Home   /  News   /  Local Education

advertisement


Tennis legend Andre Agassi tours new suburban Boynton Beach charter school he helped build

By Jason Schultz - Palm Beach Post Staff Writer



Tennis legend Andre Agassi picked up a white pawn from the chess board in front of Steve Abraham’s chess class at the new Franklin Academy charter school, and asked the children to explain the role of the piece.

“This is why you’re studying this. You don’t ever want to grow up to be one of these,” Agassi joked Tuesday morning, as he toured the newly-opened charter school he helped build through his national charter school funding company.

His Los Angeles-based Canyon-Agassi Charter School Facilities Fund, a $500 million for-profit partnership with investment mogul Bobby Turner, paid for the land and construction for Franklin Academy. In August, the suburban Boynton Beach school opened as the largest charter in Palm Beach County. Canyon-Agassi also opened another Franklin Academy in Cooper City this year.

Tuesday morning, both Agassi and Turner attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony in addition to the tour. As they passed groups of children playing on the school’s playground, Franklin Principal Christy Messer explained how the charter has single gender classes for all of its core academic classes, and offers elective classes like chess that are co-ed.

Parents like Kim Bauer, who pulled her children out of Hagen Road Elementary in west Boynton to attend Franklin, and Katie Duchock, who pulled her child out of the popular Morikami Park Elementary magnet school, both said the single gender classes were a big part of their decision to come to the charter school. They also praised the school’s policy of not assigning any homework for students.

“Our kids can run around and be kids after school,” Bauer said.

Agassi suggested putting inspirational decorations on the walls of the gymnasium, which is under construction, and pointed out the tennis balls on the bottoms of all the chairs to prevent scratching the floors. He explained how he talked the Penn sports equipment company into donating 20,000 tennis balls to the school.

He also talked with seventh-grade social studies students who asked him why it was important for them to get an education.

“We owe China about a trillion dollars to get to the heart of it,” Agassi said. “We need to educate our future generations so they can help have some hope of paying that back. If we fail our next generation, we’re failing our future.”

Popular on MyPalmBeachPost.com


advertisement

advertisement


We’re Listening

We hope you’re enjoying MyPalmBeachPost.com, our premium website exclusively for subscribers. Please tell us what you like and what we can do to make it even better by completing this brief survey.

Complete Survey

Read Today's Paper online

Read Today's Paper online

Still like to read the newspaper in the familiar page-by-page format? Great news! Digital versions of today's paper are available on your computer or tablet. And it's included in your subscription.

Learn moreRead