Meet Our Team

Administration

Joyce Burke

Director of Marketing and Events

Joyce Burke

Director of Marketing and Events

Joyce Burke is delighted to be joining Ambassador Christian as the Director of Marketing and Events. After years of volunteering, she was on staff at The Community School of Davidson for 15 years overseeing development, communications, and events. Joyce began her career in entertainment with ten years at NBC in NYC and three years at Paramount before she took an extended leave to raise her two daughters.

“I’m excited to be surrounded by a team filled with integrity to help students build authentic relationships that withstand time and unabashedly teach truths and build knowledge. ACS is going to be a phenomenal high school!”

Ana Castellanos

Registrar

Ana Castellanos

Registrar

Ana is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina and has been living in the United States since 2002. She worked for 17 years in various corporate administrative roles where she developed a love for databases and spreadsheets! She took a 13 year hiatus from the working world to be a stay-at-home mom to her daughter, during which time she taught Spanish and was a substitute teacher at her daughter’s school. She restarted her career as a registrar for a local K-12 school and will now be moving into the same role at Ambassador.

“I’m so grateful and honored to be part of this new school where clearly God is going to make a great impact in our community and on our youth.”

Jay Cuttino

Controller

Jay Cuttino

Controller

Jay Cuttino is excited to join Ambassador Christian as Controller, leading Accounting and Finance. Jay joins Ambassador from Red Hat (a subsidiary of IBM), where he managed Accounting Consolidations. He has worked in KPMG’s audit function and is a registered CPA in the state of North Carolina. Jay has a bachelor’s degree from NC State in Accounting and a Master of Accountancy degree from UNC Charlotte.

When asked what excites Jay the most about joining Ambassador, he said: “I attended middle and high school a few miles south of Ambassador. I am thankful to have the opportunity to partner with what God is doing in my hometown. I look forward to giving back to the community that has invested so much in me.” 💜

In his spare time, Jay enjoys fly fishing in the Blue Ridge Mountains and hiking with his Australian Shepherd Cooper.

Zach Gautier

Head of School

Zach Gautier

Head of School

Dr. Gautier is coming to us from Valor Christian, a high school in Colorado, where he has served for 15 years in various high level administrative roles. Valor is one of the only private schools in the country to have earned the National Blue Ribbon Award twice and Dr. Gautier was instrumental in this accomplishment. 

Prior to Valor, Dr. Gautier taught in Plano, Texas at Jasper High School and was given the Time Warner Cable National Teaching Award in 2007.

He has been a classroom teacher, debate coach and administrator for 20 years. He is married to wife, Jen, who is an elementary teacher. Together, they have three kids including an incoming Ambassador junior.

Ben McDaniel

Director of Operations

Ben McDaniel

Director of Operations

Ben McDaniel is a farm boy who’s had the dirt knocked off along the way… He grew up on a family farm in Summerfield, NC where he learned to build things, grow things and sweat. He is thrilled to be joining Ambassador Christian as the Director of Operations where he will use his gifts to build things, grow things, and sweat once again. He is passionate about crafting spaces and environments where people can grow and become the person God created them to be. He will focus on the day-to-day systems, spaces, and people that will make Ambassador such a special and unique place to learn and grow.

Ben attended NC State where his favorite class was “Bees and Beekeeping”. In his major, he studied volunteer leadership and non-profit organizations. He met Jesus through the ministry of Young Life as a teenager and then became a Young Life leader for the next 20 years of his life.

After serving 13 years as Area Director of LKN Young Life, Ben has felt led to shift his focus from the front lines of relational ministry to a ministry of equipping where he will focus on setting up the school, teachers, and staff to have a deep impact in the lives of kids. He will bring his natural gifting and passion for teenagers into this new administrative role at Ambassador.

The great loves of his life are his family and Diet Mtn Dew. Even though Ben loves it the least, he has been in a committed relationship with Diet Mtn Dew the longest.

