WILMINGTON -- Lakeside High School Principal Jerry Oates is excited about the changes his school is about to undergo. The school currently has several programs to help disadvantaged youth. For example, there's one program for ninth graders and another for dropouts. All that will soon change. Those classes will be combined into a single program. "I'm very passionate about any of the students that walk these halls," Oates said. Starting in the fall, Lakeside High School will be called the Mary S. Mosley Performance Learning Center. It will have small class sizes, because only 100 students can attend, and it will also have business internships. "If we have someone interested in auto mechanics, we will pair that person with someone in that field from their tenth grade year all the way up until they graduate," Oates said. Oates also says the school is very non-traditional. It will have a business-like atmosphere. Students will wear uniforms and take coursework online. Oates believes the Mary S. Mosley Performance Learning Center will cater to students with social problems at home. "For many of my students the concern is, 'Will I have lights on tonight? Will my mom get beat tonight?'" Oates said. "So it's hard for these students to conform to what is traditional when they have other things going on at home." By the 2008-2009 school year, New Hanover County will be the sixth Performance Learning Center in North Carolina. Lakeside High School student Kenyatta Lewis is anxious about the new school. "I am nervous because I gotta try a lot harder to accomplish what it is that I want to do," Lewis said. She thinks the Mosley Center will give her a chance to reach her goal of becoming a teacher. Oates says this will give all students a second chance to be successful, and work toward graduation. If you own a business and would like to partner with the Mosley Center internship program, or if you want your child to enroll, just call the office at (910) 251-6161.
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