Leon to head financial aid office

Benjamin Most

Assistant director of admission and co-director of the ninth grade advisory program, Melanie Leon, will replace Geoff Bird, who is retiring, as Director of Financial Aid next year.

“Through my work with the Student Ambassador program and with the ninth grade advisory program, I have gained a strong understanding of student life and how to help students develop the tools they need to be successful at Harvard-Westlake,” Leon said. “I hope to use this knowledge to better support students attending Harvard-Westlake who receive financial aid.”

Leon has experience dealing with families during her time in the admission office, which will help her interact with families seeking financial aid, she said.

“I think developing relationships with families, specifically families receiving financial aid, is extremely important,” Leon said. “It gives them a contact on campus whom they are comfortable with and whom they can reach out to with questions or concerns.”

Admission associate Nancy Jeon ’89, who filled in during Senior Associate Director of Admission Michelle Hung’s ’91 maternity leave, will fill Leon’s role in the Student Ambassador program next year.

“Mr. Bird has run an incredible financial aid program,” Leon said. “Before I implement any major changes, I plan to take time to learn more about the needs of our students and families receiving financial aid and research the best practices at other educational institutions.”