Jay Poag

Athletic Director & Head Football Coach

Jay Poag

Athletic Director & Head Football Coach

Ambassador Christian is pleased to introduce Jay Poag as our Athletic Director. Jay comes to ACS with over 30 years of coaching experience at both the college and high school level. A Davidson College 4 year football letterman (‘87), he has had coaching stops at NC State, Lenoir-Rhyne, Presbyterian College and Davidson. Most recently, he has been Dean of Students and Head Football Coach at Christian Heritage School in Dalton, GA where his teams have qualified for the state playoffs 5 years in a row. He was named the Georgia region ‘Coach of the Year’ in 2020 after leading his squad to an 11-1 record and the school’s first region championship.

“After previously spending 12 years in Lake Norman raising our family, what a blessing to be able to return to the area we absolutely love to help start such a unique school. Ambassador Christian is committed to pursuing excellence and to pointing students towards the Kingdom target! I couldn’t be more excited about joining the ACS team!”

Amy Poag

Director of Student Services

Amy Poag

Director of Student Services

Amy Poag is an accomplished education professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Amy has spent the last decade as the Director of College Advising and Student Life at Christian Heritage School. Her driving force is her commitment to Calling Prep. She firmly believes that each student possesses a unique “Divine Design” and that discovering and pursuing this design is the key to a fulfilling and purposeful life.

“I look forward to joining the Ambassador Christian team as a compassionate advocate for students, guiding them toward a future that aligns with their unique Kingdom purpose.”

Outside of her professional endeavors, Amy’s interests include hiking, yoga, gardening and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Jay, are proud parents to three wonderful children.

Alison Winters

Director of Student Life

Alison Winters

Director of Student Life

Alison Winters is excited to begin at Ambassador Christian School as the Director of Student Life. Alison is originally from Raleigh, NC and has spent the last decade in Charlotte. Alison graduated from UNCC with an education degree. She then went on Young Life Staff and for the past four years served as an Area Director with Young Life in Cabarrus County. Her role at Ambassador will be to build student culture, inject fun and spontaneity into the school day, and create opportunities for students to develop deep relationships and lasting memories.

Head Coaching Staff

Stephen Chaconas

Assistant Athletic Director + Boys Soccer

Stephen Chaconas

Assistant Athletic Director + Boys Soccer

Coach Chaconas is a former high school, college, and USL 2 player who has coached at the college level (NCAA Div III), professional level (USL W-League), and every club level.

As a coach, Stephen has won 3 State Titles, and a Regional Finalist. Most recently, he has turned around the Bradford Preparatory Varsity Soccer soccer program, taking the team from 0 wins in 2019, having never qualified to NCSHAA State Playoffs, to back to back 13 win seasons and a 4th round state playoff appearance. Along the way, Stephen won the NCHSAA 1A West ‘Coach of the Year’ award.

Stephen possesses two of the highest licenses in the US, the USSF Senior A License as well as the United Soccer Coaches Premier Diploma. Stephen specializes in college recruiting and is an educator and “teacher” at heart. Stephen is the current ECNL Boys Director of Coaching at CSA North and will remain in that role. He is also the owner and Head Trainer of F4 Soccer Training.

Married to Tara Reese Chaconas, father to three, owner of one big fluff ball known as Domino.

“We’re so very fortunate to have Coach Chaconas join us at Ambassador’, says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “He has been one of the top soccer coaches in our area for many years. His experience and passion for soccer will serve our student athletes well. You don’t have to be around Stephen for very long before you know he loves God and soccer with his whole heart. He’s going to build one of the top soccer programs around. It will be exciting to watch!”

Michael Connally

Softball

Michael Connally

Softball

Coach Connally hails from Miami, Florida, and is a graduate of Alan C. Pope High School in Marietta, Georgia. Since 2002, he has resided in the north Charlotte area, having graduated from UNC Charlotte and served as a teacher at North Meck High School and Hough High School. Michael transitioned to softball in 2017, initially serving as an Assistant Coach before assuming the role of Head Coach in 2021. Under his guidance, the softball program has clinched three consecutive conference championships (in 2022, 2023, and 2024) and made six appearances in the NCHSAA 4A playoffs. His coaching tenure has yielded notable achievements, including the development of an NFCA First-Team All-American, two NFCA All-Region Players, and two NCHSAA All-State Players, while numerous players have pursued college softball opportunities.

