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Welcome to Vistamar

The Way High School Should Be

Vistamar School was designed to offer excellence across every aspect of the school.

  • Academic Excellence - The Vistamar curriculum has been adapted from the best academic programs around the world, preparing students for success in today’s world.. Teachers’ creative methods make learning engaging and meaningful, inspiring students and instilling a love of learning and discovery.
  • Supportive Community - our supportive environment and intimate school size sets up our students to reach and exceed their goals. Small classes and the tight-knit community foster belonging and support.
  • Life Planning/College Planning - we look at high school as the foundation for lifelong achievement. We care about our students getting into college, but also, about what they do when they get there and their lives beyond. Life planning is a four-year process at Vistamar that results in graduates who consistently gain admissions to top colleges and universities that best fit their goals.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Vistamar is a leader among Los Angeles area independent schools. Our multicultural curriculum, active student co-curricular life, lively family engagement and educational programming foster a community where students continuously learn from one another’s varied backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Innovative Campus - The Vistamar campus is based on extensive research and planning and is designed to facilitate the comfort, interaction, and flow of a teenage population.

Our commitment to excellence across these areas allows us to be confident in saying Vistamar is the way high school should be.

Erik Carlson

Interim Head of School

College acceptances Stanford Cal Poly Arizona

Erik Carlson's Biography


Erik Carlson Interim HOS

Erik Carlson joins Vistamar School as Interim Head of School this year. He has been a Head of School and Senior Administrator in a number of independent schools that span Preschool through Grade 12. These have been secular and faith-based, progressive and traditional, single gender and coed, boarding and day. This breadth of experience working with different Boards and leadership teams has informed the way Erik cares for each school’s distinct purpose, program, and people. In his previous and current interim roles, he has demonstrated an ability to propel the community forward while honoring and respecting the values and mission of each school.

Since 2017, Erik has served in interim roles as Head of School at Park Day School in Oakland, PS1 Pluralistic School in Santa Monica, and Peninisula School in Menlo Park and as Head of Upper School at Castilleja in Palo Alto and Drew School in San Francisco. At Park Day, he hired the school's first Director of Equity and Inclusion, invested in school-wide training in restorative practices and drafted the school's Social Justice Statement. At PS1, he defined the shared leadership model with the Board, Head of School, and Administration, sharpening the school's identity, messaging, and commitment to a "radically student-centered" program. As an interim Head of School, Erik's work has helped school communities clarify their strengths and build systems and teams so that all members of the community -- students, staff, and families -- can realize their highest aspirations. Erik is an educator whose values are aligned with Vistamar's mission and who has the skills and compassion to enhance our school community and achieve our goals.

Erik holds an AB in Art History from Princeton University, a Master's Degree in Art History from New York University, Institute of Fine Arts, and completed work in the Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders at Stanford University.


Vistamar School Building photo