About Us

Head of School's Welcome

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Vistamar School. As you browse our website, you will begin to see what sets Vistamar apart: how one of the most diverse student bodies in Los Angeles is inspired by our varied and rigorous curriculum from around the globe. You also will learn why, at Vistamar, students engage in Life Planning instead of college counseling; how our innovative campus encourages mature relationships between students and adults; why our athletic teams, the Vistamar Vikings, continue to enjoy so much success on the court and on the field; why our graduates are so attractive to the best colleges; and much, much more. Most importantly, as you get to know Vistamar, you’ll see that our vibrant school community is a place where students think critically, find connections between themselves and others, and collaborate as global citizens.

The Vistamar experience is not just about an excellent education. It is about finding a second home, being part of a joyful community where students are free to be themselves, and nurturing a love of learning that continues well beyond the high school years.

We are honored that you are taking the opportunity to get to know Vistamar. I hope you will visit our campus soon so we can get to know you as well.

I look forward to seeing you here.

Karen E. Eshoo, EdD
Head of School

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.
Vistamar School is a private independent high school in the South Bay region of Los Angeles
Vistamar School  |  737 Hawaii Street, El Segundo, CA 90245  |  T: 310.643.7377  |  F: 310.643.7371