Milton Fleming

Tennis

Milton Fleming

Tennis

Coach Fleming has over 25 years of tennis teaching experience at the club, high school and collegiate levels. He served the tennis communities for many years in Alabama where his teams won multiple state championships at Vestavia Hills High (7A) and Mountain Brook High (6A). He served for 10 years as the Director of Tennis at the prestigious Gadsen Country Club. In 2017, Milton was named the ‘Alabama Tennis Professional of the Year’. He currently serves as a teaching pro at the River Run Country Club. Milton has a passion for developing junior players. Two of his core values are commitment and teamwork. He and his wife, Natalie, have been married for 21 years and have two sons, Wyatt and Cole, both competitive junior tennis players.

‘Coach Fleming comes to Ambassador as one of the most respected tennis coaches in the entire Southeast’, says Ambassador Athletic Director Jay Poag. ‘I’m so excited that our boys and girls tennis players are going to get to benefit from his instruction. He is a Christ follower that loves seeing his players develop their skill sets as well as their character. As we began to search for the perfect fit to lead our tennis program, there was an overwhelming response for us to pursue Coach Fleming. He’s going to do great things at Ambassador and it’s going to be exciting to watch’.

Hamilton Hewitt

Wrestling

Hamilton Hewitt

Wrestling

Coach Hewitt comes to Ambassador Christian as a rare 4 time state wrestling champion during his high school days at Southlake Christian. Renowned for mastering the armbar and headlock combination, he brings a wealth of experience to the Ambassador wrestling program. His career highlights include finishing #2 nationally in team points for his weight class. With a coaching record that includes multiple state champions, his focus extends beyond physical strength to mastering the subtleties of movement and balance. At Ambassador Christian, Coach Hewitt states that his mission will be to develop resilient athletes and foster a team spirit rooted in Christian values, preparing young men to excel both on the mat and in life.

“It’s exciting to announce Coach Hewitt as our Head Wrestling Coach,” says Ambassador Athletic Director, Jay Poag. “You can look all over the country and you won’t find very many 4 time state champions in any sport. His talent and experience will serve our wrestlers well and they will benefit under his tutelage. He brings an instant credibility to our program and he’s excited to build things in the correct manner. He is a man of faith that brings boundless energy into any room that he walks into. It’s going to be a joy to watch his wrestling team compete”.

Robyn Horner

Assistant Athletic Director + Girls Soccer

Robyn Horner

Assistant Athletic Director + Girls Soccer

Coach Horner joins the Ambassador family following a decorated coaching and playing career at nearly every level of women’s soccer. Spanning the better part of the past 2 decades, Robyn has worked as an administrator, director and mentor with over 17 years of coaching experience, 4 years of college senior athletics administrative and club director experience, and she currently coaches in the USL-W, women’s pre-professional soccer. She has played professionally in Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), and spent 8 seasons playing semi-professionally, of which 5 of those seasons she was named Conference GK Of The Year, and spent 6 as a team captain. She has spent time in both Sports Ministry with the Charlotte Lady Eagles as a player and a coach, and also as a ministry coordinator to the Executive Pastor and special events for Multiply Church Concord.

Robyn is most passionate about creating a positive, challenging environment where young athletes can perform creatively in confidence, feel at home, and enjoys helping athletes navigate the college recruiting experience with her vast network of contacts. She resides in Harrisburg, NC with her husband Paul and three children, Ben, Charlotte, and Sophie.

“There’s not many people around that have the experience that Coach Horner brings to our Girls Soccer program,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “She has played and coached at every level. She has the reputation as one of the top goalkeepers in the United States. We’re so fortunate to have her with us at Ambassador. Her passion for her players and her love for the Lord make her such a good fit to lead our program.”

