NEW YORK (CNS) — "Ordinary people can do extraordinary things," proclaims the eponymous heroine (Stella Baker) of "The Republic of Sarah," an intriguing drama debuting on The CW Monday, June 14, 9-10 p.m. EDT. (The program will stream afterward on The CW app.)

Extraordinary but not entirely unprecedented: When a wicked mining company threatens her bucolic hometown of Greylock, New Hampshire, the schoolteacher spearheads a grassroots movement to declare independence and have the town secede from the United States.

"The way to save our town is to turn it into a country," she says.

Here series creator and screenwriter Jeffrey Paul King plays fast and loose with history, claiming that the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 between the U.S. and Great Britain, which fixed the border with what would become Canada, somehow missed Greylock, which fell inside a no-man's-land between the two nations.

This clever fiction layers a welcome civics lesson atop your basic soap opera, one overstuffed with adult conflicts, teen angst and occasional sexual banter.

Sarah's personal life is complicated, to say the least. She provides care for her alcoholic mother, Ellen (Megan Follows), a former state senator. Ellen's abusive rage caused her son, Danny (Luke Mitchell), to leave town years ago.

The prodigal son returns with a vengeance, however, as the leader of the mining concern, Lydon Industries. At a town meeting, Danny announces that Greylock will be bulldozed to extract a rare mineral called coltan, used in the manufacture of electronics.

Danny promises the skeptical citizenry high-paying jobs and brand-new homes nearby. "Congratulations," he tells them, "You all just won the lottery."

Sarah smells a rat, and suspects her brother is seeking revenge on Greylock because of his traumatic childhood. She enlists a posse of friends to brainstorm a response. These include fellow teacher Corinne Dearborn (Hope Lauren), Danny's girlfriend of old, and Grover Simms (Ian Duff), manager of the local diner, who pines for Sarah but has a secret past.

Teenagers also join the cause when not dealing with their own problems or negotiating hook-ups. A standout among the younger set is Bella Whitmore (Landry Bender). She's that rarity in the current television universe: a popular girl who is proud of her virginity and stands up to aggressive boys.

Based on the first episode reviewed, "The Republic of Sarah" is entertaining and appropriate for adults and mature adolescents. They'll likely appreciate the spirit with which Sarah and the rugged individualists who surround her gamely take to heart the Granite State's traditional motto: "Live Free or Die."