Agassi, Sandoval attend grand opening of Mater Academy charter school


One of CCSD’s poor-performing schools received a little relief because a new charter school serving close to 800 students in east Las Vegas has officially opened.

At the new 55,000 square foot campus, students at Mater Academy will have access to some of the best technology.

Mater Academy is a passionate project that was pioneered by tennis star and Las Vegas native, Andre Agassi.  Mater Academy launched in 2014 with a few students in a small church, but today, the attendance roll stands at 790 students.

“I have two children (14 and 12), so you have a deeper appreciation for what it means to have quality education,” Agassi said.  “When you have your own children, it’s a crime not to have it.”

The principal of the school, Renee Fairless says the school opens a whole new world for low-income families in this east Las Vegas community.

“When you look at the schools in this area you will see three things: They’re overcrowded, they’re overwhelmed, and they have poor performing schools for the most part,” according to Fairless.

Agassi says his involvement in education ranks extremely high on his list of priorities.

“I’m not an educator, I’m not an operator — but I am a facilitator, and it’s a dream to be able to facilitate it for those who know how to educate our future,” Agassi said.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval says he considers this a model of what’s to come when it comes to education in the state.

“You look at the kids and see the resources that they’re going to have here to follow their dreams, so this is a model for charter schools that we hope to replicate throughout the state of Nevada,” Sandoval said.  “These kids here are going to have very special experience.”

Agassi co-owns the Turner-Agassi investment fund with Bobby Turner.  It’s a market-driven fund, and the goal of the fund is to build the school and ultimately sell it back to the charter school operator.

The fund has already built 50 schools and is on track to develop a total of 200 schools across the U.S. by 2020.

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