MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery’s first public start-up charter school held a ribbon cutting ceremony and an open house on Thursday afternoon to celebrate its inaugural year.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for kids in Montgomery for a number of years and to see it happening, to see the doors opening, the students coming in, the parents so excited and the teachers behind me, it’s amazing,” said LEAD Academy Board of Directors Chairperson Charlotte Meadows.
Despite the numerous setbacks LEAD Academy faced in the past, Meadows said she’s excited to show the city what charter schools have to offer.
“I believe that Montgomery kids deserve this now," said Meadows. “Our kids can’t wait another year to get the education they deserve."
Roughly 375 students will be attending LEAD Academy for the 2019-2020 school year.
One of those students is Maurice Mitchell, who will be going into the second grade. Maurice’s mom, Marina, was rather emotional at Thursday’s ribbon cutting and open house.
“It’s something for the parents and something new for the kids. We’ve been through so much with these public schools and we needed a charter school," Marina said.
Maurice attended a public school in Montgomery last year, but Marina said he wasn’t being challenged.
“They weren’t challenging him to his full potential there, so I felt like he needed something more," Marina said.
That’s when Marina heard about LEAD Academy.
“He wasn’t accepted to magnet school, so charter school was the next best thing," Marina said.
Meadows said charter schools are great alternatives to public schools and that she’s excited to show the city what charter schools have to offer.
“This, I hope, will give competition to every other school in Montgomery. It’s a free public education. The competition will raise the level of demand for good education," said Meadows.
LEAD Academy will open its doors on Aug. 19.