• Richard B. Commons
    Richard B. Commons
    The Charles B. Thornton President and Head of School
    As President and Head of School, I work with a wonderful team of administrators in overseeing both the business side and the school side of Harvard-Westlake, striving in everything we do to fulfill our mission. Before assuming this role in 2013, I served as Headmaster of Groton School in Massachusetts for ten years. Early in my career I taught English, coached soccer, and served as a dean here at Harvard-Westlake, so my work in schools has come full circle. As an undergraduate, I was an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, and I earned master’s degrees in English and education from Middlebury College and Stanford University.
  • Laura D. Ross
    Laura D. Ross
    Associate Head of School
    I am proud to be Harvard-Westlake’s Associate Head of School. Prior to beginning this position, I spent eight years as an upper school head, three at Harvard-Westlake and five at Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas. Prior to moving into a division head role I spent seventeen years in a variety of roles in education: I’ve been a college counselor, a college admissions officer, a soccer coach, a teacher of meditation, social ethics, and world religions, and a dorm parent in a boarding school. I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Wesleyan University and a Master’s degree from Stanford University in Higher Education and Student Affairs. My husband Gregg teaches math at the middle school at Harvard-Westlake and our daughter Casey is Harvard-Westlake class of ’23 and our son Graham is Harvard-Westlake class of ’26.
  • Jon Wimbish
    Jon Wimbish
    Head of Middle School
    I am the Head of Middle School at Harvard-Westlake and a 9th Grade English Teacher. During my time at Harvard-Westlake, I have also been a middle school dean, upper school dean, and a coach for a variety of middle school sports. After receiving my undergraduate degree in English from Princeton, where I also played football and volleyball, I taught for a year at Cardigan Mountain School in Canaan, NH. Through the generosity of Harvard-Westlake’s professional development program, I received my master’s degree in English from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English. My wife, Amanda Angle, also works at Harvard-Westlake, serving as Head of the Middle School English Department. We met here at Harvard-Westlake in 1998.
  • Beth Slattery
    Beth Slattery
    Head of Upper School
    After serving as an Upper School Dean for 15 years, I became Head of the Upper School in July 2020. My role is to lead the Upper School faculty, staff and students in living the mission of Harvard-Westlake – encouraging the joyful pursuit of excellence, creating a diverse and inclusive community, and fostering purpose beyond ourselves. My entire career has been in the field of education, working in career services at Georgetown University (my alma mater), undergraduate admissions at USC, and in the Deans Office at HW. After moving to California from my home state of Massachusetts in 1995, I earned my Master’s degree and Ph.D. in Education from UCLA, completing a dissertation on academic and social self-esteem in girls. I am the proud parent of 4 children, the oldest of whom graduated from HW in 2017, and the proud wife of a USC music professor.
  • Terry Barnum
    Terry Barnum
    Head of Athletics
    I am the Head of Athletics at Harvard-Westlake School. Prior to serving in this role, I was the Athletic Director for Communication at HW. Before coming to Harvard-Westlake, I was a Department Business Manager at the University of Southern California (USC), where I was responsible for the restricted and unrestricted budgets for the Linguistics, Psychology, and Neuroscience departments. I received my Bachelor in Communication and my Master’s in Education from USC. I was also captain of the USC Football team in 1995.
  • Edward W. Hu
    Edward W. Hu
    Head of External Relations
    Coming to Harvard-Westlake two years after the merger in 1994, I am currently the Head of External Relations at Harvard-Westlake, overseeing admissions, advancement, alumni relations, and communications. I have also been an Associate Director of College Counseling, dean of juniors and seniors, and Chief Advancement Officer. Over the years, I have also taught psychology, served as faculty advisor to the Asian American Awareness Club, the Straight-Gay Alliance, and Project 10. Before joining Harvard-Westlake, I graduated from Brown University with a degree in psychology and worked in college admissions at Occidental College and Brown University. I’m an avid baseball fan, movie buff, and foodie (who also cooks Chinese food).
  • David Weil ‘93
    David Weil '93
    Chief Financial Officer
    A graduate of the class of 1993, I am proud to serve as the school’s Chief Financial Officer. From budgeting to student transportation to matters of employment, I ensure that resources are put to use in ways that best support our students, faculty and staff, and the HW community. I greatly enjoy the diversity of the work we perform, a long-held trait that similarly led me to receive an economics degree from Pomona College. When not engrossed in a financial model or planning new programs with colleagues, I can usually be found on a hike or trip to the beach with my two sons.
  • Jim De Matté
    Jim De Matté
    Chief of Campus Operations and Construction
    I started out providing technical support for the theater at the upper school and am now the Chief of Campus Operations for our great school. Being the CCO is a very hard yet rewarding job. My departments include maintenance, security, clerical, and food service, and I still supervise all the theatre technical staff. My motivation as CCO is to make sure all of the groups we serve – students, parents, faculty, and staff –have what they need to maximize the value of their experiences here at Harvard-Westlake.
  • Ari Engelberg ‘89
    Ari Engelberg '89
    Head of Communications & Strategic Initiatives
    I am Harvard-Westlake’s Head of Communications & Strategic Initiatives. I’m also an assistant coach on the boys varsity basketball team. Prior to serving in these roles, I was Executive Director of a network of public charter schools in Los Angeles called Bright Star Schools, taught history here at Harvard-Westlake, and helped to run a software company that I co-founded called Stamps.com. I studied Political Science and Psychology at UC Berkeley (Go Bears!) and attended law school and business school at UCLA. I’m one of many alumni who have come back to work at Harvard-Westlake.
