About Us

Welcome to Vistamar

Welcome to Vistamar!

At Vistamar, we are committed to the idea that there’s a better way to do high school. Our stellar faculty and staff, engaged parents and an eager, diverse student body produce learners uniquely prepared to succeed in high school and beyond.

We understand that our students are only with us for four short years, so we’ve designed our program to provide experiences, challenges, and opportunities to ensure that our students become active, engaged, and inspired. We encourage them to move beyond the status quo while relentlessly embracing diversity of thought and experience.

High school shouldn’t be just a means to an end, but an end in and of itself. Vistamar isn’t just a series of things to check off a list, but an experience where, together, we create the kind of community that prepares each student for success in college and well beyond.

Our mission is grounded in the idea that Vistamar students will embrace lives of learning, integrity, and purpose. We strive to meet students where they are rather than who we think they should be, honoring each individual’s dignity and value in a way that simply no other school can. At Vistamar, we prepare each student with the knowledge and character necessary to pursue a life of purpose and fulfillment.

With our curriculum inspired by the finest programs in the world and a strong and intentionally diverse community—we’re a place to discover who you are and what you can do.

At Vistamar, you’ll never see high school the same way again. We look forward to the journey!

Chris Bright
Head of School

Chris Bright's Biography

Chris begins his fifth year as Head of School, having navigated the school successfully through the ongoing challenges of the global pandemic and positioning Vistamar more strongly than ever before. During this time, the school delivered a seamless learning experience that kept students engaged and challenged, enabling their growth and development both through the strong academic curriculum and also via delivery of reimagined extracurricular activities and sports activities that maintained student bonds. Propelled to reimagine and implement creative approaches to everything from student conferences to back to school night to graduation, these revised events captured the spirit of our students and the school while setting a high bar for subsequent events. 

The school also embarked on and completed a major building project during this time, the Viking Commons. A new commercial kitchen and gathering space and the newest section of our building, funds for the project were raised entirely through donations from our generous community. The kitchen provides a nutritious lunch daily for the entire school community and the innovative communal space has expanded ways for Vistamar’s students, faculty, and staff to connect.

Other priorities during Chris’ tenure have included:
  • Ongoing focus on upgrade of our academic offerings and programs. He implemented a three-year subject study process for each academic department, ensuring regular investigation of our curriculum and pedagogy while integrating best practices into each department. The innovative quality of our teaching and learning plus our inclusive and culturally responsive community attracts talented faculty and staff locally and from across the country.  
  • Amplification of our commitment to equity and inclusion. The school completed a Diversity Climate Assessment during Chris’ tenure and implemented the recommendations. Building on our solid base, the assessment prioritized designing inclusive co-curricular programming and new leadership opportunities for all Vistamar students, increasing our outreach and engagement with all Vistamar families, instituting a restorative justice process, supporting ongoing efforts to recruit and retain excellent teachers of color, and creating and filling the role of Director of Equity and Inclusion. 
  • Establishing long-term financial sustainability. Successes in fundraising and enrollment have moved the school toward this goal. Our philanthropic base has grown significantly while the school admitted one of its largest incoming classes of freshmen and transfer students this year.
Looking to the future, and together with the Board of Trustees, Chris is currently leading our multidisciplinary process to develop a new strategic plan and five-year road map for the continued innovation and growth of the school.

Chris came to Vistamar with extensive background in independent schools. He began his teaching career at Westminster school, a progressive independent school in his hometown of Oklahoma City. He taught English and British History and was a Team Leader at The American School in London, served as Upper Division Director at New Canaan Country School, and Head of School at Casady School in Oklahoma City. He served as Executive Director at CHAMPS in Los Angeles from 2014 to 2018. He joined Vistamar as our third Head of School in 2018. During the last 16 years as a Head of School and Executive Director, Chris focused on financial and programmatic oversight; pedagogy; development and advancement; governance; facilities development; diversity; marketing and admissions; communications; strategic planning, and mission-centered work.

Chris earned his BA in Art History from Trinity University in San Antonio and an MA in Philosophy of Education from the University of London, Institute of Education.
Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles.

Vistamar School