well established and here for you

The Team

service with a smile

Meet Our People

At Young’s, we make sure first and foremost that all of the staff we hire love teaching and working with children! We look for enthusiastic, energetic instructors! In addition to those qualities, most of our staff have a background in gymnastics and/or cheerleading. We also provide regular staff trainings in order to provide the best and most knowledgeable instructors possible for our students. Read below to learn more about our management and staff!

coaching today's youth as a way of life


take a closer look

Alan Young

Alan is a true Wake Forest native and a 1985 graduate of Wake Forest-Rolesville High School. He is one of few who can actually claim to have been born in the town of Wake Forest. Having grown up in the town, Alan realized the need for a quality facility that offered gymnastics instruction for children as there had been none when he was a child. After graduating from NC State University, Alan began his endeavor of opening a gymnastics and cheerleading school in the town during the fall of 1993. The doors opened for business on February 28, 1994 in the upstairs portion of what is now the Cotton Company in downtown Wake Forest. Since that time Young’s Gym has grown into what it is today: a stand alone 8,000 sq. ft air conditioned facility that houses the premier gymnastics and All-Star cheerleading program in the area.

Shannon Young

Shannon is a Durham native and former middle school teacher of six years. She and Alan met in 1991 while teaching summer cheerleading camps together at NC State University. She is a graduate of Western Carolina University where she was a Catamount cheerleader for three years. After cheering in college, Shannon spent three seasons cheering for the NFL’s Carolina Panthers as a member of their cheerleading squad, the Topcats. She began working at the gym at the end of 2001 and took over the day to day operations of the business office and began revamping the all-star cheerleading program, the Wake Forest All-Stars. Alan finally got smart and married her in May of 2003! Shannon is the heart and soul of the Wake Forest All-Star cheerleading program and prides herself on running a very successful and well organized program. She and Alan welcomed the birth of their twin boys, Colby and Brody, on April 30th, 2007 and their third son, Casey, was born on November 4, 2008! Team Young is quite busy now as you might would imagine!

Sam Shepherd

General Manager
Sam is the General Manager and Gymnastics Director at Young’s Gym. He teaches Girls 1 & 2 and Tumbling classes at Young’s and is also a coach for Young’s Gym’s Wake Forest All-Stars competitive cheerleading program. Sam has a passion for coaching and loves all things gymnastics, tumbling, and cheerleading. Sam was a competitive All-Star cheerleader for 10 years before starting his coaching career at Young’s Gym in 2012. From 2012-2016 Sam worked as a recreational gymnastics instructor and competitive cheerleading coach at Young’s before spending the next five years coaching competitive gymnastics at gyms in Virginia and North Carolina. Sam is a native of Albemarle, NC and now lives in the Raleigh area with his two dogs, Memphis and Murphy.

Lisa Pitzer

Office Manager
Lisa has been managing the business office of Young’s for more years than any of us can remember and is probably more recognizable to most of our clientele than either Alan or Shannon. You will most likely speak to her on the phone when you call. She has helped relieve Shannon of the every day duties of the business office. If you asked either Shannon or Alan who is the most vital employee in the organization, Lisa’s name would be the first one out of their mouths. Both of Lisa’s girls, Jordan and Jenna, cheered for the Wake Forest All-Stars and her family has been involved in the program for years, long before she began working in the office. Lisa is a vital part of the Wake Forest All-Star program!

Coaches & Staff

Sydney Allred

All-Star Cheer Coach
Bio Coming Soon!

Nikita Collier

All-Star Coach
Nikita joined the Wake Forest All-Stars family as a cheer coach in 2011. Although she’s a diehard Tarheel fan, her heart bleeds red, black, and white for the WFAS Wolfpack. She is passionate about mentoring young athletes through the sport she loves. She genuinely cares for each athlete’s wellbeing on and off the cheer mat. Nikita has two daughters that are her favorite girls in the entire world! Myleigh who cheers for WFAS and Marleigh who is the life of every party. Nikita is super excited to be a part of the WFAS program and is looking forward to many more years to come!

SaraAnn Golden

Rec Class Teacher
SaraAnn is a recreational gymnastics class teacher and teaches Tiny Tots and Super Tots. She is a senior at Wake Forest High School and is a member of Young’s Gym’s Wake Forest All-Stars competitive cheerleading program. SaraAnn has been cheering at WFAS for 7 seasons and is currently a member of Wild Wolves, the Senior Level 4 team. SaraAnn has been coming to Young’s Gym since she was a little girl and is excited to have the opportunity to teach the classes she once participated in!

