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ELIZABETHTOWN, NC (WWAY) — North Carolina’s first military public charter school celebrated its grand opening today.

Students, dressed top to bottom in military uniforms at the new Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy will be getting a different educational experience this year.

Students, or cadets as they are called, must learn to march to a different beat.

“At a military school, you learn to fend for yourself,” Commandant of cadets, Carl Lloyd, said. “You learn to stand on your own two feet.”

A stricter, and more disciplined beat at that.

“When you go to a military school, you don’t just walk into the dining hall and say, ‘I’ll have that, I’ll have that, I’ll take that, Lloyd said. “There’s a procedure to it.”

There are currently 65 cadets enrolled in the academy right now, but they’re hoping those numbers will grow with time.

One of those cadets says she’s already seen a change in her behavior.

“I had a bad attitude before I came here. It was like extremely bad,” student LaShay High said. “But, now that I’m here, it changed a lot. I’m more polite than I was.”

But what exactly has she learned so far?

“Like table manners and like the way you treat other people and talking to adults,” she said.

She says she is looking forward to learning many new things at this school.

“Getting more disciplined and learning the ways that I should go instead of the ways I shouldn’t go,” High added.

But Lloyd says it’s more than just learning discipline.

“You can have that great American dream that we all aspire for as long as you’re willing to work at it, and that’s what they’ll learn here,” Lloyd said. “You want to get promoted, work hard. You want a medal for your academics, work hard at it. You want to play a sport; you give 110% out there on the athletic field.”

The school will have a small sports program with basketball, cheerleading, softball and baseball, and even archery.

Students will be required to participate in at least one sport, whether on the field or on the sidelines.

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