Meet Our Elk Mountain Academy Staff
Mike Linderman, MA, LCPCClinical Director and Psychotherapist
I am married with three children and live in Montana. I have been working with troubled teens for over 20 years and specialize in psychology. Over the years I have developed a unique approach allowing me to achieve extraordinary success helping young ladies to turn their lives around. I have a unique blend of down-home honesty, straight-talk discipline, and pure intention. When I am not at Elk Mountain, I enjoy working on my ranch, taking time to watch my children in whatever sport they are in, and living my life to the fullest.
Cynthia NesteHead of Operations
I was born in Pflugerville, Texas, right near Austin. I am a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. Prior to joining the Elk Mountain team, I spent 26 years in North Carolina at the United States Army Special Operations Command Headquarters. My husband and I have 4 grown children, 3 grandchildren, two dogs and two cats. I love animals, woodworking (particularly chinking our log cabin), pottery, and spending time in the great outdoors, particular Montana’s special flavor of great outdoors. I am +5 committed to Elk Mountain, to the safety and security of your daughter, and to the 12 Rules.
Cyndi Gerstenberger, Registered Nurse, BSNHead of Medical Management
I have been working in the medical field since 1995; beginning my journey as a Medical Assistant, LPN, and now an RN BSN. I have worked in numerous medical environments, including Clinics, Women’s Health, Urology, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Home Health, the Medical/Surgical unit, OB, Occupational Health, and Infection Control. I have also taught two semesters of college for the Nursing Program at North Idaho College. I have been working with therapeutic programs for the past seven years and I have a great passion for the youth. I have raised four beautiful children who are now all grown. I love new adventures in the great outdoors, playing my guitar for the worship team at my local church, and participating in the dramas that are performed for the Clark Fork community. I also have a great passion for animals, art, writing music, and learning new things. Most important of all is my relationship with Jesus Christ. My love for children, teaching, music, and wildlife makes a perfect fit here at Elk Mountain.
Kjirsten Mercer, Registered Nurse, BSNSchool Nurse
I graduated from Noxon High School and went on to earn my RN, BSN from Montana Tech in Butte, Montana. I came back to my roots here in Noxon and married my high school sweetheart. My husband and I are raising four beautiful children in our hometown. I have worked in several nursing environments from Emergency Rooms to Obstetrics. I came over to Elk Mountain from the Bull River Clinic where I was both the nurse and the clinical supervisor. I absolutely love the outdoors, particularly hunting, archery, and playing sports (especially softball). Nursing has always been what I wanted to do, so fulfilling my passion within my very own community is a dream come true!
Amanda YoderHouse Mom
Hi, my name is Amanda. I was raised on a dairy farm in Michigan. I enjoy gardening, hiking, traveling overseas, and spending time with friends! I moved to Montana in 2009, and worked in a bakery for 3 1/2 years. I enjoy being with young people and being at Elk Mountain has been a fulfilling experience. I love to see the young ladies use what they learn here.
Kelly Thielbahr, E-RYTHealth and Wellness Coordinator
I was born in Sandpoint, Idaho skiing the slopes of Schweitzer and the waters of Lake Pend Oreille. I have a degree in Health Promotion and Education, with an emphasis in nutrition from the University of Utah. I have worked as a health and wellness coordinator for the American Cancer Society, WIC, Harvard Children’s Hospital, and Bob Dole’s Health and Wellness Expo. I am E-YRT certified as a Yoga educator and instructor and have recently taught at Gonzaga University. My husband and I were high school sweethearts and have been blessed with two beautiful children that are teenagers today. I am the most proud of my family. I am a big believer in the mind-body connection and the medicinal power of food. My favorite things to do are practice yoga, wake surfing with my kids, and traveling with my husband. In my spare time, I like to watch my kids playing sports and hearing their laughter around the dinner table. I enjoy connecting with the students at Elk Mountain and sharing my passions for health and wellness.
Jason W. ThielbahrElk Mountain
I was born in Santa Monica, California. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Occidental College where I was an All-American baseball player. I went on to earn my MBA from the University of California, San Diego, Rady School of Management. Prior to joining EMA, I worked for over 20+ years in the hotel industry, mostly in digital marketing, distribution and revenue management disciplines, with major brands such as Hilton, Starwood, IHG and Red Lion Hotels. My favorite things to do are read David McCullough biographies (Truman and 1776 are just must-reads), go boating with my wife (of course, she is the captain), coach baseball, watch my kids do anything, and travel anywhere with my wife. I absolutely love to travel. My favorite place on the planet is Hong Kong and I am dying to take my family there. I am a big believer in the power of Christ and my faith in His inspirational path of purpose for me. I start my morning with many Thankfuls and Gratefuls. I am the most proud of my wife and her ability to put up with me. I lean heavily on my ability to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off of the bus and the right people with a mission driven mindset in the right spots. In my spare time, I like to play with spreadsheets and see if I can single handedly make Microsoft Word obsolete. If you can do it in Excel, why would you ever need Word? I enjoy connecting with adolescents and sharing my optimism for life and the Truth.