Karen Eshoo's Biography
Before being unanimously appointed Head of School by Vistamar’s Board of Trustees in 2011, Karen Eshoo spent 20 years as an educator and administrator in independent schools, most recently as the Assistant Head of School at the well-regarded Lick-Wilmerding High School (LWHS) in San Francisco.
Karen has Masters degrees in Education and History from Stanford University and a doctorate in Education at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation research focused on diversity and inclusion in California independent schools. Prior to LWHS, she served as a teacher and Principal at Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton—her alma mater—and was a teacher at St. Anthony High School in Long Beach. Her career also includes stints as the co-director of a 6-week academic summer enrichment program for high school students from the US and abroad at Stanford University and as co-director of the Summer Arts Programme at St. Clare’s, Oxford.
Along with developing new programs and raising academic standards during her career, Karen has championed “equity pedagogy” and developed curriculum for faculty that emphasizes its tenets: knowing students well enough to develop teaching strategies and materials that make rigorous academic subject matter accessible to each and every capable student, taking into account their individual backgrounds and circumstances.
Karen currently serves as a member of the Boards of Directors for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the California Teachers Development Collaborative (CATDC), the steering committee of the Los Angeles School Heads (LASH) organization, and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Glasgow Group. She also served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Independent School Alliance. Born of Assyrian descent in San Francisco, Karen is an avid cook, energetic sports fan, and international traveler.