. Get your child off to a great start with proper skill development in a fun and safe environment. Or take their skiing or riding to the next level!  She is an experienced Adaptive Instructor for Aspergers and Autistic children and is ready to help your child have a successful day on snow. Kate habla español también!

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 7 
  • Disciplines: Alpine Ski and Snowboard
  • Certifications: Level 2 Alpine
  • Specialty: Children and Adaptive (Aspergers and Autism)

Pat Murphy

Skiing is something that everybody can enjoy; young, old, or somewhere in between. With proper coaching you can learn the joy of alpine skiing. I’d like to share my passion for skiing technically and laying down huge “Cadillac” turns anywhere on Schweitzer Mountain! I’ll put a smile on your face.

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 8
  • Disciplines: Alpine
  • Certifications: PSIA Alpine Level 2 and USSA Coach
  • Specialty: Technical skills, race training

Matt Smart

Matt has been Snowboarding since the late 80's although not very well at first, and skiing since he was 5. He likes to take that first timer and really get them turning well and also likes to take anyone to the next level regardless of their current level. He is also constantly trying to improve his own snowboarding to be a better teacher. In the summer he runs a horse ranch and guides trail rides for guest at Schweitzer.

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 8 
  • Disciplines: Alpine Ski and Snowboard
  • Certifications: Level 1 Alpine, Level 2 Snowboard
  • Specialty: I love working with fearful students or anyone looking to move up to the next level. I love to see my student take on a new challenge.

Rick Certano

Ricks says, "Every run is a different ride! Powder, trees, groomers, slicing & dicing!" He even enjoys Musical Chairs because it's a great place for a warm-up/tune-up!! The beauty of skiing is that no two days are ever alike! Snow, temperature, light & speed are all variables that require us to adjust! It's a fun challenge that's always there for you to enjoy!!

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 13 
  • Disciplines: Alpine 
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 3 
  • Specialty: Customer needs focus! 50 years in ski industry. Life long, from age 3, student of the sport!

Galen May

Galen grew up at Schweitzer so it was only right for her to start as a Junior Ski instructor at the age of 14! Since then she has only improved as an instructor. She enjoys teaching children to love the mountain and the amazing sport of skiing. She strives to make skiing fun and exciting while continuing to learn.

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 4 
  • Disciplines: Alpine, XC Classic
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 1 
  • Specialty: I am an energetic person who is great with kids!

Jim Nendel

Jim has coached skiing, football, and many other sports in both the US and internationally. He has a Ph.D. in kinesiology and is able to bring that discipline into practical movement on the mountain. He loves working with kids, and is actually still a kid at heart, but he has the ability to work with all ages of people. A former professional football player, he can take the lessons learned through competiting at the higest levels and use them to develop confidence and skill. 

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 22 
  • Disciplines: Alpine
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 2

Natalie Miller

Natalie grew up skiing the "frozen granular" slopes of Vermont; after discovering western powder in the 1980s, she's never looked back! A Schweitzer "regular" since 2001, Natalie decided to share her love of skiing by becoming an instructor. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned skier looking to improve your skills, Natalie can help. She will demystify the  technical aspects of skiing movements so that you can experience an "aha" moment. 

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 4
  • Disciplines: Alpine
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 2
  • Specialty: Beginners & Intermediates, all ages & genders

Charlie Wolff

Charlie is a Weekend Warrior teaching skiing most weekends through the winter at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. He can quickly hone in on your unique learning situation to create a fun, safe, and challenging learning situation. He takes pride in "Ah-ha" and "break-through" moments - leaving you more confident in your own ability and begging to ski more!

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 19
  • Disciplines: Alpine, Telemark, Snowboard
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 3, Telemark Level 3, Snowboard, Children's, and Freestyle Level 1
  • Specialty: He does it all! Alpine, Telemark, Snowboard, Children lessons and Freestyle

Roger Nicholson

Roger loves to challenge students to achieve their potential through small but progressive steps. He relates Snowsports movements and goals to common activities such as dancing, biking, and other physical movements. His students gain confidence and technical performance, then they get hooked and want to continue to improve.

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 28+
  • Disciplines: Alpine,  Snowboard
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 2, Snowboard Level 2, Senior Specialist Level 1
  • Specialty: Beginner adult snowboarders and skiers

Chris Hartman                               

Chris is an energetic, fun, patient instructor. He enjoys sharing his passion for snowsports and the mountains with anyone! Chris has been teaching for five years at Schweitzer and is a PSIA Alpine Level 2 Certified Instructor. Chris lives in Sandpoint and loves to ski! Chris shares his enthusiasm for skiing with anyone who wants to get hooked on snowsports! One of his greatest joys is to see the excitement in someone who has learned to ski. 

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 5
  • Disciplines: Alpine
  • Certifications: Alpine Level 2

Howard Child                                

Howard is one of our more experienced coaches and is here to help you become the skier YOU want to be. He works well with cautious beginners, offering gentle step-by-step learning, and with intermediates as they build skills and confidence, helping them to enjoy blue and moderate black trails. Or, if you want the quiet of the X-C track (skiing classic or skate) or the experience of exploring the alternative of telemark on the slopes -- he can guide you. Howard knows it only gets better, more invigorating and more FUN as you gain skills and experience! ​

The Facts: 

  • Years teaching: 42
  • Disciplines: Alpine, Telemark, Nordic Classic & Skate                        
  • Certifications: Alpine 3, Telemark 2, Nordic 1

To reserve a spot with any of our instructors please contact us with your request at or 800-831-8810 ext 2374.