Jessica Gott

Substitute Teacher
Jessica is a substitute instructor and a summer camp counselor. She is a senior and varsity cheerleader at Heritage High School. Jessica has been a part of the Young’s Gym family since was very young, having participated in gymnastics classes and as a 5-season veteran member of Wake Forest All-Stars. She is excited to be able to teach the classes that she once participated in as a student!

Elle Levy

Rec Class Teacher
Elle is a recreational gymnastics class teacher. She teachers Girls 1, Tumble 1 and Tumble 2. Elle started doing gymnastics when she was five years old and began competing around the age of eight for a total of seven years. She retired from gymnastics to be involved in other extracurriculars but missed the sport so much that she started coaching at Young’s Gym in the summer of 2021. She is looking forward to growing as a gymnastics teacher and having the opportunity to work with the students at Young’s!

Karsten Love

All-Star Cheer Coach
Karsten is a substitute gymnastics instructor and All-Star cheer coach for Young's Gym's Wake Forest All-Star cheerleading program. She has been a faithful instructor here at Young's for 7+ years and cheer coach for 6+ seasons. Karsten started her journey with Young's when she was 8 years old competing with WFAS and returned after high school as a staff member. She is now married and has one handsome little boy and two crazy pups at home.

Kelsey Perry

All-Star Cheer Coach
Kelsey is an All-Star cheer coach at Young's Gym's Wake Forest Allstars. She has always had a passion for cheerleading, spending 15+ years as a cheerleader, as well as a passion for coaching. Kelsey is also a graduate student in a clinical mental health counseling program. She has a true passion for helping people and coaching is also a part of that passion!

Kate Propst

Rec Class Teacher
Kate is a recreational gymnastics class teacher and summer camp counselor. She teaches Tiny Tots, Tumble 1, Girls 1 and Cheer & Tumble. She is a student at Franklin Academy High School and is a member of Young’s Gym’s Wake Forest All-Stars competitive cheerleading program. This is Kate’s 7th season cheering and is currently a member of Mystic Wolves (Junior Level 3) and Wild Wolves (Senior Level 4).

Lisa Woods

All-Star Cheer Coach
Lisa joined WFAS in 2016 and has been coaching competitively for over 20 years. The most rewarding part of coaching she says is "watching young athletes take the lessons of the mat and apply them to their daily lives." Lisa is married with 2 daughters, Kesley, 12, who cheers with us and Kaylin, 4, who just joined our Tumble Tot program. Lisa is grateful for the opportunity to work with your athlete and can't wait to see them succeed.

Alex Powell

All-Star Tumble Coach
Bio coming soon!

Ashton Smith

Rec Class Teacher
Ashton is a recreational gymnastics class teacher and teaches Tiny Tots, Super Tots, Tumbling Classes and Girls 1. Young’s has been home for Ashton since she started gymnastics in 2002. She also started competitive cheerleading at Young’s Gym in 2003 when the Wake Forest All-Stars program started. Ashton helped take WFAS to the Cheerleading Worlds three times before she retired from cheerleading in 2013. Since then she has remained a part of the Young’s family and has coached All-Stars as well as recreational classes. Ashton is a student at East Carolina University and is studying elementary school education. Her love for the Gym and passion for children has made her a part of the Young’s Young’s family forever.

Caroline Poulsen

Rec Class Teacher
Caroline is a recreational gymnastics class teacher and summer camp counselor and is a senior at Wake Forest High School. She teaches Tiny Tots, Super Tots, Tumble 1, and Cheer & Tumble. Caroline has been coming to Young’s Gym for gymnastics classes and birthday parties since she was a little girl. She is also a member of Young’s Gym’s Wake Forest All-Stars competitive cheerleading program. This year is her 7th season cheering at WFAS and she is a member of Alpha, the Senior Level 5 team!

Piper Walls

Substitute Teacher
Piper is a substitute gymnastics teacher and summer camp counselor. She is a sophomore and varsity cheerleader at Wakefield Highschool. Piper is also a former competitive cheerleader at Young’s Gym’s Wake Forest All-Stars. She loves reading and all things outdoors! Piper enjoys working with kids and is excited to have the opportunity to share the experiences and good memories Young Gym has to offer.

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