Gary G. Harmon

Title: Director of Forensics and Debate (Retired)
Company: Kansas Wesleyan University
Location: Salina, Kansas, United States

Gary G. Harmon, retired director of forensics and debate at Kansas Wesleyan University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in speech and communications education.

Mr. Harmon is a retired educator and the former director of forensics and debate at Kansas Wesleyan University, where he served from 2003 until 2011. As director, Mr. Harmon was responsible for managing the school’s competitive speech and debate program, including teaching forensics, English, and debate, and traveling to up to 15 events nationwide each year. He is the author of “Argumentation and Debate: A Strategic Perspective,” 2016, and “Practical Debate,” 1999, and spent more than four decades in the classroom by the time of his retirement. Following his mother’s advice to study something he enjoyed, Mr. Harmon graduated from Sterling College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science in English, speech, and theatre. He began teaching the same year as an English instructor at Hutchinson Central Junior High School and a debate coach for Wellington Public Schools. 

From 1968 until 1970, Mr. Harmon was a debate teacher and coach for Manhattan Public Schools. He spent the next decade as a substitute teacher for the Anthony-Harper Unified School District and became a full-time teacher and debate coach in the district in 1980. In 1984, Mr. Harmon accepted a position as a teacher and debate coach at Salina Central High School, a position he would continue to hold for the next 20 years. Mr. Harmon completed his Master of Arts in education at Kansas Wesleyan University in 1999, and was an adjunct professor at Kansas State University from 2002 until 2005 in addition to his work with Kansas Wesleyan University. Throughout his career, Mr. Harmon’s dedication to his students and profession was recognized with numerous awards, including induction into the National Speech & Debate Association NFL Coaches Hall of Fame and the Kansas Speech Hall of Fame, victories at several national-level competitions, and a 2021 Kansas State High School Activities Association Outstanding Educator Award. As of 2021, Mr. Harmon is the namesake of the Gary Harmon Scholarship Competition at Kansas Wesleyan University. He credits his success to his curiosity, love for reading, and lifelong learning ethos, and is currently writing a book for publication in 2022.

 

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