Big Bear Mountain Resort Leadership Positions Available!

Big Bear Mountain Resort, the premier Southern California destination, is currently looking for exemplary and capable leaders to join our management team for the ski and snowboard programs.  Our resort is comprised of two amazing mountains; Bear Mountain, known for mind-blowing amazing parks, and our family-friendly Snow Summit, with its wide-open groomers.  

We are currently hiring for supervising and managing positions, preferably with staff training experience.  If you are looking to step into a supervisory role, or take on a management position, please take a look at the hyperlink below for our available leadership opportunities.

Browse and apply online at:

Joshua L Spoelstra

Ski and Snowboard School
Big Bear Mountain Resort
Tel. 909 866-5766, Ext. 193

PSIA-W Education Foundation – where is the money going?

Katherine Hayes Rodriguez.

Hello Members, As your new President of the PSIA-W Education Foundation, I am excited to build on this amazing legacy of helping instructors. Twenty- three years ago, I had the privilege to work with Greg Felsch and Blaine Lomen to form and incorporate the Foundation. I am very excited about the potential of the Foundation to make a positive impact on the PSIA-AASI membership and our community.

Originally, as a PSIA-West Board of Directors, we were looking at ways to fund some new on-snow educational products (such as Children’s events) and printed materials (such as the Master Plan) without having to raise event or membership fees. Over the years, the Foundation has been able to successfully nurture these kinds of programs until they are able to financially stand on their own. Examples include Women’s Summit, the Fall Professional Development Day, and lately, training and projects that help our education staff deliver the best possible on-snow experiences to our members. We also support the membership through individual scholarships for education, accreditation, and multi-day immersion events.

Our current Education Foundation Board is committed to energizing the Foundation.

Our plan is two-fold:

Through a solid core of investments create a sustainable amount of money to take us into the future. Our cumulative fund balances are currently hovering near $200,000. We have benefited from individual donations, as well as a rise in the stock market.

Conscientiously fund worthwhile projects each season. Our target is to ‘give back’ to the membership roughly 10% of our accumulated reserves each season. The math is simple. The more money we have the more we can responsibly distribute back to the members of the PSIA-W

On tap for this year:

• Sponsor the Oct. 14 Professional Development Day

• Provide individual Scholarships for deserving members

• Assist with funding for staff uniforms

• Create a fund to help volunteer Adaptive Instructors re-coop costs of certification

• Spruce up our ‘brand’ with a Foundation pamphlet and signage

We would appreciate your consideration of making a charitable donation to Education Foundation. A donation will directly support your fellow PSIA-W members in their pursuit of professionalism and excellence.

Please join me in thanking my fellow Ed Foundation Board members who give selflessly to our organization:

Blaine Lomen, Vice-President
Artie Castro, Treasurer
Dave Sutherland, Secretary
Nick Treat, Director at Large

This July 30th marked the 20th anniversary of the tragedy in Thredbo, Australia. In the dark of night 2 buildings collapsed under a mud and snow slide, killing 18 people. Two of those wonderful people were my very great friends Mike and Mariam Sodergren. This particular year because the anniversary year ends with a zero we purposely have Mike and Mim in our thoughts even more often. I hope you do too.
– Barclay Moore

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Congratulations to our Lifetime Members!


Jorg Dutschke

Jorg Dutschke came to Alpine Meadows in the era where Werner Shuster was actively recruiting Austrian and French instructors. Born in Germany, Jorg was attending engineering school with Jurgen Wetzstein, Shuster’s brother and ski racing on their college circuit. Jorg was 25, and wanted to see the world, so thought he would give Alpine Meadows a try ‘for a season.’ Fifty years later he is still a fixture at Alpine Meadows.

Jorg’s highlights include working at Mt. Puller, Australia for 17 seasons as a year round instructor. He was Chief examiner for the Australian Ski Association for 3 years, and an Australian delegate to the 1983 Interski. His passion for rac- ing continued, many time a U. S. Masters winner in his age group. He helped start and ran a Master’s Race program at Alpine Meadows from 1988 to 2005. He was
a pace-setter for NASTAR races at Alpine Meadows, and put his electronic engi- neering background to good use helping with race timing.

