After years of planning and fundraising, the first all-girls charter school in North Carolina opened its doors in Wilmington on Aug. 29. Principal Laura Hunter stood near the school’s entrance, offering high fives and hugs to every sixth grader who stepped off the school bus.

As the first busload of students filed through the school’s doors, Hunter turned, grinning, to a colleague and said, “It’s happening!”

Hunter’s excitement was mirrored in the faces of the community members and leaders who milled in the parking lot for the school’s grand-opening celebration. Seeing the 100 students in the inaugural class arrive felt “cathartic,” Hunter said, after the amount of preparation that went into making the day possible.

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