Former Middletown superintendent, community leader ‘made the most of his life’

Norman M. Hayes, a former Middletown school superintendent and community leader, died Wednesday. He was 85.

Hayes, who was born in Frankfort, Ind., spent 31 years with the former Middletown/Monroe Consolidated Schools. He started as a history teacher at Lemon-Monroe High School, then progressed through various administrative positions in the district and retired as superintendent of the Middletown City Schools.

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Pat Hayes, his wife, said he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease about 20 years ago, and had been very sick for the past 10 years.

She said they would have celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary in December.

“He was an excellent manager of time,” she said. “He was an avid reader and traveler. He made the most of his life.

“He thoroughly enjoyed Middletown and always believed in supporting organizations in the community. His work speaks for itself.”

The couple often chaired community events such as AIM Gala, Charity Ball Committees, Middletown Bicentennial McGuire Sister Concert and Abilities First 40th Anniversary.

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Ann Mort, a former Middletown councilwoman, served on the Board of Education before Hayes retired from the school district.

“I have nothing but high regard for Norm,” