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from Tennis Week:
Agassi Academy Welcomes Presidential Presence
Photo By Cynthia Lum By Tennis Week
Andre Agassi hosted a Presidential prep school appearance on Tuesday. Former U.S. President and avid tennis fan Bill Clinton made a special appearance at the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy on Tuesday afternoon.
The Chappaqua, New York resident sat in on a sixth grade class discussion on Civil Rights before conducting an information question and answer session with students in the Agassi auditorium.
"Later in life, you'll be glad that you've worked hard," President Clinton told the students. "Education is vital to your success, and it will help you prepare for the future. Education gives you values and knowledge which, in turn, allows you to make good choices."
Agassi and Clinton once shared the stage at Roland Garros when the President appeared during Agassi's quarterfinal with French man Sebastien Grosjean. Agassi, who annhilated Grosjean 6-1 in the opening set, seemed unnerved by Clinton's appearance and won just five games over the final three sets in falling 1-6, 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.
The former occupant of the Oval Office said serving as President was a challenging and inspiring experience.
"It's hard work and you try to make the right decisions for future generations," Clinton said of his two terms in the White House. "I enjoyed being the President of the United States, even on the tough days. The key is that you have to find a job that you truly love, that inspires you, and that will make all the difference."
The Presidential visit came 12 days after one of the most tumultuous days in the school's history. A February 12th meeting at the Agassi Academy in which some parents voiced their concern over the expulsion of some students and the fact eight teachers have either resigned or been fired since the school year erupted in emotion. Marzette Lewis president of the West Las Vegas action group WAAK-UP, was arrested at the Academy following a verbal and physical altercation with police, according to a published report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal written by Lisa Kim Bach.
"I'm a 64-year-old woman you're going to drag on the ground," Lewis shouted to police officers escorting her from the meeting, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I have freedom of speech. I live in America."
Some parents criticized both the turnover in faculty and the performance of new principal Kimberly Allen, who assumed her post at the beginning of the school year, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal report
Allen defended the school's staffing decisions as being in the best interests of the school's 250 students.
"When standards aren't met after corrective actions have been taken, when verbal and written reprimands have been given, choices have to be made," Allen told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "I have to weigh whether I'm going to have a teacher's bruised ego against what's best for kids. And with me, kids win out every time."
Founded in 2001, The Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy's current curriculum is for students in grades three through seven. The independent public school, which is funded by both the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation and tax dollars, plans to add a grade each year until it features a high school senior class. The Academy's waiting list features almost 300 families, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.