Stem Tutoring Cindy Palmer director

“With my training focused on both

the educational and emotional well-being of adolescents, I offer a unique balance of both personal interaction and instructional assistance for students.”

Melvin Soetrisno math and science tutor

“My hope for my students is to

motivate learning by relating subject material to the real world. By showing that math and science topics can actually be exciting, engaging, and fun to learn, I hope to nurture a new perspective upon what is learned about in school.”

Rickie Terry math and science tutor

“My goal is to foster a student’s

natural curiosity. Previous tutoring experience has shown me that once a student becomes confident and inquisitive, no matter the subject, they will begin to excel.”


Rickie Terry math and science tutor

“I want to share my love of discovery

and science with as many people as I can. I want to remind students that math and science are skills that need to be practiced in order to improve, like strengthening a muscle.”


Rickie Terry math and science tutor

“My goal for each student is that

they would leave their high school careers with a deeper understanding of the content itself, how they learn that content, and who they are as persons.”


Rickie Terry math and science tutor

“My goal is to mentor students

through the difficulties of Mathematics. I want to teach them not only the skills they need to understand complex mathematical concepts, but the skills they need to succeed in life after high school.”


Rickie Terry math and science tutor

“My goal is to empower students

who feel intimidated by STEM and to nurture each student's unique ability to learn. I hope to show that all students have the potential to succeed in STEM through hard work and practice.”


Cindy Palmer

Director  |  email:


Cindy Palmer, M.A. established STEM Tutoring, LLC in 2014 after 20 years of personal experience working with high school and college age students in both educational and therapeutic settings. Cindy’s undergraduate education focused on the sciences (B.S. Microbiology, B.A. Biology, and a Chemistry minor). After obtaining her undergraduate training from the University of Miami, she began her career as the Freshmen Transition Coordinator in a highly at-risk school setting, a position that sparked her passion for helping students succeed both academically and emotionally.


Cindy acquired her teaching certificate, qualifying her to teach both Chemistry and Biology. After teaching for 5 years (2 years in Littleton, Colorado and 3 years in the Bellevue School District), Cindy obtained her Masters in Counseling from Seattle School of Psychology and Theology in 2004. She had a private practice as a Mental Health Counselor for adults and adolescents and began meeting with students for academic tutoring as well.


Cindy has now shifted her focus entirely to training and mentoring the tutors at STEM Tutoring. Her experience and expertise lie in the integration of teaching content and successfully navigating 1-on-1 relational settings, both essential to successful tutoring. Cindy works in developing strong tutors who are not only competent in their field of expertise, but also highly trained in how to effectively engage with students.


In 2017, Cindy moved from Bellevue to Bellingham with her husband and two daughters and now works with families in both locations. When she’s not training tutors or meeting with students, she enjoys any excuse to be outside, whether it’s to run a trail, play tennis, camp, or hike.




Melvin Soetrisno

Math & Science Tutor, Bellevue


Melvin graduated from the University of Washington in June of 2016 with a B.S. in Chemistry. He was accepted into the UW Academy which allowed his matriculation into UW at the age of 16. Melvin is currently pursuing a Master's in Education to further his career into teaching.


During his years at the UW, he was employed by the Center of Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (or CLUE), the largest tutoring center on the UW campus, as a chemistry tutor. Even as a chemistry tutor, Melvin could oftentimes be found aiding the math tutors who were overrun with students. During his summers, he was a TA for the Robinson Center’s Summer Stretch Chemistry program, an accelerated chemistry program for high schoolers.


Melvin’s experiences as a TA and a tutor have ignited his passion for teaching and mentoring. He most enjoys inspiring his students to find fascination in the relationship between the topics taught in the classroom and the phenomena of the real world.


In his free time, Melvin enjoys swimming, playing the piano, and playing video games. He is an avid player of the game, Super Smash Bros. Melee, and plays it at a semi-competitive level.



Ariana Kupai

Math & Science Tutor, Bellevue


Ariana will graduate from the University of Washington in June 2018 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. Currently, she is interested in the underlying mechanisms of disease and aging and intends to pursue this topic in graduate school next fall.


Ariana is also minoring in Education, Learning, and Society. Her first teaching experience was tutoring ESL at Seattle Central Community College. Throughout the quarter, she helped her student become increasingly adept in his new language.  Watching his newfound confidence develop inspired her to continue teaching. This past school year, she worked as a chemistry tutor for Student Athlete Academic Services at the University of Washington. Teaching her peers has taught her how to interpret material concisely and provide multiple angles of viewing a concept. With each new audience of students came a new perspective, and Ariana enjoyed the challenge of tailoring her tutoring to be most conducive to each student’s success. This upcoming fall, she will be tutoring inmates at the King County Jail to assist them in earning their GED. She believes everyone deserves to have a positive experience through education and aims to continue implementing this principle by becoming a biology professor.


