About Us » Founder's Message

Founder's Message


In 2005, my wife and I moved into our first home in South Los Angeles. We chose my old neighborhood because we wanted to start a family and I wanted to write the great American novel about growing up in this tempestuous yet loving neighborhood. As the writing progressed well and life unfolded in the neighborhood, we soon concluded that what we desperately needed was better neighborhood schools, not another book that no one from the neighborhood would ever read.

With fresh knowledge of charter schools, we began in earnest to formulate a plan to provide an educational alternative in the community. We didn’t know how it would be done or who would help us, but we knew without a doubt we would build great schools in the neighborhood because the need was enormous.

And so after much hard work during the Great Recession, the first charter school came to be – Academia Moderna. This charter school was founded with our great friends and community advocates, Silvestre and Leticia Quiroz, Zerihoun Yilma, Wendy Lau, Diego Arancibia Suleiman, Agustin Medina, Juanita Nicolas, Lyn Colvin and many parents.

Academia Moderna charter school was founded out of love and out of great desperation. Our moral imperative and the economic hardships lived by my wife and I, along with our neighbors, were so devastating that the desperation forced many to seek answers in education. It was the perfect and imperfect time to start a school due to the failing economy and the impacted educational system. Despite the tempest, our insurgent mission was created to provide a world-class education to every student with the most effective educational program available in the world – the International Baccalaureate program. We not only want strong academic success for every student but we desperately need our students to become women and men of principles to help our neighborhoods.

To guide students to great academic and social value, we use the IB program as the engine, and the steering wheel is the love for every child. We believe that every student that walks through our doors is strong, brave, can learn, can create, can contribute, and deserving of every opportunity available.

So, with our arms open, welcome to our loving Alta Public Schools family.

Xavier and Griselda Reyes