  • Eli Goldsmith
    Eli Goldsmith
    Director of Advancement
    I am Harvard-Westlake’s Director of Advancement. I began at Harvard-Westlake in 2005 on our alumni relations team, followed by graduate school, and then two years running the alumni and annual giving programs at Polytechnic School in Pasadena. In 2012, I returned to Harvard-Westlake to run our annual giving program, pursue major gifts for the school, and teach 8th grade debate. In 2017, I was promoted to my current role. I studied Politics at Princeton University and received a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from Harvard University. As a recipient of financial aid throughout my own education, my work is driven by a desire to create the same types of opportunities at Harvard-Westlake that so many others provided for me.
  • Janine Hancock Jones
    Janine Hancock Jones
    Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
    I serve as an Associate Director of Admission and Harvard-Westlake’s first Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Prior to coming to Harvard-Westlake, I worked as a lawyer at several large law firms and served as Senior Advisor/Deputy Legal Counsel to former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. I work closely with prospective families throughout the application process and coordinate the Student Ambassador Program. My husband, Chris, is an upper school dean and our daughters, Taylor and Avery, are current students.
  • Jim Patterson
    Jim Patterson
    Director of Kutler Center and Director of Summer School Programs
    I have been the Director of the Kutler Center since 2014 and the Director of the Summer Program since 2007. In both roles, I help to develop programs outside the traditional liberal arts core that provide unique opportunities for the joyful pursuit of educational excellence. I came to Harvard-Westlake in 1994 to teach in the math and science departments and moved into my current role after serving as an upper school dean for 12 years. Before taking the helm at Harvard-Westlake Summer, I worked at the UCLA Summer Program for High School Students and Summer in Switzerland at the Leysin American School. I also spent ten summers working at Camp Emerald Bay on Catalina Island ultimately serving as Camp Director for two years. I grew up in the Inland Empire region of Southern California and earned a Bachelor in Physics from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont. I also hold two master’s degrees, one in Education from the University of La Verne and one in Physics from Cal State Northridge.
  • Aaron Mieszczanski
    Aaron Mieszczanski
    Director of Admission
    I joined the Harvard-Westlake community as Director of Admission in 2018. Prior to arriving at Harvard-Westlake, I was the Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at San Francisco University High School for five years. Before my time at University, I lived and worked at the Thacher School for five years, serving as the Senior Associate Director of Admission and coordinator of multicultural outreach. While there, I also advised sophomore boys, coached soccer and basketball, and served as the faculty advisor to the multicultural affinity group. I’m proudly from the Bronx, New York, and I earned my undergraduate degree in History from Williams College, and my Master’s in Independent School Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Dave Ruben
    Dave Ruben
    Director of Information Technology
    As Director of Information Technology (IT), I oversee all things technical. During my 24 years at HW, the use of technology has grown exponentially and so has the IT department, going from 3 people when I arrived to the 14 we have today. We’re responsible for obtaining, distributing and maintaining tech gear including all computers, audio/visual equipment, networking, servers and security. In addition, we create and maintain our many web sites and Didax, our custom, integrated information system. Prior to coming to HW, I spent 10+ years in the aerospace industry in an era when the outbreak of peace was career limiting. I attended tiny Augustana College in Rock Island, IL, majoring in Business and Communications.
  • Chris Jones
    Chris Jones
    Chair of the Upper School Deans
    I am honored to work with a dynamic team of 11 as Chair of the Upper School Deans and to guide and support nearly 900 students throughout their upper school academic careers and the college admission process. In addition, I serve as faculty sponsor for myriad student groups, most notably the BLACC, and coached basketball during my first seven years at Harvard-Westlake. I joined HW in 2012 after 10 years as Co-Director of College Counseling and Head Basketball Coach at Columbus Academy (OH). I also spent seven years in college admission at Kenyon College, Williams College (alma mater), and American University. Between admissions stints at Williams and American, I received a Master’s degree from Columbia University Teachers College. My wife, Janine, serves as HW’s Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and we are the proud parents of an HW alum (Taylor, ’18) and current student (Avery, ’23).
  • Kate Benton
    Kate Benton
    Chair of the Middle School Deans
    Kate Benton, Department Chair of the Middle School Deans, is in her 22st year at Harvard Westlake. In addition to being a 7th grade dean she is also a member of the Performing Arts Faculty. Kate developed the 7th grade Advisory Program and is a member of the Middle School Leadership Team. Kate first came to HW in 1995 and ran the Drama program at the middle school. She became a dean in 2003 and is the only dean at the middle school to have been dean to 7th, 8th and 9th grade. She is a regular speaker for the annual HW Parent Series on adolescent development and socialization. Kate is a graduate of Northwestern University, and is married to MS Drama teacher, Jim Doughan. They have two sons who attended Harvard-Westlake, Charlie Doughan (’09) and Hank Doughan (’12).
  • Ann-Marie Whitman
    Ann-Marie Whitman
    Executive Assistant to the President
    I am the executive assistant to Rick Commons, President and Head of School (fun fact: Rick and I worked together when he was at HW in the 1990’s). I am a California native, born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley. I did my undergraduate work at USC, and received an MBA from Loyola Marymount. I worked at an advertising agency for several years before starting in the admissions office at what was then Harvard School, just after the merger was announced, and have been at HW ever since.