Ed Walters, Founding Head of School


Ed has been a highly regarded educator for over 30 years. He began his career as a science teacher and department head and quickly was recruited to add school finance and management to his responsibilities. During his career, he has held the positions of Business Manager, Director of Strategic Planning, Chief Financial Officer, Director of Operations, and Head of School. He and his family spent 30 years in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, where Ed rose to be a member of the administrative team in the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Head of the Science Department at Sewickley Academy, a pre-K-12 school of nearly 800 students. Ed was born in Puerto Rico and is a fluent Spanish speaker. He also is an avid supporter of children's sports programs and was named Coach of the Year six times for his leadership in student soccer and basketball teams. Ed shares his love of science by guiding our students though a wide variety of hands-on science experiments.

  • B.S., Biology & Psychology - InterAmerican University (San Juan, Puerto Rico, New York University Program)

  • Master of Education, Science - Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, PA)

  • Additional Language - Spanish (fluent)

September 24th, 2018

Dear AVS Community: 

Eight years ago I was given the rare opportunity to design and start the Alta Vista School. I had always wanted to create a place where students would be at the center of the education experience, untethered, in an environment where they are encouraged to explore, experiment, and experience the process of gaining understanding. Together we have made that vision a reality - and it is because of our amazing community of students, parents, and accomplished faculty, that this has become known as the Alta Vista way.  

Knowing that the school is in a great place and positioned for long term success makes it slightly easier to let you know, that after 47 years in education, I will be retiring at the end of this school year. I'm looking forward to this next life chapter, but I am also going to miss AVS very much. 

It has been a privilege to work with such dedicated faculty. They are the ones who make our school the special place that it is. I am also grateful for the friendships forged with the AVS families who have worked so hard to create the community of respect that defines the school’s culture. Most of all, however, I will miss the energy of the students every day, who inspire me with their passion and capacity for learning. 

During the remainder of my tenure, I will work with the entire AVS community to ensure that AVS remains firmly on the path to successfully completing the 2018-19 school year and achieving the goals of our current strategic plan. I am confident this will be another outstanding school year ahead. 

 It is with great fondness and admiration that I regard my colleagues, along with the students, the highlight of my professional career.  I am excited about the future of the school and look forward to watching Alta Vista thrive in the years to come. 

Most sincerely, 

Ed Walters  

Head of School 


 * * *

Dear AVS Community: 

From its inception in 2010, Alta Vista School has benefited from the extraordinary vision and leadership of Ed Walters, who has shaped the school’s mission, growth and unique “Alta Vista way.”  It is therefore a bittersweet and poignant moment in the school’s history for us to jointly announce that Ed will move on to his next adventure in life through retirement on June 30, 2019. 

We will never forget how Ed and his wife Cathy were preparing eight years ago to leave San Francisco to go back to the East Coast, and seven families asked if he would consider starting a new school that fostered progressive education.  After we all shared a meal together and much conversation, Ed and Cathy decided to cancel the movers.  With great courage and dedication, Ed started building a school with his trusted faculty, opening with 18 students, which has grown to over 280 students matriculated today.  Alta Vista School was an overnight success, appealing to families seeking a student centered education that celebrated creativity and innovation, thanks to Ed.   

The Board of Trustees has begun the process of cementing the procedures for finding our next Head of School and will provide more high level details at the next Parent Group Meeting on September 26, 2018.  We are pleased to announce that Garth Spiller (Signe-4th grade; Anderson-1st grade) and Libby Ludwig (Grant-6thgrade; Owen-3rd grade) have agreed to serve as Co-Chairs of the Search Committee.  On Wednesday, you will be hearing from the Board on additional details about how that process will unfold over the coming months and ways to participate.  

During the remainder of his tenure, in addition to focusing on the goals of our current strategic plan, Ed is committed to ensuring that AVS is firmly on the path to continued success.  In addition, the Board is looking forward to working with all of you over the next nine months to celebrate Ed’s extraordinary leadership and acknowledge the permanent mark he will leave on our school.  We are truly looking forward to a wonderful school year and future! 


Elena Yang 
President, AVS Board of Trustees 

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 for curious young minds |

Lower School Campus:

450 Somerset Street | San Francisco, CA 94134 | ​Tel: 415-467-3700 

Middle School Campus:

2558 Mission Street | San Francisco, CA 94110 | Tel: 415-510-8492