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.

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.

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!

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!

Nikita Collier

All-Star Director
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!

Coaches & Staff

Sydney Allred

All-Star Cheer Coach
Sydney has been apart of Young’s Gym/WFAS family for 12 years. She started on the Wolf Pups cheer team in 2009 and finished cheering in 2021 on Alpha Wolves. Her goal as a coach is to share the love she has for cheerleading and inspire the athletes!

Katie Christoff

All-Star Cheer Coach
Katie is an All-Star cheer coach and is coming to WFAS from NY via Greenville, NC. She has been in the All-Star cheer world for 10+ years and did collegiate cheer for 4 years. From 2020-2022 she was in Greenville, NC obtaining her masters degree at ECU and coaching at another All-Star cheer facility. Katie is grateful and excited for the experience to coach at WFAS!

Charlotte Chunn

Rec Class Teacher
Charlotte is a recreational class teacher and teaches Tiny Tots, Super Tots, Tumble 1 & 2, Girls 1 and Cheer & Tumble 1. She is a senior at Heritage High School and has cheered for 6 years in both middle and high school. Charlotte enjoys working with kids and is excited to have the opportunity to work at Young's!

Hannah Hall

Rec Class Teacher
Hannah is a recreational gymnastics teacher from Beulaville, NC where she was on her high school varsity cheer team all 4 years and coached gymnastics for a year before moving to Wake Forest in August 2022. She is currently a student at The College at Southeastern studying to get her MA in Christian Counseling.

Lindsey Hargesheimer

All-Star Cheer Coach
Lindsey has been coming to Young's Gym since the age of 3! She cheered for our competitive cheer program for 8 years and was on the Alpha Wolves team. Lindsey coached cheer and taught gymnastics for two years in high school before going off to college at the University of South Carolina. She is now back coaching cheer and substituting for our recreational classes and we are so happy to have her back!

Elle Levy

Rec Class Teacher
Elle is a recreational gymnastics class teacher. She teachers Girls 1 & 2 and Tumble 1, 2 & 3. 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!

Nate Mooney

Rec Class Teacher
Nate is a recreational class teacher and teaches Girls 1 & 2 and Tumble 2, 3, & 4. Nate started gymnastics classes when he was 4 years old. He grew up in Raleigh where he was a competitive gymnast for over 10 years. Nate has a passion for coaching gymnastics and tumbling, and loves helping students learn new skills! Nate still lives in Raleigh and is an Interior Design student at Wake Tech.

Makenzie Ray

All-Star Cheer Coach
Makenzie has cheered since she was very young but at Wake Forest All-Stars for 6 years. She also still cheers in college where she is studying biology! She is back at Young's coaching on multiple teams and also helping substitute our recreational classes. Makenzie grew up in Wake Forest and attended Wake Forest High School. She is happy to be back in the area and able to spread her love of cheer through coaching!

Erika Taimela

Rec Class Teacher
Erika is a rec class teacher and teaches Super Tots and Tumble 1. She is a former cheerleader at Young's Gym's Wake Forest All-Stars where she cheered for 4 years and also volunteers as a part of the Wonder Wolves Cheer Abilities Team. Erika is a freshman at Wake Forest High School and a fun fact about her is that she can speak Finnish!

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!

Meghan Rivera

Rec Class Teacher & Pre-Team Coach
Meghan teaches a number of our recreational gymnastics classes and is also a co-coach for our Pre-Team. Meghan is from upstate New York and moved to North Carolina in 2020 with her husband and two children. She grew up in her parents gymnastics/cheerleading gym where she was a level 9 gymnast and competitive cheerleader. She was 15 years old when she found her love for coaching recreational and competitive gymnastics. Meghan has always been active in the gymnastics/cheerleading community and looks forward to helping today's youth foster a love for gymnastics!

Chloe White

Substitute Teacher
Chloe is a substitute gymnastics teacher and summer camp counselor! She started gymnastics when she was 3 years old and competed competitively for 8 years. Chloe is now a sophomore and varsity track and cross country runner at Heritage High School. She is looking forward to teaching and sharing fun memories with students at Young’s Gym!

Kate Propst

Rec Class Teacher
Kate is a recreational gymnastics class teacher and summer camp counselor. She teaches Tiny Tots, Super Tots, Girls 1, Tumble 2 & 3, and Cheer & Tumble 1 & 2. 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).

Ashton Smith

Substitute Teacher
Ashton is a substitute teacher for our recreational gymnastics classes. 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.

Colby Young

Rec Class Teacher
Colby is a recreational class teacher and teaches Tumble 1 and Super Tots. He has lived in Wake Forest all of his life and has been a competitive gymnast since the third grade. Colby is currently a student at Wake Forest High School and is very excited to start teaching at the gym this year!

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