Bloom Hamner

Learn Who's Who

Faculty and Staff Directory


 

Teaching is in Jamie Auch’s blood, evidenced by his 15 years of work at Christ School.  

Mr. Auch is a third-generation independent school teacher, a Math instructor, and assistant coach with Greenie athletic teams. 

Mr. Auch earned a B.A. in Art History and minor in Mathematics from Washington & Lee University (Va.), making him the product of a single-sex education from middle school through college.

In his free time, Mr. Auch likes to camp, bike, and kayak. He is also a big fan of vintage Volkswagen vehicles. Mr. Auch and his wife Christina have two daughters, Casey and Emma.

James Ballantyne joins the faculty as a multi-disciplined educator with a motto perfect for Christ School: “I do not teach science, I teach young men.” 

Mr. Ballantyne will be responsible for Chemistry classes, but has also taught Biology, Physics, Algebra, and Engineering in his decade-plus career. No matter what the subject may be, Mr. Ballantyne keeps student inquiry, engagement, and humor at the heart of every lesson.  

He received his undergraduate degree in Biology from Southeastern Louisiana University and his master’s in teaching from Nicholls State University. A gifted athlete, Mr. Ballantyne owned and operated a wrestling academy for five years before leaning into teaching full-time. He taught at three different high schools. However, Christian Brothers High School in Memphis helped him zero in on the all-boys environment where he felt he could have the greatest impact.  

Christ School’s commitment to its Four Pillars, and in particular Spirituality, complement the work Mr. Ballantyne has done with Christian Brothers’ High Impact Christian Club, an organization associated with Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He looks forward to launching a similar club at Christ School, in additional to coaching in the Outdoor Program and serving as a part of a duty team. 

Mr. Ballantyne and his wife, Jill, have four children, James, Elijah, Mahri, and Selah. They plan to live nearby and fully take advantage of recreational opportunities afforded by the mountains of western North Carolina.  

William Ballenger comes to Christ School with a wealth of experience as a teacher, AP exam reader, coach, and houseparent.  

He will be a part of the History Department, Head of House in Young House, coach basketball, and guide backpackers in the Outdoor Program.    

Mr. Ballenger launched his boarding school career at Blue Ridge School (Va.) in the late 1990s where he crossed paths with longtime Christ School faculty member Jamie Auch.  

He and his wife, Kristin, most recently lived five transformative years overseas in Jordan, where he chaired a department and shepherded aspiring, young teachers as Director of Teaching Fellows at King’s Academy.  

Mr. Ballenger’s favorite fictional character is Indiana Jones and he has lived out his own share of adventures, including thru-hikes of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Camino de Santiago trails, as well as two complete coast-to-coast bicycle treks. He is a believer in the educational value of travel, bringing history alive for students by integrating his personal, globetrotting experiences at historic sites in over 50 countries across five continents. Mr. Ballenger has been recognized several times with teaching and leadership accolades.  

Mr. Ballenger is a boarding school alumnus (The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey) who graduated with honors in History from Alma College, later going on to get his master’s degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Virginia. 

Mr. Ballenger and Kristin are both major animal lovers and thrilled to live in Young House.  

Christ School students from 2010 to 2018 will be delighted to hear that Marshall Baltazar has rejoined the World Languages Department to teach Spanish.  

During his Christ School tenure, Mr. Baltazar drew from more than 30 years of teaching experience in public and private schools in North Carolina and the Chicago area.  In addition to sharing his love of Spanish language and culture with his classes, Mr. Baltazar launched and coordinated a distinctive, three-week study abroad program for Christ School students at Colegio Delibes in Salamanca, Spain. When Mr. Baltazar retired (temporarily) in 2018, the Angelus yearbook was dedicated to him. 

Sawyer Duhaime ‘18 read this tribute to Mr. Baltazar during an end-of-year assembly:    

"This beloved faculty member has lived in three different countries and worked as a hotel manager, a tightrope and trapeze artist, a clown, and an acrobat. He earned a master’s degree in Urban Teaching and won a dance contest on the 1970s TV show, ‘Soul Train.’ Since 2010, he has been an integral member of this community, teaching Spanish, directing plays, and leading trips to Spain. This kind, wise sage claims that his heart is a potato, though everyone who knows him would say it is a heart of gold. So, in an effort to keep this dedication short and sweet, just like our dear señor, the senior class dedicate the 2018 Angelus to Señor Baltazar." 

