The Whitefish Study Center has provided private tutoring, college counseling, and SAT/ACT test preparation services to students in the Flathead Valley since 2009.  We offer academic support from experienced tutors and teachers in all content areas, with qualifications for all ages, from elementary school through high school.


Kristen Pulsifer, Owner

Kristen has over twenty years experience in education.  She has been a high school English teacher, conducted outdoor education programs, and founded Whitefish Study Center. Kristen currently is owner and manager of Whitefish Study Center and part-time Academic Coordinator for Ridge Mountain Academy.  Kristen was born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and graduated high school from New Trier High School. After graduating college from the University of Colorado, Boulder, with a BA in English and a minor in music performance, she completed her professional licensure in secondary education.  She continued on to complete her Master of Arts in Humanities at Colorado College, in Colorado Springs. After ten years of teaching English at the high school level, Kristen made the move to Whitefish, MT.  Two beautiful daughters later, she made the choice to come back to education and opened Whitefish Study Center, taking all of her experiences with kids and education, and putting them into one wonderful place.  The center focuses on tutoring in all academic areas, SAT/ACT preparation, study and organizational skills, and general college counseling. Kristen is currently working on acquiring her reading endorsement, focusing on work with dyslexic students.  Kristen assists reading challenged students through the application of Orton Gillingham, 'Take Flight' curriculum. The Whitefish Study Center has been open and successful since 2009. Living in Montana has allowed Kristen to enjoy her family and thriving business, but also her horses and passion for the outdoors.

Elaine Steele,  Certified Elementary school educator and tutor

Elaine Steele is a Montana native, born and raised in West Glacier, graduate of Columbia Falls High School, and Carroll College. She has been a certified elementary teacher since 1979 to present. Her teaching experience began with three years at St. Thomas More School in Portland, Oregon. In 1982 she returned to Montana, teaching elementary grades for School District Six in Columbia Falls until retiring in 2014. Elaine is also experienced in test prep for middle school aged students planning to take the SSAT and or ISEE tests. She currently lives in Whitefish with her husband.  They have two grown sons.   She has been a wonderful asset to the Whitefish Study Center. 

M'Liss Heimbigner,   Certified Middle school teacher, academic tutor ,and Whitefish Study Center business assistant  

M’Liss is a certified teacher in Health and Physical Education, grades K-12.  She, along with her husband and three children, moved to Whitefish in August of 2016 from San Diego, CA.  They loved San Diego, but wanted a slower pace of life and the 4 seasons!  When her husband finished his commitment to the Navy, they decided to relocate to the Valley.  She brings a lot of experience from her time in California where she worked as a substitute teacher for five years in the Poway Unified public school system, teaching all grades and subjects K-12.  Before this, she tutored, coached, taught middle school PE and served as the Children’s Ministry Director for her church.  M’Liss holds academics in high regard and has always emphasized a strong work ethic upon her 3 children as well as her students.  Her hobbies include anything family, mountain biking, running, boating, hunting, teaching Bible class and traveling.  She is very excited for the opportunity to tutor for Whitefish Study Center and looks forward to helping her students thrive academically and build confidence in every area of their learning.

Randy Carspercken, Certified high school math teacher and experienced math tutor 

31 years ago after earning a newly minted pure mathematics Bachelor’s of Science with honors (which followed a “highest honors” Bachelor’s of Arts in,  Randy started his teaching career with 9 years at Whitefish High School. Randy recently ended his career with 9 years on Cape Cod where he and his wife helped start a unique “IB For All” school which continues to be a huge success (long wait lists despite opening a second campus.) Before Cape Cod he earned a Masters in statistics, physics and mathematics education at which point Randy launched overseas teaching in Micronesia, Turkey and Thailand. HIs 24 years of classroom work includes AP & IB with topics from pre-algebra to post-secondary calculus (2nd & 3rd year university calculus, statistics, complex modeling, 3D vector geometry...). Randy is a wonderful asset to the Whitefish Study Center. 

Whitefish Study Center is pleased to be working with Ridge Mountain Academy, to assist their students with their academic needs and goals.  While many students might seek out GAP year programs, such as the one offered by Ridge, to enjoy the challenging mountain sports curriculum the academy has to offer, many of these students also have a need to keep up with their school track as well. Ridge works diligently to keep each student on the appropriate academic track, while enjoying the mountain sports the Flathead Valley has to offer. Whitefish Study Center is working with Ridge to accommodate each student’s scholastic needs by providing for them an academic plan and support while attending Ridge.  

RIDGE Mountain Academy is a campus-based gap year enrichment program that revolves around mountain sports. Located in Whitefish, Montana, RIDGE is designed for male and female student athletes ages 17 to 20 that are interested in strengthening their training, forging new skills, and discovering their passions. A fusion of mountain sports, education, and life skills, the semester program prepares student athletes of all abilities—beginner to elite—to develop balance, purpose, and their true potential.