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.
Megan McCracken is from Oxford, Ohio. Megan graduated from The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences in 2019 with her Bachelors of Science in Nursing. Megan started her career at Cincinnati Children’s while in college as a secretary in the Emergency Department. Upon graduating, Megan was a RN at Cincinnati Children’s on their neuro/trauma unit. Megan then went back to school to get her Master’s in Nursing Executive Leadership, which she completed in 2022. Megan continues to work for Cincinnati Children’s where she has been promoted to a clinical manager in their Emergency Department. In Megan’s free time she enjoys boating and spending time with her family. At Classic Debate Camp, Megan looks forward to providing any needed medical care to campers and having a healthy, fun-filled week with them!
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.