Kathy Belk has fulfilled a number of roles throughout two decades in Christ School’s Advancement Office: Office Manager, Annual Fund Coordinator, Constituent Relations and Special Events Coordinator, and Advancement Services Coordinator. She now serves as Director of the Christ School Fund. 

Ms. Belk received her B.S. in Accounting as well as a B.S. in Business Administration in Management from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte in 1997.

In the past, she has devoted her time outside of Christ School to being Co-Leader for the Girls Scouts Troop 30437 out of Hendersonville, N.C. She also enjoys camping, working in her yard, and spending time with her dogs. Ms. Belk has one daughter, Jennifer.

Sarah Benton has advocated and worked for the betterment of students throughout her young career. She is ready to pour that same energy into Christ School as Assistant Director of Advancement.

Ms. Benton is from Auburn, Ala., and received her B.S. in Apparel Merchandising, Production, and Design from Auburn University. She assisted her peers as an undergraduate and graduate through academic advising and new student orientation before going on to complete her master’s in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina in 2022.

While in Columbia, S.C., Sarah served as an advisor to students pursuing Graduation with Leadership Distinction, instructed courses, and oversaw the Gamecock Food Pantry.

Ms. Benton likes to spend her free time traveling with friends, taking Pure Barre classes, and spending time with her fiancé, Christ School alumnus Mason Blevins ‘16.

“Traveling often on two wheels” is a pastime for Kirk Blackard and he means it. The Director of College Guidance has cycled more than 4,000 miles to colleges in 26 different states during his 19 years at Christ School. Mr. Blackard, in turn, imparts the knowledge he gains onto Christ School families looking to find a college destination for their son.

Mr. Blackard has been involved in college admissions and college counseling since 1991. A graduate of St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, Va., Mr. Blackard received his B.A. from Wake Forest University in 1989 and an M.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1995.

When he is not pedaling away on his bike, Mr. Blackard’s interests include basketball, tennis, and cooking.

Learn more about College Guidance

Jesse Breite came to Christ School in 2020 from the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, bringing with him more than 16 years of experience from teaching many varieties of high school English courses in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Chicago. Mr. Breite has also coached basketball every year he has taught. 

He attended Concordia University in Chicago and then received his M.A. in English from Middlebury College. Mr. Breite's hobbies include poetry-reading and writing, working out, enjoying the outdoors, and partaking in many forms of American art and culture. 

His poetry has been published in various magazines and journals, including Rhino, Prairie Schooner, and Crab Orchard Review, along with Best Practice pieces in EdWeek. Mr. Breite has also written libretto for three of Atlanta composer Michael Kurth's scores, including Kurth's "Miserere," performed by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in 2019.

Mr. Breite and his wife, Emily, have two children, Deacon and Vivienne.

Jameel Brenneman is a jack-of-all-trades and has gotten a chance to show that versatility in his time at Christ School. Mr. Brenneman joined the faculty in 2018 as an English and Arabic instructor. He has also coached soccer, tennis, and assisted with the Christ School Broadcast Network (CSBN).

Mr. Brenneman graduated in 2012 from Indiana’s Huntington University with a degree in broadcasting before getting a master's in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan four years later. His interest in the Middle East stems from the fact that his mother’s side of the family is from Palestine.

Mr. Brenneman’s introduction to boarding school came with two years at The Stony Brook School in Long Island. He also wore many hats there, including teacher, coach, and dorm parent.

Mr. Brenneman was excited to move to North Carolina, in large part because he is a big fan of barbecue, so much so that he and his brother took a 10-day culinary road trip across North Carolina and South Carolina during the summer of 2018. His other interests include sports, music, and crossword puzzles. 

Antonio Britto spent much of his childhood frolicking in the sand and surf of North Carolina beaches. So he was pleased to return to the Tar Heel state and join Christ School's English Department in 2019. 

Mr. Britto teaches World Literature, is an assistant coach for football, and a dorm parent.

Mr. Britto graduated from Virginia Tech in December 2018 with a B.A in Literature and Creative Writing. While in college, he completed an internship at Blacksburg (Va.) High School, where he assisted AP English and Creative Writing classes. After graduating, Mr. Britto worked as an assistant JV baseball coach and substitute teacher at Collegiate School in Richmond.

In his free time, Mr. Britto enjoys reading, writing, playing disc golf, hiking, and cooking Italian food.