Storm Kowalewski

Cheerleading

Storm Kowalewski

Cheerleading

Coach Storm joins the Ambassador family with over 25 years of high level cheer experience including the past 5 years in coaching positions. After a successful high school career, she cheered at Eastern Kentucky University, where she majored in Deaf Education. Storm has competed at the prestigious UCA Nationals competition in high school, as well as five times in college. She qualified for the finals each year and finished in the top 3 on two occasions. She was selected to serve on the UCA staff where she coached several high school squads in tumbling. After college, she moved to Atlanta where she coached at two class 7A high schools (Wheeler High School and Lassiter High School). During her time there, her squads qualified for post season events each year. Since moving to North Carolina in January of 2023, she has been an assistant coach at UNC Charlotte helping them to qualify for the UCA College Nationals. She also teaches classes and gives private lessons at Victory All Stars Cheer and Gymnastics Center in Concord.

Coach Storm resides in Concord with her husband Cameron, her 2-year-old daughter Everlie, and three fur babies Loki, Copper, and Bella. She currently is pursuing her Master’s degree in Deaf Education.

‘We’re so excited to announce Storm as our cheerleading coach’, says Ambassador Athletic Director Jay Poag. ‘Her experience at many levels will serve us well as we look to build a strong cheer culture. She has such a dynamic personality and once you meet her it’s easy to tell that she’s passionate about her family, Jesus and cheerleading. We’re glad that she’s a Lion!’

David Moore

Cross Country

David Moore

Cross Country

Coach Moore has been a dedicated runner for more than 40 years. He has completed over 75 ultra running events from 50K to 100 miles on both trail and road. He has completed 25 marathons with a lifetime personal record of 3 hours and 10 minutes. Coach Moore is a 6 time finisher of The Boston Marathon. He and his wife, Tamara, have been married for 36 years and they have a daughter, Gabby, who attended Washington and Lee University as a tennis student athlete.

‘I’ve been personal friends with David for almost twenty years’, says Ambassador Athletic Director Jay Poag. ‘I can confidently say that I’ve never met anyone in all of my travels that understands the running world like David does. His incredible running exploits and his mental toughness have always amazed me. His love for distance running and his love for Jesus will serve him well as our Cross Country coach. He makes running fun and I know our student athletes will love him leading our cross country teams.’

Jay Poag

Football

Jay Poag

Football

Coach Poag comes to Ambassador Christian after spending the last decade in Georgia at Christian Heritage School, where he accumulated the most wins in school history.. He has led his teams into the Georgia state high school playoffs for the past 6 years and has been named as a Georgia “Coach of the Year’ in both 2020 and 2023. A Davidson College graduate (‘86), Poag was a 4 year letterman for the Wildcats as a QB and Punter. Following his playing days, he spent over 20 years coaching in the collegiate ranks at North Carolina State University, Lenior-Rhyne University, Presbyterian College and Davidson College. The Poag’s were long time residents of Davidson before moving to Georgia and were very involved in the Lake Norman community.

Coach Poag loves to golf, fish and spend time with his family. He and his wife, Amy, reside in Huntersville. Amy also serves on the Ambassador staff as the Director of Admissions and Student Services. They are proud parents to Jamie Pack (husband Greyson), Brandon (wife Sarah), and Jacob (freshman at Wofford College).

Kennedy Ramsey

Girls Golf

Kennedy Ramsey

Girls Golf

Coach Ramsey is a native of Huntersville, graduating from North Meck High School in 2014. Kennedy began her golf journey as an assistant professional, while competing on several mini tour and section events in the Southeast over the last several years. As Kennedy pursued playing, she moved into a full-time teaching role and began studying the golf swing, understanding body movements, and has dedicated much of her time to honing her passion and craft for elite golf instruction for the past four years. Kennedy’s stable of players consists of several elite players who have competed and won many of the Carolinas tour pro events. Kennedy is currently a Teaching Professional at River Run Country Club in Davidson. Kennedy’s knowledge and certifications as a golf instructor will be a great asset to the Girl’s Golf program as she is TPI certified (Titleist Performance Institute) and an EQ certified mental coach. Kennedy looks to bring her passion, encouragement, and guidance to develop each player and be an Ambassador for Christ.

“Coach Ramsey needs no introduction to the Lake Norman golf world,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “Coming out of North Meck HIgh School, she has spent her career traveling the professional golf circuit. Our girls in our golf program will be able to learn so much from her. She has such a heart for Christ and a passion to guide her players. I’m excited to watch her build an elite golf program at Ambassador.”