He is a PSIA-AASI West Level 3 instructor. While Jorg has retired from in- struction, he is still a presence at Alpine, helping bus skiers to the Lodge.

Carol Levine

Carol’s career as an instructor and staff trainer has been a tour of some of the greatest resorts in the West: Sun Valley, Alta, Beaver Creek, and finally here at Squaw Valley. Her credentials include 8 seasons as a member of the PSIA Demo Team (1980-88) and Trainer/Examiner for PSIA-Northern Intermountain and Rocky Mountain. Carol also served as a Training Manager in Vail & Beaver Creek Snowsports Schools and holds a PSIA Level 3 certification and USSCA Coaches Level 2. Carol’s presence in Western Division has been greatly appreciated by our members at such events as Women’s Summit, and the Professional Development day.

Roger Engstrom

Roger’s snowsport career started on a lake in northern Minnesota. It was
the early 1960’s, he was water skiing when he met and impressed the owner of
the Minneapolis chapter of the Blizzard Ski Club. Working for the Club helped him improve his own skiing and learn how to teach others. While in college he taught nights at Buck Hill, a small Minnesota ski hill (Top elevation: 1,211 ft.; base elevation: 949 ft.) until 1979. Roger’s day job, computer engineering for a large international company, kept him busy, but his Full Cert (1967 in Central division) credential allowed him to keep teaching wherever his work schedule took him.
He spent a season at Stratton in Vermont, then 20 years at Hunter Mountain in New York. At Hunter he met and worked with Michael Rogan and Robin Barnes.
In 2001 he followed Michael and Robin west and began teaching at the Heavenly Ski School. One of his peak experiences in the industry was attending the PSIA National Academy at Grand Targhee. No matter what PSIA-AASI division he was part of, Roger has enjoyed the combination of friendships and ski training that the Association made possible.

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

West Goes East (Far East!)

by Doug Fagel

Our newest member school, Noyuki Academy

Hakuba Goryu Ski & Snowboard Resort, Japan.

The 2016-2017 season will be remembered as a win- ter full of ‘firsts’ for our resorts, schools and member- ship. One big first for the Western Division was bring- ing on our first international member school, Noyuki Academy at Hakuba Goryu Ski & Snowboard Resort in Japan. In December 2016 we operated our first interna- tional AASI Level 1 certification course, followed up with another course in April 2017. This brings the Western Division into the fold with a number of other Divisions of PSIA-AASI that are introducing PSIA-AASI standards to resorts and schools around the globe.

While there are other options for ski and snow- board instructor certification in Japan, the PSIA AASI teaching model and student centered approach is popular in the growing Asian Markets. Noyuki Acad- emy focuses on teaching Mandarin speaking students, and their instructors come from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and mainland China to teach for the winter season. The director of Noyuki Academy, Perry Moon, made the trip to our Spring Convention at Mammoth where he successfully completed his AASI Level 2 Ride and his PSIA AASI Freestyle Specialist Level 2. He looks forward to sitting his Level 2 Teach this season and has his sights on the Level 3 Certification for the following season.

We are locking down plans for another set of courses in Japan in December and March of this com- ing season with both Alpine and Snowboard Level 1 Certifications to be offered. We will be looking towards offering education events overseas for in the future. We are honored to work with Noyuki Academy and helping this talented group of instructors advance profession- ally. This opportunity also gives us in Western Division a chance to ramp up our own game, and explore new and fun ways to promote snow sports.

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Congratulations to the 2017 Nic Fiore Award Winner, Steve Evenson

‘Weavin’ Steven Evenson has been skiing Heavenly since 1956 (the year the California side opened), first as a junior racer for Blue Angels Ski Team. His first job as an instructor was at Kirkwood in 1976, then on to Squaw for 10 years, before settling back in at Heavenly for 25 years. Steve was fortunate enough to have Nick Fiore as one of his mentors in the ski business. “He would always call me “Stevie” even in my 40’s. When I asked him why, he said “you’ll always be a kid to me.” Weavns has been a fixture in PSIA-AASI Western Divi- sion, as a Board member and examiner and has himself had a huge impact on guests and instructors and the Tahoe ski scene. Congratulations Steve!

