April 16, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

VISTAMAR SCHOOL ANNOUNCES $1.6 MILLION MATCHING GRANT

Vistamar School
Vistamar School, a co-ed independent high school serving the greater Los Angeles region, has received an anonymous matching grant of $1.6 million. Each new campaign contribution that Vistamar receives in 2010 will be matched, on a dollar for dollar basis, by a gift to the school’s endowment for financial access. This matching grant is the third major endowment gift Vistamar has received since it incorporated in 2002 and will bring its total endowment to $6.6 million.

“Endowment gifts are a tremendous vote of confidence for Vistamar, providing a secure financial base from which income for the school can be drawn in perpetuity,” said Head of School Jim Buckheit. Vistamar’s endowment income is reserved for financial access awards, which are supplemented by multi-year pledges from philanthropists who consider Vistamar an ideal partner in extending educational opportunities to talented and motivated students who could not otherwise afford independent school tuition.

“A vigorous financial access program ensures that Vistamar’s ability to enroll the strongest students is not restricted by their family finances,” said Buckheit. “That’s how we’ve been able to develop a school culture where civility, achievement, and respect for diversity are norms.”

Vistamar School is currently in its fifth year of operation and has already graduated 49 students who have enrolled in competitive universities throughout the country and overseas. The school owns its building, located on the corner of Aviation and Hawaii in the easternmost section of El Segundo, and continues to add classrooms and facilities as it grows. Vistamar’s Board of Trustees has responded enthusiastically to this new matching grant by collectively donating nearly $700,000 to launch the $1.6 million matching grant’s fundraising effort.

The next phase of construction, planned for the summer of 2010, will add classrooms, labs and activity spaces that will allow the student body to grow from a current enrollment of 204 to approximately 300. Ultimately, its enrollment will be 384 students, with individual classes remaining at their small size of 16 students or less. Students and alumni are invited to be involved in both the architectural and design plans for Vistamar. According to Lisa Fukushima, 11, “It’s awesome that the administration asked for our input and that they are actually taking it into account. We talk about the details, the colors, the aesthetics, the design, even the very effect it will have on our minds. I think the fact that Vistamar listens and incorporates what we, as students, want, is astounding in its level of respect and collaboration.”

Student input is a critical part of Vistamar’s culture and reflective nature. Development Director Erin Tyner sees this new matching gift opportunity as another way to ensure that the best and the brightest students can continue to enroll at Vistamar. “Every new contribution we receive from parents and friends this year to continue the build-out of our campus will also help us build our endowment through this generous matching grant. It’s a wonderful opportunity for Vistamar, and the students are the biggest winners,” said Tyner.

Vistamar School, located at 737 Hawaii Street in El Segundo, provides an engaging academic program for grades 9-12 that empowers students to excel in higher education and in life. The curriculum, emphasizing global perspectives (including four years of Mandarin Chinese and Heritage Spanish), prepares students to embrace lives of learning, integrity, and purpose. For more information about Vistamar, visit www.vistamarschool.org.

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