Aside from classes, Ariana spends her time in lab at Seattle Children’s Research Institute studying developmental biology. She also enjoys playing the trombone, going running, and gardening.



Kay Ratcliff

Math & Science Tutor, Bellevue


Kay graduated in May of 2016 from Whitworth University with a B.S. in Physics and minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. She discovered her love of teaching while interning with Mobius Science Center in Spokane and has furthered her work in educating students while working at Pacific Science Center’s Summer Camps.  As a summer camp teacher, Kay developed strategies to help encourage campers to find new ways to look at problems in order to find creative solutions. She continues to work with family programs at the Science Center and is searching for possible career paths in education.


Kay has always had an interest in science. In her senior year of high school, Kay took AP Physics in order to fill her science requirement, and found she liked it enough to major in it in college. She enjoys the puzzle-like nature of physics and how it provides new ways to approach problems. Her love of learning led her to fill her extra time with the pursuit of minors in both Math and Computer Science.


In her free time, Kay loves to explore the abundance of hiking trails in the Puget Sound area. She also likes pointing out hidden math and science in all her hobbies, such as knitting and sewing.



Richie Terry

Math & Science Tutor, Bellevue


Richie graduated in May of 2013 with a B.A. in Biochemistry from Taylor University. He is currently in his final year as a graduate student at the Seattle School of Psychology and Theology working on his Masters in Counseling Psychology, and he hopes to continue working with high school students and adolescents after graduating. This combination of Master's level therapeutic training and a strong background in math and science has proven invaluable to his work with students, enabling Richie to address both academic and social concerns.


While in college, Richie was selected to work in the college Chemistry department as a laboratory teacher's assistant and also served as a tutorial leader for multiple college chemistry classes. In high school, Richie took three years of chemistry classes, including AP Chemistry, which has given him valuable up-to-date experience and insight into the high school science curriculum. He also has a strong background in mathematics, completing AP calculus (both AB and BC). While in college, Richie complemented his degree in Biochemistry with further courses in Calculus and Differential Equations.


As a tutor, he enjoys connecting with his students and firmly believes tutoring involves helping his students succeed both academically and relationally. Richie currently lives in Queen Anne with his wife Stefani, who is a kindergarten teacher.



Miranda Duim

Math Tutor, Bellingham


Miranda will graduate from Woodring College of Education at Western Washington University in March of 2019. Upon graduation, she will be certified to teach middle school and high school level mathematics.


Miranda was born and raised in Bellingham. After taking a few years off to travel, she decided to move back to her home town to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. As a future educator, she is passionate about instilling a love of mathematics to all youth as well as building strong relationships with her students.


She has interned at Whatcom Middle School and is currently involved in student teaching at Kulshan Middle School. She hopes to some day work at the high school where she herself graduated from, Bellingham High School. Being a Bellingham native, she is determined to making a difference in the lives of youth in the community, just as her teachers made an impact on her life.


When Miranda is not in school, she enjoys reading, baking and being crafty. In the summertime she enjoys being outside, hiking, camping and swimming.


Elsa Balton

Science & Math Tutor, Bellingham


Elsa graduated from Western Washington University in 2017 with B.S in Cell and Molecular Biology and a B.A. in Spanish. She currently works at WWU as a teaching assistant for a lab which studies protein folding pathways and their role in neurodegenerative disease. She also volunteers with North Cascades Institute teaching middle schoolers about snow science. Previously Elsa has worked as a medical scribe, and she hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the healthcare field.


Elsa discovered her passion for teaching during her time as an undergraduate TA in a biology class and over several summers working as a sailing instructor. She is always looking for ways to connect her love for science with her love for the outdoors, and this inspired her to incorporate marine science curriculum into her youth sailing programs and help other local sailing programs to institute the same curriculum. Above all, Elsa enjoys teaching because of the people it allows her to work with. She is constantly inspired by her students’ ability to see scientific concepts in a new light. As someone who felt intimidated by science and math in high school, Elsa believes that STEM education should be founded in positivity, inclusivity and real world connections. She also believes strongly in curiosity to facilitate learning and hopes to teach her students the value of questioning, especially in science.


In her free time, Elsa is outside as much as possible, enjoying the beautiful Pacific Northwest through sailing, skiing, running, or climbing.