Our founding leaders
Kent Crawford, Board Chairman 2002 – 2015
It was Kent’s visionary leadership and bedrock ideas that provided the spark and the foundation of Pacifica Christian High School. He called the first meeting, led the discussions, worked with donors, parents, administrators, teachers and community members. Kent communicated the school’s mission, safeguarded its principles and inspired a community with his faithful consistent leadership; He helped build a school for the next generation and beyond.
Peter Olmstead, Founding Board Member 2002-2015
Peter, a successful and experienced business leader was present from the beginning. His wisdom, generosity, heart for the Westside and love of God was a singular force in Pacifica’s rise. He related to students, guided board meetings, connected with community members and cared for administrators. He along with his lovely wife Cynthia opened their home for countless fundraisers, dinners, business meetings, school retreats and more. Peter’s legacy lives on as Pacifica’s mission is lived out in the hearts and minds of countless teenagers across Los Angeles.
In the summer of 2002, a group of educators, parents, business leaders, and pastors gathered together to ask the question, “What would an independent Protestant Christian high school on the Westside of Los Angeles look like?” That question led to the formation of Pacifica’s Founding Committee and a host of related questions. The committee met each month for three years to talk about vision, purpose, and to exchange stories of their own upbringing and careers while some shared experiences from their children’s education.
After two years of work, conversation, and contemplation, the committee found itself with a unified mission, vision, purpose, and business plan. The next step was to share this vision and plan with others. The Pacifica blueprint was presented to respected business leaders, parents, educators, students, pastors, and a host of individuals from all walks of life. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the Pacifica circle began to grow.
The Board of Trustees was formed in the summer of 2004 and hired the Head of School, Assistant Head of School, and Office Manager. Committees were put in charge of curriculum, student life, athletics, arts, fundraising, admissions, and locating a property.
By March of 2005, the founding faculty was hired, our current location was secured, and the admissions process was in full swing. The following summer, Pacifica received membership into the CIF, Southern California’s governing body for high school athletics, and was preparing to tackle accreditation, UC approval, student/parent orientation, the first day of school, and what seemed like a million other details that go along with the opening of a brand new school.
On September 7, 2005, the dream of having an independent Protestant high school open for students of all religious and socioeconomic backgrounds was achieved! It was the opening of a school that is first devoted to excellence in academics for all students while integrating the Christian faith when appropriate. Pacifica is not a church, but a school that is committed to and serious about the intertwining of academic rigor and the Biblical perspective in a way that respectfully encourages all students to grow academically, spiritually, and creatively.
The first day saw 42 freshman and sophomores, along with 8 teachers and 3 administrators begin a historic journey. Pacifica has seen tremendous growth since that day increasing to 85 students in 2006-2007, 127 students in 2007-2008, 150 students in 2008-2009, 165 students in 2009-2010, 183 students in 2010-2011, 205 students in 2011-2012 to 235 students in 2012-2013. We are still on the way to our goal of educating 400 high school students. Our community has grown from the founding group of 12 to an assemblage of over 1,500 parents, students, alumni, and faculty.
By the spring of 2006, toward the end of its first year, Pacifica received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Pacifica Christian High School is accredited by WASC through June of 2021.
In 2008 and 2009, Pacifica’s first two classes graduated and these students were accepted to Duke, Notre Dame, University of Chicago, Northwestern, Cal Tech, UCLA, USC, Middleburry, UC Berkeley, Boston College, William and Mary, NYU, Wheaton, Westmont, Gordon, Pepperdine, LMU, Point Loma, Azusa Pacific, Seattle Pacific, and a host of other colleges around the country. College placement continues to be strong with students receiving invitations from Vassar, Carnegie Mellon, Case Western, Drexel, Villanova, Bentley, Rochester, Scripps, SMU, Colgate, Brandies, Oberlin, and many more.
Pacifica has established a history of excellent experiences that help students grow into exceptional young men and women who possess a wealth of choices and who will be a positive influence wherever they may go. Some of these experiences include the creation of the Alma Mater, All School Retreat, Senior Dinner, Polemikon Honors Program, Annual Fund, Powder Puff Football Classic, Paris and London Trips, a competitive sports program with over 17 teams, a high quality arts program, and the Senior Service Trip. The work has been guided by the founding professional staff and board, all of whom are still serving the school.
The question, “What would an independent Protestant Christian high school on the Westside of Los Angeles look like?” has been answered. The answer is Pacifica Christian High School.
The Pacifica Crest
Pacifica’s motto is “Gratia et Veritas,” which is Latin for Grace and Truth.
Color of Our Crest
The color blue symbolizes peace, calm, stability, harmony, and loyalty. For the Hebrews, the color blue represented holiness. In Christianity, the color blue resonates the hope of heaven and the pursuit for truth.
The Bible symbol represents the living Word of God; the cross is a sign of the crucifixion, the great price Jesus paid for our salvation.
A sprig of laurel has its origins in antiquity; since before the days of Christ, the laurel wreath has been associated with triumph, specifically athletic victory. This symbol reminds us of our commitment to excellence.
The lion is known for its dauntless courage and impressive strength. In Christianity, the lion represents Christ.
The “fleur-de-lis,” or flower of the lily, has long been held as a symbol of purity and light. This symbol reminds us of our commitment to Christian values and a life devoted to God.