Peter Paik was the head coach of the University School speech and debate team for 18 years. Mr. Paik was inducted into the Ohio Speech and Debate Association Coaches Hall of Fame in 2020. (See the induction speeches here.) His Public Forum debate team won the NSDA national championship in 2010. Under his leadership, University School won the NSDA School of Excellence in Debate Award eight times. Mr. Paik's teams have also been successful at the state level, winning the Ohio state championship in PF five times. In 2016 Mr. Paik and Mr. James Lewis launched Classic Debate Camp at Kenyon College with Leslie Muhlbach, Aidan Brandt, and Edith Lui. Mr. Paik is committed to sharing his expertise and his vision for the debate community with everyone.
Assistant Camp Director
Leslie Muhlbach currently coaches at Gahanna Lincoln High School, where she also teaches speech and debate classes. She began her coaching career as an assistant coach at Massillon Washington and then became the head coach at Jackson. During her tenure at Jackson, she built her program into a powerhouse that won numerous district championships and claimed two OSDA team sweepstakes titles. In 2012, Ms. Muhlbach's public forum team won the Ohio state championship and her Lincoln-Douglas debater won 2nd place at the NSDA national tournament. In 2014, Ms. Muhlbach was inducted into the OSDA Coaches Hall of Fame. She believes that debate is the best way to teach young people the listening and speaking skills they need to become collaborative, ethical, and productive problem-solvers.
Edith Lui debated four years for Sylvania Southview High School and was the captain of the debate team her senior year. She has experience in Lincoln-Douglas, Public Forum, and Congressional Debate, as well as Extemporaneous Debate. Edith actively competed around the state of Ohio and placed at eight tournaments during her senior year, including first place at Princeton HS. Edith is a two-time state qualifier in LD and a national qualifier in World Schools Debate. Edith graduated from Miami University in 2020, where she majored in political science and computer science. She recently earned her MA in Political Science as well as her Master of Public Administration degree at American University. Edith was one of Classic Debate Camp's first two junior staff members in 2016 and has continued to be involved in CDC since then.
Theresa Garofalo graduated from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in 1989 as a Registered Nurse. Over the past 30 years, she has practiced nursing in various settings including a Level 1 emergency room trauma center. She also worked part-time at an urgent care center while raising her family. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, she worked in collaboration with the school nurse at University School, administering first aid and assessing the medical needs of students throughout the pandemic. Outside of work, Ms. Garofalo thoroughly enjoys cooking, baking, reading, and traveling, especially internationally. At Classic Debate Camp, Ms. Garofalo will be providing medical care for campers. She looks forward to spending the week with the students as they hone their debate skills, make new friendships, and have a healthy, fun-filled experience!
Emily de Jong
Residential Programs Director
Emily de Jong attended Upper Arlington High School, where she participated in Mock Trial her senior year. She has gone on to earn her Honors undergraduate degree in Political Science and History at the Ohio State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Integrated Social Studies also at OSU. She hopes to become a 7-12 grade Social Studies teacher. Emily currently coaches Upper Arlington's Mock Trial and Moot Court Teams. In Mock Trial, she helped her team to advance to state-level competitions twice. In Moot Court, she coached one Finalist and two State Champions. In her free time, Emily enjoys participating in outdoor activities like backpacking, rock climbing, cycling, and Ultimate Frisbee. She is also a mother to one orange cat named Benji. She looks forward to meeting all of the talented young debaters and is excited to watch their critical thinking skills blossom at camp.