David Ross

Boys Golf

David Ross

Boys Golf

Coach Ross is a lifetime member of the PGA with over 40 years of playing and teaching experience. David began his career as an assistant at Pine Tree Country Club in Kennesaw, GA. As a part-time assistant, David pursued a career as a touring professional, having success on various Mini Tours and PGA Section events. As a young aspiring professional, David began working with Davis Love Jr. Through Davis’s guidance and mentorship, David’s pursuit for playing shifted as he took on a new position as Director of Golf at Seabrook Island. Here, his passion for teaching flourished and his niche for player development began. Since then, David has given over 35,000 lessons in his career, coaching all skill levels from beginner to tour winners. David’s coaching has produced winners on several of the top tours in the world along with several number one ranked junior boys and girls, along with first team All-American college players. His passion to develop future golf stars fosters an environment that pushes him to pursue excellence while pushing others to realize their dreams of playing elite level golf. David is acknowledged by many of his students and peers as one of the top instructors in the Carolinas.

“Coach Ross has been ‘the man’ in the Lake Norman golf circles for a lot of years,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “There’s not much that he hasn’t seen or done in the golf world. He is a man of great faith that shares the Ambassador vision of ‘launching Ambassadors for Christ…” He’s one of the most respected golf instructors in the Southeast and we couldn’t be more proud to have him leading our Boys Golf program.”

Nathan Sharp

Baseball

Nathan Sharp

Baseball

Coach Sharp graduated from Southlake Christian Academy where he co-captained their team to the 2011 State Championship. As a pitcher and shortstop, Nathan was selected as the Lake Norman Player of the Year, 1st Team Charlotte Observer and All-State Teams; while receiving Southlake’s Christian Character, Heart & Hustle and Wendy’s Heisman Awards. Nathan graduated from Lynchburg College with a degree in Sports Management where he was a 2-year starter, led the team in RBI’s and had a .301 career batting average.

Nathan has been the owner & founder of Soaring Eagles Baseball Academy since 2012, where he currently leads camps, clinics, and lessons with a focus on FUNdamentals, faith, and character development; while encouraging a healthy, competitive spirit amongst his players. When not on the ballfield, Nathan enjoys fitness training, pickleball, golf, wakeboarding, and relaxing with friends. One of Nathan’s favorite life verses comes from Romans 5: 3-4, “We glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance develops character; and character leads to hope.”

“Coach Sharp is a well known personality in our area and has built a tremendous reputation for his quality instruction in his baseball academy over the past 12 years,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “His positive energy and love for Jesus are so evident whenever he engages with his players and their families. He’s the perfect person to be leading our baseball program.”

Lew Stephens

Sports Performance Coordinator + Track

Lew Stephens

Sports Performance Coordinator + Track

Coach Stephens joins Ambassador Christian after spending the past four years as the Head Strength/Speed and Head Track Coach at Concord High School. During those four years, he served on the North Carolina Advisory Board for the High School Strength and Conditioning Association, was the Strength and Conditioning PLC Chair for Cabarrus County, and was awarded the 2022 NC High School Strength and Conditioning Coach of the Year. Coach Stephens has had coaching stops at the Cannon School, Georgia College and State University, Greater Atlanta Christian School, Clemson University basketball, Athens Academy, and Prince Avenue Christian School. Coach Stephens has a Masters Degree in Health and Human Performance from Georgia College and State University and a Bachelors degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Georgia. He and his wife, Victoria, have been married for 5 years and welcomed their son Elijah last Spring.

“Coach Stephens steps into one of the most vital roles of our athletic program,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “I’ve always believed it’s one of the most important hires of an athletic program. I’m excited to have Coach Stephens join us to lead the efforts to make sure our student-athletes have the best opportunities to develop and improve. He’s a relational coach that motivates in the right manner. He is a Christ follower that is always pointing his players to the Kingdom target. His experience in strength and speed training will be invaluable to our program. We will also utilize Lew as our liaison to the nation’s largest Human Performance Lab, located at the Joe Gibbs Racing facility, that our athletes will be using regularly to improve their overall physical development.”