No one knows Christ School soccer better than Guy Campbell ’00.  

He has been involved with the program as a coach or player for 16 years now, striving to give every Greenie the same positive experience that he had, on and off the field.  

Mr. Campbell is not only proud of the past, but excited about what the future holds as Christ School’s Soccer Program Director and Varsity Head Coach.  

Mr. Campbell has won 121 games and four Carolinas Athletic Association championships as a head coach at Christ School. Seven of his teams have reached the NCISAA state playoffs, 18 players have been named all-state, and five continued their careers in college. Outside the high school season, Mr. Campbell has coached with the Asheville City Soccer Club since 2019. He was an assistant for the men’s USL League Two team this year.  

Mr. Campbell’s longtime support for Christ School in general was recognized last year at Alumni Weekend when he received the Bill Sewell ’57 Service and Loyalty Award.   

He is Vice President, Owner, and Partner of Carolina Colortones, a local building supply company that specializes in pre-finished materials. Mr. Campbell received his B.S. in Political Science from Presbyterian College in 2004.  

Mr. Campbell and his wife, Erica, are parents to Bradley ‘24 and Wyatt ‘26.  

Music has always been essential to the education and development of boys at Christ School. St. Joseph’s Chapel comes alive each year with notes sang or played by Greenies.

This tradition spoke to James Cassarino, who has been Organist, Choirmaster, and Chair of the Fine Arts Department since 2019. Mr. Cassarino recently completed a 20-year tenure as Professor of Music and Music Department Chair at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont.

While at Green Mountain College, Mr. Cassarino helped create and oversee a vibrant program that included course work in music and performing opportunities in both instrumental and choral ensembles. He also served as Music Director and Organist for Trinity Episcopal Church in Rutland, Vt. Mr. Cassarino previously filled those same roles for St. Mary’s Church in Newport, R.I., as well. His educational background includes degrees in music and in theology from Castleton (Vt.) University, Ball State University, St. John’s University, and the University of Wales.

Steve Chester attended high school in the mountains of western North Carolina and can draw upon more than a decade of teaching experience with his History students. He specializes in American, classical, and modern European history.

Mr. Chester previously worked at schools in Georgia, South Carolina, and Pennsylvania. He was most recently Assistant Middle School Director at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Ga. In his career, Mr. Chester has coached six different sports as well as assisted or directed a wide variety of camps and clubs.

Mr. Chester graduated from Avery County High School before going on to receive his B.A. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and his master's from the University of Pennsylvania.  

Reaching others through a visual medium has always appealed to Chris Childers. 

In his role as Christ School's Video Production Specialist, Mr. Childers produces video pieces for the Communications Department, handles technical elements of school gatherings, and oversees the student-run Christ School Broadcast Network.   

Mr. Childers is an award-winning filmmaker of digital shorts and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Carolina University in 2019 with a degree in film and television production. From there, Mr. Childers worked as an administrative assistant at Link Horne Middle School in Lynchburg, Va., and then as a news photographer and editor at ABC 13 WSET-TV in Virginia.

Mr. Childers enjoys hiking and camping for hobbies as well as being a massive fan of the Carolina Hurricanes and Carolina Panthers.

Benjie Colberg has endeared himself to the boys through a variety of roles in two stints at Christ School. 

He will be Special Assistant to the Head of School and Dean of Campus Life starting with the 2022-23 academic year. 

Previously, Mr. Colberg had been Dean of Residential Life, Varsity Lacrosse head coach, Assistant Director of Admission, a dorm parent and Head of House, Form Advisor, and Faculty Advisor to the Honor Council. 

Mr. Colberg received a B.A. in Economics from Denison University in 2015. There, he was part of three conference-championship lacrosse teams, two of which reached the NCAA quarterfinals. Mr. Colberg captained the team his senior year.

After three years of work here at Christ School, Mr. Colberg left in 2018 to take part in The Fellows Program, a nine-month leadership development and vocational discernment program through Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Va. He earned his Masters degree in Education from the Vanderbilt Peabody School of Education in the summer of 2021.

Mr. Colberg likes to travel to visit friends and family, any competitive game, reading, watching University of Virginia basketball and the Washington Commanders, and photography. Mr. Colberg considers "The Lord of the Rings" to be the greatest movie trilogy of all-time. 

