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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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17 Comments on "NC’s first military public charter school celebrates grand opening"

2015 years 9 months ago

Having had the pleasure to work with, educate and know many who were instrumental in the establishment of PBLA…I can assure you this will be a great opportunity for young people who want to find their moral compass and become the next generation of leadership in America. Congratulations to all of you. Stay focused, be proud, study hard and be willing to go that extra step.

Skip Davison
Master Sergeant, US Army Retired

beach guy
2015 years 9 months ago

WE need to make way for the new (Public charter) education system that will actually teach our kids something and give them social skills and moral values needed to become responsible self reliant adults. Public schools at the k-12 levels in this state are a dismal failure and need to be closed permanently.

Nikki Smith
2015 years 9 months ago

It seems that the person with a comment of this nature is clearly not a parent. You are saying that the kids that go to a military school are disturbed in some way and the parents are negligent in there parental duties. The way I see it is that you would want your child to be respectful and have a good moral compass that are the values that this school shows. There are some children who need more attention than others in some areas of there life but that in no way shape or form should have them labeled as troubled. It seems like the person who wrote this comment could have had a little more discipline at home unless the parents were just so done with the disrespectfulness flaming out of you that they simply threw the towel in. Without caution I say maybe this school would have been very good for you. As a parent of three boys I pray daily they grow up to be the very opposite of you. Wish you well with your miserable life. P.S. The men and women who protect you from harm everyday of your life possibly went to a school of this caliber, are you saying they come from a troubled home with negligent parents and teachers who were tired of fooling with them?

Guest melvin
2015 years 9 months ago

FYI, not all of the children who attend pbla are bad, bullies, disrespectful in so on. I have a child who attends this school, she has never been in trouble! So don’t think its just for “bad”children. Smh

2015 years 9 months ago

Seems like a good place to send kids that have no discipline at home. Maybe now the pubic schools can get away from having to spend all their time dealing with kids whose parents can’t control them.

2015 years 9 months ago

Amen to that! Now, if all the bullies would be sent there, we might have a good school year.

Paul R Brown Academy
2015 years 9 months ago

This is not a school where kids are sent. These children and their parents choose for them to attend. We are not a dumping ground. Every child here chose to attend for different reasons. Whether it was for the small class sizes, the personalized attention, the chance to play sports, or participate in a military structured academy which until now has been financially out of the reach for many families in southeastern North Carolina. Paul R. Brown is a public school.

Michelle Craig
2015 years 9 months ago

This is a true blessing for the young people who attend & the whole community. A school where students or in this case Cadets, are told they will do well is a gift from God. The Cadets hold their heads up because they know they will succeed in school & in life.

2015 years 9 months ago

How about instead of giving thanks to an idea that may or most likely is not true…give thanks to the tax payers who fund this, the lawmakers who make it possible, the teachers who give their time at ridiculously low wages to teach. I’m sure this post will be unpopular, but it really irks me when people give thanks to god and not to those that actually make things happen.

Friend of PBLA
2015 years 9 months ago

You still don’t get it. PBLA wants the kids who are trying to get away from the bullies and the negative influences of kids who don’t care about where they are headed in life (or their parents). PBLA wants its kids to go onto college and succeed in life. The “military” part of the school experience is only the journey, not the destination. While it’s wonderful that some graduates of PBLA may eventually get an all expense paid trip to college at West Point, many will enter civilian colleges. Why some folks still believe you should send “troubled kids” to a school where structure, cohesion and honor are the foundations, I will never understand. If they can’t make it at a school where there is less structure, how will they succeed at a school where there is more? My experience is that they usually don’t! Students will attend PBLA for many reasons, but no doubt, it will be for success in life and in college!

2015 years 9 months ago

So, the parents choose to send them to your school. That is what I said, a place children are sent. Don’t be defensive, its a service that is sorely needed. I applaud you for taken on these children and hope you can give them the tools they need to survive. A lot of these kids are in trouble and can’t function in a traditional school environment so separating them is really a win win for both types of schools. Keep up the good work.

2015 years 9 months ago

What a great idea. More kids should be involved with this type of high school education. I just visited my son for the first time at West Point and I was so impressed with everthing about the school. My son will be a better person for attending even if he does not make the miltary a career.All the cadets were so polite and well mannered and all of the families there to visit were truely genuine people.

2015 years 9 months ago

Without God it wouldn’t be possible for any of it!!!!! He deserves all of the Glory!!!!! :)

Steve Mayer
2015 years 9 months ago

Congratulations are in order for all involved in the development of this wonderful academy. I have had the privilege of working with Carl Lloyd and calling him my friend. The cadets attending are in wonderful hands! His dedication to the military school business, steadfast devotion to integrity, and tireless efforts in the development of young people is unequaled. I wish all involved in this wonderful academy the best of everything!!

Steve Mayer
Major, USAR
Commandant of Cadets
St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy

Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy
2015 years 9 months ago

MAJ Mayer a big thank you from the PBLA 1st Corps of Cadets. The doors opening Monday with cadets in uniform would have not been possible with out the help of our brother school ST Johns Northwestern Military Academy. The computers, televisions, boots, computers, and more than 2000 uniform items donated by SJNMA allowed PBLA to hit the ground running.

2015 years 9 months ago

Do you have a mailing address available for publication where donations can be sent to help support the academy.

If so, please post.


Paul R. Brown Academy
2015 years 9 months ago

Thank you for your support. Donations can be made to the Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy Foundation. The Address is 1360 Martin Luther King Drive Elizabethtown, NC 28337


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