Growing up in a military family, Leslie O'Neil had the opportunity to travel a great deal as a young child. After completing high school in the Omaha area, Leslie attended the University of Nebraska where she earned a teaching degree in 1994. She and her husband, Stuart, moved to the Lawrence area where she began a teaching career.
While she enjoyed her work in the public schools, Leslie eventually left teaching to be at home with her two young children, Daniel and Anna. During this time, she also pursued a degree in library science and information management at Emporia State University. Since 2005, she has collaborated on various projects with the National Park Service, the Brown Foundation, the Lawrence Public Library and the KU Confucius Institute.
Leslie began work in the KU Band office in 2012 and was named Employee of the Year in 2018.