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Kansas Wesleyan University

Long-time Kansas Wesleyan Debate and Forensics coach Gary Harmon was recently named the region’s recipient of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Outstanding Speech/Debate/Theatre Educator Award. Harmon’s award represents NFHS Section 5, which encompasses Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. 

At KWU, Harmon has led a program that has posted more than 50 national championships, but his influence extends beyond campus as well. 

From 1982 to 1993, he coached five State Champions in 4-Speaker, 2-Speaker and Lincoln-Douglas Debate. In 1988, he coached the NFL Student Congress Senator National Champion. He is a Salina Teacher of the Year, two-time Kansas Speech Communications Teacher of the Year, and is a member of the National NFL Coaches Hall of Fame (National Speech and Debate Association) and the Kansas Speech Hall of Fame (Kansas Speech Communications Association).

Harmon started a high school Debate camp in 1986 that still operates today. He created the Kansas State Fair Debates in 1992 as well. His career has spanned over 50 years in locations throughout the state, influencing thousands of students in the process. 

Harmon is now eligible for the national version of this award, which will be announced later in the year. 

Look for a story on Harmon’s exploits at Kansas Wesleyan in the next issue of Contact, due out in April. 

Portions of this release are courtesy of the KSHSAA.