Fairmont North Tustin Celebrates Diwali

Last Friday, the Fairmont North Tustin Campus’ Associated Student Body (ASB) hosted their second annual Diwali Celebration. The campus was bustling with activity Friday morning as curious parents risked being late to work to see some of the festivities. Campus staff, faculty, and students rushed through the halls, making sure they were where they needed to be by the time celebrations began. Many teachers and students wore traditional Indian clothing to celebrate the day, kindly brought in by Fairmont families excited to share their culture.

Diwali Celebration at Fairmont Private Schools - North Tustin Campus At 8:30 am, teachers began gathering their classes around the campus basketball courts where parents had already begun to congregate. The morning began with a dramatized reading by 8th graders explaining some of the Indian mythology surrounding Diwali. They told the story of Rama and Sita, a husband and wife about to inherit a kingdom, but banished before they could take their rightful place on the throne. The 8th graders told the story with confidence and theatrics before introducing classmates, Ankhita C. and Anisha P., to teach their fellow students a traditional Indian dance.

“Our 8th graders love to participate in these types of activities where they can interact with our younger students,” ASB advisor Rami Harb shared. “They are such a fun and spirited group; it makes complete sense that they offered to lead our younger grade levels in the dance instruction.”

As the dance lesson began, laughter broke out across the courts as students tried to keep up with the steps. The older students seemed to pick it up the quickest while younger students had fun simply bopping around to the music and getting caught up in the contagious excitement.


To close out the assembly, all students were invited to join Ankhita and Anisha on the court for a final run-through of the dance. Though initially shy, once a couple of students convinced their friends to join them, the court was filled with exuberant children rushing to keep up with the fluid dance moves.

Celebrations continued on throughout the day during the students’ snack and lunchtime. During their snack break, students were able to sample Indian treats, while the day’s main activities were saved for lunchtime with dance lessons provided for junior kindergarten through 1st grade students, temporary henna tattoos, and a photo booth.

“I would say the students enjoy the snacks the most,” Mr. Harb said of the activities.

ASB hosted their first Diwali Celebration last year in an effort “to include a focus on cultural awareness events as part of [ASB’s] overall mission of celebrating school spirit.”

“We try to be mindful of the different cultures on our campus and celebrate events that we know are important to our students and families,” Mr. Harb said.

The North Tustin Campus ASB will continue hosting cultural events throughout the school year with celebrations for Lunar New Year, Persian New Year, Holi, Cinco de Mayo, and Mardi Gras.

The campus recognizes that these events not only celebrate culture but also serve as a way to educate students about cultures they may not previously have known or understood.

“Our student body is incredibly diverse,” Mr. Harb explained. “The more we can do to celebrate that spirit of multiculturalism, the better we can prepare our students to succeed in an increasingly connected world.”

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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.”