Vistria News

The Vistria Group Announces Strategic Partnership with Nautic Partners and Education Solutions Services (ESS)

The Vistria Group announced a strategic partnership with Education Solutions Services (“ESS” or “the Company”), a leading education staffing company that delivers highly qualified educators to K-12 school districts across the nation, and Nautic Partners, LLC, a middle-market private equity firm. ESS represents The Vistria Group’s third investment from Vistria Fund IV, LP, a $2.68 billion fund. Nautic Partners will reinvest in the Company and maintain a minority stake.

Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, ESS is one of the nation’s leading scaled managed services companies dedicated to K-12 outsourced substitute, paraprofessional, and in-classroom virtual teacher solutions. Founded in 2000, the Company acts as the exclusive outsourced substitute teacher management provider to its growing base of client school districts across the country. ESS’s turn-key solutions include its flagship substitute management solution and a growing virtual teacher offering, which provide school districts, substitutes, and students a more sustainable and effective alternative to in-house management. ESS currently serves approximately 900 districts, representing over 4 million students throughout 31 U.S. states.

“ESS is deeply committed to delivering innovative and dynamic solutions to our partner districts and passionate educators who are out there every day, tirelessly working to improve student outcomes,” said Buddy Helton, President & CEO of ESS. “We are extremely excited for the enhanced resources that will be available to ESS through our partnership with Vistria, and in particular, their experience in the education sector which should enable us to help even more school districts with their HR challenges going forward. We are confident that this new investment strategy will provide a winning formula for the services we offer, leading to the success of students across the country.”

“We are extremely excited to partner with ESS. We believe our firm’s resources and relationships will be particularly helpful for Buddy and his team,” said Phil Alphonse, Senior Partner and Co-Head of Education at The Vistria Group. “This is a great opportunity to support their growth while also providing positive impact for school districts, students and communities across the country.”

About Education Solutions Services
Education Solutions Services (ESS) specializes in placing qualified staff in daily, long-term, and permanent K-12 school district positions including substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other school support staff across the U.S. Over the last 22 years, ESS has innovated education staffing to provide dynamic solutions to school districts and professional opportunities to passionate educators. With approximately 900 school district partners across 31 states, ESS supports the education of more than 4 million students every day. For more information, please visit

About The Vistria Group
The Vistria Group is a Chicago-based next generation private investment firm that operates at the intersection of purpose and profit. Vistria partners with middle-market businesses in Healthcare, Education and Financial Services that are passionate about growth and committed to the community. Our decision to invest in these areas is driven by our belief in companies producing scalable social value. Vistria’s team is comprised of highly experienced operating partners and investment professionals with proven track records of working with management teams in building innovative, market-leading companies.

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