Weavin’ Steven.

The Fiore Award honors a hard working member who
has served the Division and the membership at a grassroots level. The award is named in honor of Nic Fiore, who passed away in 2009 and for over five decades dedicated himself to help Western Division become the organization it is today.

Any member is free to nominate an “unsung hero” for the Award. Submit a nomination letter to the PSIA/AASI West office, by Jan. 20,2018 (1,000 words or less please). The Heritage/Senior committee will review all submissions and announce the recipient of the Nic Fiore Award in the spring, in time for Convention.

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Education Events 2017-18

Earn your Credits;
Get ready for that Exam

Fall Rally, Dec. 10-11th at Mt. Rose
NorCal Rally, Jan. 21-22nd at Squaw
SoCal Rally, Jan. 28-29th, Snow Summit & Bear

Education Rally, March 18-19th at Mammoth

Here’s what to expect:

These events will help you improve your personal skiing, riding, teaching. Come prepared to have fun, hone your skills and receive updates on divisional and national material. Help yourself with a strong training program for the season to reach your goals.

Certification Prep Clinics:

  • Overview of the skills and knowledge required for all level exams, including materials and process updates.
  • On-hill teaching presentations, teaching methodol- ogy and movement analysis with personal feedback
  • Ins and outs of demos and tasks. What they are and

    how to perform them.

  • Personal and specific feedback on your performance in relation to the National Standards.

Education Improvement Clinics:

Education clinics will focus on Ski/Ride and Teach Improvement. You are guaranteed an amazing educa- tion experience and all mountain adventure no matter the snow conditions. All topics will include personalized coaching and feedback. Topics may include some of the following (weather and snow conditions permitting).

Snowboarders and Skier share the same patch.

Skiing/Riding Improvement:

• Skill development and tactics for steep and ad- vanced skiing/riding.

• Off-piste and bump skills.
• Tactics for the conditions of the day. • Maximizing efficiency and fun.

Teaching Improvement:

• New teaching ideas and tools, when and how to use them.

• Efficient teaching progressions.
• Improving your movement analysis.
• Understanding cause and effect and then devel-

oping a progression from those observations.


  • New ideas and tools to teaching children.
  • In depth discussions of child behavior and how to

    work with all ages, stages and attitudes.

  • How to work with parents’ behaviors effectively
  • Special needs children in groups.

    More details on each of these events can be found at the links at the top of this article for each one. Also find all our events on the calendar.

    This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Welcome our new Administrative Director, Kristi Prochazka

by Mitch Dion

It is with utmost pleasure that I pass the torch on to Kristi Prochazka, my co-worker these past nine years.

Things have changed from when I first started here 12 years ago. My days were filled with collecting stacks of registration forms from a fax machine, and typing credit numbers into a processing program. Hours of filing await- ed. Social media was barely on the radar, instead we produced three printed newsletters each season. These days we are nearly an ‘e-commerce’ business.




What has not changed is the basic mission of the organization. Kristi is perfectly positioned to take over day to day operations of the Association. She has a complete grasp of the Association’s business. Indeed she has made her- self into one of the top experts in the country in our Association Management Software. She is extremely efficient and professional, and a pleasure to work with.

We are also lucky to have Lynnea Anderson on board. Lynnea seemingly knows every person in the Association, and her knowledge of the on-snow processes and staffing have made her critically important to our Admin team.

I hope you can give Kristi and Lynnea the same support that you have always given me.

I will be helping out during this transitional time as Treasurer. I am grateful to the many fine individu- als who have served as my ‘bosses’ on the PSIA-AASI Board of Directors. Your dedication, consistently positive energy and spirit of volunteerism have mademy time here a joy.

Kristi’s Top 3 Priorities

  1. Know our Passion and stick to our goals.
  2. Build the respect, rapport, and the ambience amongst our Western Division that engages all our members.
  3. Create an environmentthat allows the next generation of snowsport instructors to be successful.

