Fairmont Education Group is family-owned and continues to be family-operated in its sixth decade of business. The original Fairmont School campus was founded in 1953 by public school educator, Kenneth Holt, who began offering summer school instruction to a handful of students out of his home. His focus on academic fundamentals, phonics-based language arts instruction, and character development attracted the attention of local parents and ultimately grew into a full-time school program at what is now the Fairmont Schools – Historic Anaheim Campus in Anaheim, California. In 1979, the family appointed second-generation family member, David Jackson as owner and leader of Fairmont. Over the next 30 years, David grew Fairmont from one to five campuses throughout North Orange County, California. This expansion included Fairmont Preparatory Academy, Fairmont’s first private high school in 1993. Today, the Fairmont Education Group includes multiple divisions of educational services. These divisions include independent schools (Fairmont Schools), international education partnerships and programs (Fairmont International School), and hybrid learning services (Thesys International).
In 2014, Fairmont Education Group established a Wholly Foreign Owned Entity (WFOE) in mainland China, with the name Empowering Dreams (Shanghai) Cultural Communications Co. Ltd. Fairmont’s WFOE allows us to work with schools in China to facilitate the growth of international departments and to share what we’ve learned in over 60 years of educating young minds.
Mr. David Jackson, son of Fairmont founders Kenneth and Helen Holt, grew up with Fairmont and first joined as a staff member in 1959 as a Junior Camp Counselor. After high school, he left Fairmont to study at Brigham Young University and to successfully begin his business career in the aircraft industry. The pull of family and Fairmont ultimately drew Mr. Jackson back to Orange County, and he re-joined Fairmont in 1979 as Business Manager. Since that time, he has filled several key roles, culminating with his current position as Chairman of the Board. A man of tremendous vision, Mr. Jackson saw the opportunity to offer a Fairmont education to more students by opening and acquiring new campuses. Today Fairmont serves preschool – 12th grades, with five campuses across Orange County, including two college preparatory high schools — Fairmont Preparatory Academy, which was founded by Mr. Jackson in 1993, and Fairmont San Juan Capistrano — the first South Orange County campus. Over the years, Mr. Jackson has received numerous accommodations for his steadfast commitment to excellence in education — most recently, being named one of the Top 5 Education Leaders in Orange County.
After earning a BA in History Teaching from Brigham Young University in 2000, Chad Jackson went on to teach English in Taiwan for one year. Upon returning to the United States, he spent five years as an English and History teacher in the Anaheim School District, during which time he also completed his MS in Education Administration and his Administrative Services Credential at California State University, Fullerton. In 2007, Mr. Jackson joined Fairmont as the Assistant Director of Education. He has also held key leadership positions of Director of Operations and Executive Vice President. In 2018, he was appointed President of Fairmont Schools and, as such, has oversight of all operations and business functions. Throughout his tenure at Fairmont, Mr. Jackson has been unwavering in his commitment to driving innovation in order to provide students the very best educational opportunities, while empowering teachers to make life-changing connections with their students.
Mary Jane Miller
Mary Jane Miller joined Fairmont Schools as the Chief Operating Officer in late 2020. With almost two decades of education management experience, MJ has developed global transactional expertise (mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financing and recapitalization) and has held senior roles across multiple industries including K12, higher education, professional education, media & gaming and consumer products. Her prior experience includes COO for INTO University Partnerships, SVP for Kaplan International North America and SVP & General Counsel for the Meritas Family of International Schools. She is also a co-founder of Cygnini Education, a partner-oriented organization working with universities that are committed to matching student supply with employer demand to support economic growth. MJ received her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Washington & Jefferson College and her JD from Vanderbilt University. She also received a Certificate from the Management Institute of the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University.