Fairmont Schools

Culture of Excellence

Founded on innovation, Fairmont propels student success in the US and around the world.

We Are Family

Fairmont meets children where they are and gives them the opportunity to thrive. We can’t wait to meet you!

Continuum of Learning

Five dynamic campuses in Orange County, CA offering individualized instruction for P-12th grade students.

Anaheim Hills Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade)
Historic Anaheim Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade)
North Tustin Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade)
Preparatory Academy (9th – 12th Grade)
San Juan Capistrano Campus (Preschool – 8th Grade)
Campus Calendars

Developing Leaders

Fairmont’s scholar-athletes compete in a manner that promotes teamwork, nurtures leadership, and honors sportsmanship.

Cultivating Creativity

Whether exploring visual art, music, theatre or dance, Fairmont encourages creative expression from an early age.

Balance + Connection

Students are challenged to strive for their best, understanding that care for self and others is fundamental to success in school and in life.

Speech + Debate

This prestigious program is open to Fairmont’s middle school and high school students.

Speech + Debate
Speech + Debate

Gabe Rusk

Fairmont Prep Director of Debate

Gabe Rusk is the Director of Debate at Fairmont Preparatory Academy and a member of the prestigious National Speech and Debate Association’s Public Forum Topic Selection Committee. 

Mr. Rusk attended the University of Denver on a debate scholarship and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies and Philosophy. He went on to study at Oxford University, where he was the Vice President of the Student Union representing all international graduate students, and was elected as the equality officer at the Oxford Debate Union. He holds a Master’s from Oxford in Comparative Religious Studies. While in college, Mr. Rusk won 4th place at the National British Parliament Championships. 

As a Public Forum Debate coach for the past decade and a half, Mr. Rusk has seen his students win and/or make finals at tournaments including UC Berkeley, UNLV, NDCA, ASU, Glenbrooks, Stanford, Georgetown, UK Season Opener, and the National Tournament of Champions (TOC). In 2024, one of the Prep’s individual teams had the highest TOC Gold Bid count, 8, by the end of the season. This, coupled with his own exemplary high school career in Public Forum competition (including winning the national TOC), makes him uniquely qualified to lead the nationally-ranked Debate team at Fairmont Prep. 

In addition to serving as Fairmont Prep’s Director of Debate, Mr. Rusk has also been the director or senior instructor at over a dozen summer institutes, including the Institute for Speech & Debate. He believes debate and public speaking teach critical thinking and news literacy that are indispensable in the 21st Century, and has made it his life mission to spread such skills.

Please email Mr. Rusk at grusk@fairmontschools.com if you have any questions or would like additional information about Fairmont Prep’s Debate program.

Event Styles

Fairmont Prep participates in Public Forum Debate and Impromptu speaking. Public Forum is the largest debate format in the country, and Fairmont has consistently ranked as a top-five program in this arena based on the number of bids to the Tournament of Champions and tournament wins in Public Forum Debate. In 2023, the team fielded 65 students.

Class & Team

Fairmont Prep has an open team. There are no tryouts, though some tournaments limit tournament entries based on size. Team selection for those limited tournaments is determined by merit, work ethic, and seniority. Every student on the team must enroll in the Intro to Debate Class or Advanced Argumentation course. One of the Advanced Argumentation classes takes place in Zero Period, allowing students to work before school. Debate also heavily utilizes the Flex Period for practice debates, meetings, and research. Students must attend one tournament a semester to pass the class.

Tournaments

The school is represented at over 20 tournaments a year, the majority of which take place on what is called the national circuit. The minimum tournament season typically follows the UK Season Opener, Jack Howe CSU Long Beach, Yale Invitational, the NYC Invitational, CSU Fullerton, OCSL Novice, Georgetown Fall, Apple Valley MN, Glenbrooks Chicago, La Costa Canyon SD, ASU, Durham Cavalier Invitational, PV Peninsula, Emory Barkley Forum, UNLV Golden Desert, Stanford, and UC Berkeley. For the last seven years, Prep students have attended the national Tournament of Champions, the pinnacle of the season. 

Fees & Costs

A $200 per semester fee covers judge and registration costs. Students also pay for travel costs, though Fairmont offers a unique 10% subsidy on those specific arrangements. All travel payments must be made one day before a tournament’s departure. The Director of Debate books all transportation and travel accommodations and provides faculty chaperones. Parents do not chaperone. 

Fairmont News

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