Scott Taylor

Boys Basketball

Scott Taylor

Boys Basketball

Scott Taylor concluded his 17 th year in college and high school basketball this season. The last 8 years have been spent at Myers Park High School in Charlotte, NC, where he led the Mustangs to the school’s first NCHSAA State Championship in boys basketball during the 2023 campaign. The past 2 seasons Myers Park has compiled a 55-7 record with a top 10 Max Preps national ranking, and an Elite Eight appearance to go along with a state championship. Overall, he has a record of 145-62 at Myers Park. Coach Taylor’s first head coaching position was at Providence High School from 2013-16. Prior to his experience in high school, Coach Taylor spent 6 years as an assistant coach at the Division 2 level at Carson-Newman University and Queens University of Charlotte. He is a 2004 graduate of Florida State University and holds a Masters of Educational Leadership from Carson-Newman.

“We couldn’t be more excited to announce Scott Taylor as our head men’s basketball coach”, says Ambassador Athletic Director Jay Poag.  “Coach Taylor is considered one of the top basketball coaches in the entire Southeast and is coming off of a phenomenal eight year stretch at Myers Park, the state’s largest public school.  His teams have been consistently good at the national level.  It was so obvious through this process that Coach Taylor was the right person to lead our basketball program.  His experience and successes are certainly easy to see, but it is his relational approach to his players and his love for the Lord that make him the perfect fit for Ambassador!  Coach Taylor will also serve as our Dean of Students.  We look forward to seeing him build our men’s basketball program into something really special!”

Jennifer Temple

Girls Basketball

Jennifer Temple

Girls Basketball

Coach Temple brings her experience and knowledge to the women’s basketball program at Ambassador Christian. She has 14 years coaching experience, nine years at the collegiate level, playing experience at the Div 1 level and overseas.

Throughout her college coaching career she has coached 2 All-Americans, 4 All-Freshmen and 19 All-Conference players.

In 2022, the coaching staff of 2010 including Temple was inducted into the Gannon University Hall of Fame for their historical year finishing 37-1, ranked #2 in the nation in the final 2010 USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches Poll, and most wins in a season in Div II history.

Since moving to Mooresville, NC she has been very active in the local recreational clubs, program director of LKN Lady Attack and has served as the Middle School Girls Basketball coach at Pine Lake Preparatory for the last two seasons.

Originally a native from Vancouver, Canada she was a four year starter at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC (2002-2006). While at Campbell she was an active member of FCA and SAAC committees.

Temple resides in Mooresville, NC with her husband Alex, and three daughters Isabelle (10), Norah (8) and Edith (5).

“Coach Temple brings a wealth of experience to our girls basketball program,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “She has played or coached at virtually every level across the nation. She’s been able to attract a huge following in her short time in this area. Her love for the game and her active faith make her such a good hire for us. We’re blessed to have her leading our Lady Lions basketball program.

Kim Vinson

Volleyball

Kim Vinson

Volleyball

Coach Vinson, is a standout figure in the world of volleyball. A former NAIA 1st & 2nd Team All-American at Taylor University, Kim’s achievements also include induction into the Taylor University Athletic Hall of Fame, Regional and Conference Player of the Year, and two time Female Athlete of the Year. She was inducted into the Oswego High School Athletic Hall of Fame, and was offered to play overseas after college.

Kim impacts the Charlotte area volleyball community through private lessons and has led her varsity teams to second and third place State Championships. Her coaching philosophy emphasizes pursuit of excellence, integrity, and discipline while building confidence and character in her players.

Though a true competitor, faith and family are her top priorities. She has been married to Kinyon Vinson for 20 years and they have 3 amazing children. Kim finds fulfillment in balancing her passion for volleyball with her role as a dedicated wife and mother.

“Coach Vinson has such a great volleyball following in our area,” says Athletic Director Jay Poag. “When we started looking for that perfect person to lead our volleyball program, every single finger pointed us to Coach Vinson. She’s a great motivator and her athletes follow her because they know that she loves both them and Jesus. She’s going to do great things at Ambassador.”