Matthew Cole grew up in the greater Boston area and comes from a family of educators. Being a firm believer in the value of a boarding school education has served him well as a Science instructor and houseparent at Christ School.

Teaching is truly in Mr. Cole’s blood. One of his grandfathers taught Mathematics at The Episcopal Academy in Philadelphia, the other was a college professor at two schools in Massachusetts – Northeastern University and Bentley University.

Many of his extended family have followed similar paths. As a teenager, Mr. Cole said he had a profound boarding school experience at New Hampton School in New Hampshire.

Mr. Cole graduated from Union College (N.Y.) in 2019 with a degree in Geology.

He spent much of his free time volunteering for multiple organizations throughout the city, which led to him being awarded a Minerva Fellowship by Union. This fellowship is given to a select group of graduating seniors to partner with non-profit organizations in the global south. He worked with The Samburu Project to help drill water wells for local populations in Samburu County, Kenya, where he lived for nearly a year.

Mr. Cole is an avid outdoorsman, having grown up backpacking and camping in the White Mountains and is excited to see what the mountains of western North Carolina have in store for him. He also enjoys baseball and basketball, as well as playing the drums. 

Christ School basketball experienced a renaissance in Josh Coley's first year and the coach now looks forward to sharing his winning philosophies with all Greenie student-athletes and coaches as Athletic Director. 

Under Mr. Coley, the Greenies won 16 varsity basketball games last winter (13 more than the year before) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the NCISAA state playoffs. 

Before arriving at Christ School in 2021, Mr. Coley had nine years of coaching experience from Charlotte area high schools Garinger, Carmel Christian, and most recently United Faith Christian Academy, where he directed the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association program to a 94-28 overall record with four conference championships as well as a state finals appearance and two trips to the NCISAA semifinal round. During his time at United Faith, Mr. Coley served as athletic director, where he was responsible for managing budgets and staff, as well as enforcing state association rules. More than 20 student athletes at United Faith signed basketball scholarships with Division I or Division II colleges during his time as Athletic Director.

Mr. Coley has coached or played professional basketball in three leagues - the NBDL, American Basketball Association, and United States Continental Basketball League. He was a point guard for two pro teams in the Raleigh/Durham area (the Carolina Jaguars and Cary Invasion) from 2010 to 2012.

Mr. Coley graduated from N.C. Central University’s Turner School of Law in 2012 with his M.B.A./J.D. after receiving a B.A. in Communication Studies from UNC Greensboro in 2008.

Mark Crawford returned home to western North Carolina from active duty with the 82nd Airborne Division in the 1990s, starting a long career in education. He became an AP U.S. Government and Politics instructor at Christ School in 2019. 

Mr. Crawford taught various Political Science courses for the 11 years at Western Carolina University, and prior to that was a full-time substitute teacher in the Buncombe County Schools system for 13 academic years. He is a West Point graduate who served for a little over a decade as an officer in the U.S. Army. Mr. Crawford was a Ranger, paratrooper, and Jumpmaster who was deployed for the Gulf War in 1990. Upon returning home, he initially worked in construction, and then real estate while substitute teaching. He has served a brief stint in the N.C. House of Representatives and been Administrator of the Swannanoa Valley Medical Center. 

Mr. Crawford likes to keep it simple when it comes to his hobbies: reading and chess. 

Sports have opened many doors for Chris Daller, who will help the boys balance academics and athletics in their own lives, too.

Mr. Daller is a new addition to the Christ School Math Department and Athletic Department – he taught and coached basketball and football the past seven years at Christian Brothers High School in Memphis.

Mr. Daller was a 4.0 student while pursuing a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Liberty University. He had the same grade-point average at Central Michigan University, where he earned his master’s in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on supervision. Mr. Daller graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics and minor in English Literature from Aquinas College in 2015.

Mr. Daller is engaged to Jenna, an immigration lawyer, and the couple share a love for animals.

Patrick Dansdill earned the “Most Respected” award from his Wheaton College (Ill.) football coaches and teammates in 2013 and they were onto something.  

Mr. Dansdill has distinguished himself the past nine years with a willingness to explore many different courses in K-12 education.  

Mr. Dansdill graduated from Wheaton with a B.A. in Elementary Education.  

He will teach Spanish at Christ School and be an assistant football coach, but has previously worked with students in art, business, English, math, music, physical education, science, and social studies. Mr. Dansdill most recently taught at Hall Fletcher Elementary School in Asheville.