It was a special celebration Wednesday night in Muskegon Heights.

"We're on this path of rebuilding and re-birthing the community of Muskegon Heights," says Superintendent Rane Garcia.

But the journey has been challenging. In 2012, things got so bad that an Emergency Manager was assigned to the district.

"It has been a struggle, if you think about our seniors, for them ever since 6th grade they've been told multiple times that the district might not be here," says Garcia.

The district partnered with the state and focused on financials, academics and student count. Through a lot of hard work and help from the community, leaders say things have stabilized and recently the state issued a positive report.

"We had a nine month check-in visit and they said they were very proud of what we are doing here and they see and feel a sense of urgency," says Garcia.

The district has been rewarded with an extension through 2021.

"We understand that the work we are doing here with kids is life or death, we are taking that with a full sense of urgency and putting everything we have into these kids futures," says Garcia.

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