Fairmont Launches Comprehensive Junior High Debate Program

Fairmont Private Schools believes debate competitions offer many exciting opportunities for students to grow confidence and develop essential skills for high school, college, and beyond. As our students continue earning awards and recognition at regional and national debate tournaments, Fairmont is launching a comprehensive debate program solidifying the forensic activities of its three preschool – grade 8 campuses. The Fairmont Debate Program will expand opportunities for junior high students to further their abilities in verbal communication, critical thinking, researching, organizing, and functioning on a team.

“Debate is an important component of the Fairmont experience,” said Carole Calabria, Managing Director, P-8 Campuses. “Our goal is to provide the highest level of instruction and coaching for students to fulfill their aspirations through this empowering extracurricular activity.”

Debate coaches from Anaheim Hills and Historic Anaheim Campuses will work under the guidance and coordination of Mr. Benjamin Hughes, who was recently appointed P-8 Speech and Debate Director. Mr. Hughes will continue coaching the debate team at the North Tustin Campus.

“The best approach for junior high students to develop their critical thinking skills is to participate in a debate team,” said Benjamin Hughes. “Debate gives them the opportunity to become knowledgeable, strong communicators who have the confidence to stand above the crowd.”

Mr. Hughes has been teaching history and English at Fairmont North Tustin Campus since 2001. He is also the founder and president of the Orange County Debate League, an independent, non-profit organization of debaters comprised of students and faculty from middle schools in and around Orange County.

Fairmont junior high debaters compete in the Orange County Debate League (OCDL) and National Junior Forensic League (NJFL) while high school students participate in the National Forensic League (NFL). The competitions run throughout the school year. For more information about the Fairmont Debate Program, please contact Mr. Benjamin Hughes at

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