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© Copyright 2019 by Academy of the Gifted

Academy of the Gifted 

319 S. Columbia Street

Gastonia, NC 28054

Tel:  (704) 691-7730


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Meet Our Staff:

William "Big Worm" Blount

Founder/Creative Director

William "Big Worm" Blount is R&B music and Broadway plays most influential Music Director working with the likes of Tyler Perry, Monica, Outkast, Goodie Mob, R Kelly and many others which have afforded him a Grammy and Soul Train Award. William Blount also founded and is behind some of your favorite bands like Blackstreet and Riff. 

 William Blount was born and raised in Patterson New Jersey and was introduced to music by his brother, Dick. A young William struggled between a life of crime or miracles as well as the time not filling his desires and passions for music.

William would practice playing bass, drums and other instruments with his brother, who battled other family member about the "hobby"; claiming that he would not be able to create a livable wage playing music. Thankfully, Big Worm didn't listen!

Paul Whitley

Piano Instructor

Paul Whitley has performed with a diverse range of artists such as Marvin Sapp, John P. Kee, Byron Cage, Donnie McClurklin, Dorina Clarke-Cole, Maurette Brown-Clark, Jonathan Butler, Wes Morgan, and William Becton, Jazz artist- Steve Cole, Joey Sommerville, Elan Trotman, Lin Roundtree and Walter Beasley. He has also worked with many choirs, music workshops and numerous of bands along with his appearances on television, magazines and radio stations. His skillful playing and sounds has attracted many to his unique style. Some of his musical arrangements include "Grateful" and "Awesome God" featured on Ricky Dillard & The New Generation Chorale's Project, as well as Arkansas Mass Choir’s “He’s Done Enough".

"A veteran gospel and contemporary jazz performer, pianist and multi-instrumentalist Paul Whitley believes “Music and rhythm is a gift from God…It’s a message that carries a sound.” That explains the truly divine inspiration behind this alternately supercharged and sultry set of GOSPEL, JAZZ and R&B originals. They spotlight Whitley’s artistry as a keyboardist and composer while shining spotlights on emerging genre talents Jonathan Fritzen, Elan Trotman and Marcus Anderson."

Kristie Hewlett 

Visual Art Instructor

Kristie Hewlett enjoys working in this school which offers lessons in instrumentals, vocals, dance, theater, AND studio art classes! She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and her work experience is as a package designer and catalog production artist. She has technical skills which include computer graphics, website creation, videography, and photography. She has completed all of the required college art classes including drawing, painting, and art history. This skill set offers a good range of topics for our student’s art exploration and engagement.

Qymeer Blount

Music Production Instructor

 The Academy of the Gifted our music Production teacher is music producer and artist Qymeer Blount, William Blount’s son. Qymeer is 23 years old and has grown up in the music industry and coached directly with us father. Qymeer has worked with the likes of Blackstreet, 1500orNothin', J Stylz and many others. Qymeer has been hands on in music production since 13 and also plays the drums. Qymeer has over 250 hours in unreleased music. Qy Blount, his stage name, is an artist and the lead vocalist of 221, an Earthworm Productions music band.

Perry Lemon, Jr.

Drumming Instructor

Founder William "Big Worm" Blount’s nephew. Perry Lemmon Jr. has been playing drums since 3 years old and now plays for multiple local bands, produces for many local artists and a few national artist. Perry Lemmon Jr. has worked with Blackstreet, 1500orNothin', Cece Houston (Singer Whitney Houston’s' mother) and more.

Kali D. McGee

Cosmetology Instructor

Kali D. McGee an entrepreneur, my journey began in Elizabeth/Plainfield New Jersey where I obtained my first license for cosmetology. It has been my pleasure to have rendered these services for six years.

 I now live in Gastonia, North Carolina where I have obtained my second license for cosmetology at Paul Mitchell the School Gastonia and I am living out my dreams and giving birth to others.

I met Mr. William Blount in 2014 having a background in psychology and criminal justice and having experience mentoring youth at the Essex County Juvenile Detention Center in New Jersey   I was given the opportunity to volunteer with the children at Academy of the Gifted.

In the summer of 2015 I presented Mr. Worm with a proposal to teach the children at the Academy of the Gifted Cosmetology. I graduated August 21,2015 and In September of 2015 I was promoted to assistant administrator at the Academy of the Gifted. In the summer of 2016 I was given the opportunity to give a presentation on cosmetology and then in the fall I taught my first class.

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