• 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.
  • Debbie Reed
    Debbie Reed
    Associate Head of School
    Returning to Harvard-Westlake as the Interim Associate Head of School is a homecoming for me. My life’s work has been in schools - public and private, urban and suburban, parochial and nonsectarian, co-ed schools and single-sex schools. At HW I was hired as an English teacher and co-directed the Admission office with Elizabeth Gregory before being appointed Head of Middle School in the formative years of the merged school. Upon leaving HW, I served as Head of two K-12 schools, Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, Ohio and Polytechnic in Pasadena, CA. After retiring in June of 2014 from Poly, I worked as a consultant with schools in California, Michigan, Rhode Island, and New York and traveled. Coming full circle, it’s a privilege and a pleasure to serve HW again.
  • 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.
  • Laura Ross
    Laura Ross
    Head of Upper School
    I am Harvard-Westlake’s Head of Upper School. Prior to arriving at Harvard-Westlake I was the Head of Upper School at Greenhill School in Dallas, Texas. I’ve had many roles in schools and colleges over my 21 years in education: I’ve been a college counselor, a college admissions officer, a soccer coach, a teacher of meditation and world religions, and a dorm parent. I hold a B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University and an Master’s from Stanford University in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs.
  • 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 bachelors 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.
  • Rob Levin
    Rob Levin
    Director, HW Venture
    After serving as HW’s CFO for thirty years, I now teach a spirited Kutler elective (“The Business of Life”), head HW’s entrepreneurial program (HW Venture), counsel students and alumni, and contribute quietly to broader HW innovation. Over the decades, I’ve also taught math and economics, coached multiple sports, and led student trips. Prior to coming to HW, I attended Ransom Everglades in Miami, Princeton University, and Stanford Graduate School of Business. I also taught and coached at Pilgrim School and headed football and golf programs at Camp Greylock.
  • 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.
  • Beth Slattery
    Beth Slattery
    Chair of the Upper School Deans
    As Chair of the Upper School Deans’ Department, I lead a team of 11 extraordinary professionals whose primary focus is the academic, social, and emotional growth of our nearly 900 upper school students. 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 now 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 currently plays baseball at UC Berkeley, and the proud wife of a USC music professor.
  • 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.