Hayes reenactor to speak at school


Next week, Hayes High School will host a Rutherford B. Hayes reenactor for a Q&A presentation about the 19th president of the United States during the city’s first Hayes Day.

On Oct. 4, the city will observe the 200-year anniversary of Hayes’ birth with a day of events and observations. At 7 p.m., Hayes High School will host a Q&A presentation with Paolo de Maria, a former Ohio superintendent of public instruction and Rutheford B. Hayes reenactor.

Hayes Principal Dr. Ric Stranges said he’s excited for the event, which is the first of its kind at the school.

“I think when the (Rutherford B. Hayes Heritage Committee) began, it was to do two things: bring more recognition to our president and the second was to educate,” Stranges said. “The recognition piece has worked with the statue, the sign downtown, and the bust at Hayes High School. All of those things were great. Now we are beginning to educate, and on Oct. 4, there will be … the education piece. We have an reenactor coming. He will be portraying Hayes, and we will educate the audience with a conversation with the president. I think it’s going to be very, very engaging, educational and memorable.”

Stranges joked that the presentation will be better than “Ric just giving a PowerPoint.”

“We’re having a question and answer dialogue conversation with the 19th president of the United States!” Stranges said. “De Maria is so learned and articulated. He has spent his retirement researching and falling in love with Rutherford B. Hayes.”

According to Stranges, de Maria loved Hayes’ integrity and was “honored” to be invited to speak at the school.

Stranges said he hopes attendees of the discussion, which is free, will learn more about Hayes.

“The continued education and learning is going to be exciting,” he said. “I talk to people who know very little about the man and when they begin to hear about (his impact), they are amazed. I’m looking forward to that the most; shining a light on the guy. It’s exciting to have a native son who went to the highest office in the land. It’s timely, and it’s about time that we did these kids of things for our namesake.”

Stranges added the Hayes High School football coaches are now giving the No. 19 jersey each week to a player who “exhibits hard work and integrity.”

“That makes me happy,” Stranges said. “There are new traditions happening based on education about the man. The growing appreciation for the man that he was gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

For more information on Hayes Day, visit www.rbhayesheritage.com.

Paolo de Maria as Rutherford B. Hayes.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/09/web1_paolu-de-maria-200X289.jpgPaolo de Maria as Rutherford B. Hayes. Courtesy photo

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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