About Us
Vistamar Today


Vistamar School was founded in 2005 by a group of civic-minded families following four years of research, planning, fundraising, and personnel recruitment. With an eye towards helping the South Bay region keep pace with its changing population and economic growth, the founders set out to offer a high-quality, college preparatory learning environment, serving a student body reflective of the diversity of Los Angeles.

The founding Board of Trustees appointed Jim Buckheit as Head of School in 2004. Prior to Vistamar, Mr. Buckheit served as Head of School at several schools in the U.S. and abroad. As founding Head, Mr. Buckheit played a pivotal role in creating Vistamar’s curriculum, combining the best traditions of American independent schools with exemplary practices drawn from other education systems around the world. Mr. Buckheit also set the highest standard for faculty by recruiting only those who demonstrated the highest level of expertise in their curricular fields and in teaching. That tradition has continued and expanded as the faculty has grown to accommodate enrollment.

Today, Vistamar has graduated ten classes, beginning with the class of 2008. Vistamar alumni have been accepted at the nation’s best colleges and universities (learn more about Vistamar's college matriculations) and are making their mark as global citizens on their campuses and in their fields.

Following Jim Buckheit’s retirement in 2011, the Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Karen Eshoo as Head of School. Dr. Eshoo, an independent school educator and administrator for over 20 years, most recently served as Assistant Head of School at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. In her seventh and final year as Vistamar’s Head of School, her key focus is on program innovation. (Learn more about Karen Eshoo.) Christopher Bright will be joining us in the Summer of 2018 to serve as our third Head of School. (Learn more about Christopher Bright.

There is much to celebrate in Vistamar School’s first twelve years of operation. We are proud of our progress in fulfilling the vision of the founders to create one of the finest independent secondary schools in the nation. As we continue to grow and expand, we have much to look forward to in the years ahead.
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