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Nordic Discipline News – Fall 2017

Our Fall Festival is all Cross Country this season. We are set for Dec. 9-10, 2017 at the Tahoe Donner XC Center, which is rapidly gaining renown as one of the top facilities in the Nation. Our plan is to welcome Guest Clinician Greg Rhodes, newly selected to the PSIA-AASI National Team for Cross Country. Registration of $ 80 per day will include your trail pass. We will offer Exam Prep for Level 1, and, if there is enough interest, Level 2&3. Start your skiing year off in a great way, with ski improvement, teaching improvement and fun with your fellow Nordic enthusiasts.

For our Telemark members, our Ed Staff is working on our Divisional Study Guide, to align with National Standard.

We will be offering Tele specific clinics and exam prep at NorCal Winter Session (including a Level 1 Prep), ‘Half and Half” Day and Spring Convention.

See the Calendar for a list of the Nordic calendar events and exams.

Certification offerings will be scheduled on an ‘as needed’ basis to provide maximum flexibility to fit ev- eryone’s schedule.

For Cross Country, please email your interest to

For Telemark, please email your interest to

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.

Children’s Discipline News – Fall 2017

Dan Ray, Children’s Chair

Children’s Lessons in our industry have never been more important. Across the Nation, there is recognition of the importance of the skills needed to teach children as being essential for any instructor. West, along with the other Divisions, will move toward requiring the

CS2 as a prerequisite for working on our Education staff, and is highly recommended for a Divisional Trainer. Our Accreditation events are offered conveniently through- out the season (see event calendar) and are the place to learn and grow as a Children’s Instructor.


Adaptive Discipline News – Fall 2017

Dan Stormer, Adaptive Chair

The Adaptive Committee has been working to align with the Alpine and Snowboard disciplines, in offering our members a two day L1 examination. As a result we will no longer offer the
In House validation program. This was a very difficult decision as this option worked well for a number of candidates. 

Ultimately the committee determined that a streamlined two day exam for all candidates will lead to a more consistent exam experience and a better product for our members, trainers and schools. To provide maximum flexibility, we will be offering a mix of calendar events, and more local ‘traveling’ examinations which can be added during the course of the year. We hope this system allows candidates to plan ahead, while still retaining some flexibility to change.

See the Calendar for a list of the Adaptive calendar exams.

We will work directly with any L3 candidates to set up an examination.

We are also adding an on-line pre-test requirement two weeks prior to your on mountain examination. This will allow us to reinforce knowledge that is needed for the certification, without cutting in to valuable on-snow time. Alpine and Snowboard have had great success in doing this and we want to build on that.

Adaptive Academy

Come experience the PSIA-AASI National Adaptive Academy (NAA), December 5-8, 2017, Breckinridge Ski Resort, CO. Programs are offered for all disciplines and levels and cover the latest in adapted ski and snowboard teaching methods. This is a chance to network with over 800 attendees from around the world, including instruc- tors, coaches, disabled participants, equipment vendors and expert consultants. Some of our Western stars will be working the event, including Bill Bowness, Josh Spoelstra and Katherine Hayes Rodriguez.

New this Year!

We have funding commitments for Adaptive specific certification scholarships. We recognize that many Adaptive instructors are volunteers.

The Ed Foundation will be accepting scholarship applications for your Level 1, 2 or 3 Adaptive exams. Can be submitted retroactively.

See the Ed Fund page of for more info.

Adaptive Committee changes

We have put in place a mentoring program and succession plan for our Adaptive Committee Chairs. A sitting Committee Chair will stay on for another year at the end of his/her term to work toward a successful transition.

Lastly, I will be leaving as Chair of the Adaptive Committee following November’s Ed Staff Training. It has been an exceptionally fulfilling two years. Stepping up will be Bill Bowness and Katherine Hayes Rodriguez to be co- chairs. These two have been leaders for many years. They are brilliant, hard-working and born leaders. Adaptive could not be in better hands.

This article appeared in print in our Fall Edge Newsletter in September 2017.