2016 Olympic Badminton Player & Fairmont Alum Phillip Chew Visits Anaheim Hills Campus

On Wednesday, September 14, Phillip Chew of the U.S. Olympic Badminton Team visited with students during the Anaheim Hills Campus’ weekly flag salute, leading the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and speaking about his experiences as both an Olympian and former Fairmont student.

Phillip ChewDubbed the “Tiger Woods of Badminton,” Chew started playing when he was little over a year old, winning his first gold medal at the age of five at the U.S. Badminton Junior Nationals in the “9 and under” boys doubles and singles categories.  Badminton is literally the family business — Chew’s family has owned the Orange County Badminton Club since 1996. A lifelong Orange County resident, Chew attended Fairmont Private Schools – Anaheim Hills Campus from preschool through 6th grade, practicing badminton up to three hours per day. With his “dream” of making the Olympics in sight, Chew left Fairmont so he could practice even more, with training sessions upwards of seven hours per day.  The hard work and dedication paid off, as he won gold medals almost every year from 1999 until finally achieving his goal and competing at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

“They really prepare you for the future [at Fairmont],” said Chew.  He went on to tell students about how Fairmont’s advanced curriculum ultimately helped him succeed in high school and, even now, with his college studies.  Phillip Chew currently attends the University of California at Irvine, studying Business Economics, with hopes of one day taking over his family’s other business — a printing and packaging company.  Chew has already set a new goal of competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this time with his brother (and former Fairmont student) Ryan as his teammate and doubles partner.

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Shelby Wagner - 1st Grade Teacher Fairmont Historic AnaheimTop Teacher & Skating Champion
Shelby “My favorite part of being a teacher is the children I get to teach.”
  • Is one of the head teachers for the Fountain Valley Artistic Skating Club, teaching regional and national champions. She also teaches beginner classes every Saturday morning.
  • Every year, her students are amazed to find that their teacher has a life outside of the classroom.
“I love feeling like I’m part of a family [at Fairmont].”
Keira Kamath - 5th Grade Fairmont Anaheim HillsScience & Tennis Superstar
keira “I like how there are so many different specialty classes at Fairmont Anaheim Hills, like art, music, PE, science lab, computer lab, and Spanish.”
  • She would like to be a professional tennis player when she grows up, or maybe a doctor.
  • Loves dance and plays the piano
  • Her favorite class is science “because you get to figure out stuff, and I like to do experiments.”
Nicholas Aghaian - 7th Grade Fairmont Historic AnaheimKicking His Way to Med School
nicolas“The teachers and the amount of support they provide to not only me, but to the whole entire community here at Fairmont is probably what I like most about attending Fairmont Historic Anaheim.”
  • He would like to be a professional soccer player, or a doctor specializing in the field of sports medicine.
  • Enjoys basketball, piano, and soccer pitch.
  • His favorite subject is math “because I like to be challenged, and math is full of challenges.”
Gianluca De Gregoris – 2nd Grade Fairmont North TustinDancing Toward Greatness
dancing"What I like most about Fairmont is that I get to learn and meet new friends.”
  • He wants to be a professional dancer when he grows up.
  • Is trained in ballet and ballroom dancing.
  • Loves writing and creating new stories.
Nicole Heyman - Kindergarten Teacher Fairmont Anaheim HillsLaying a Foundation for Lifelong Learning
Nicole "The best part about teaching at Fairmont is being able to work with a diverse group of students who are all incredibly talented. It is amazing to be able to challenge students at such a young age and watch these children grow throughout the year.”
  • Loves camping, reading, and traveling
  • Her students love learning random things about her – like the fact that when she was in kindergarten she wanted to be Spiderman when she grew up.
  • Her proudest moments are the times when a student on campus is excited to see her, oftentimes telling her that she’s “the best teacher in the world.” “I live for those moments.”
“I choose to teach at Fairmont because of the sense of community, as well as the drive for our students to succeed.”
DJ Clovis - Music Teacher Fairmont North TustinRunning to the Rhythm
DJ Clovis “I get to work with amazing staff, faculty, parents, and most importantly, students!”
  • Teaches music to all grades — from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade
  • Coaches (or has coached) football, basketball, and Run Club
  • Plays bass trombone
  • NJHS Conflict Resolution Coach
  • He has run 15 marathons and 4 ultra marathons.
“The best part of teaching at Fairmont is the autonomy — being able to create a program that fits all of my students. At Fairmont North Tustin, I get to help with a lot of different activities.”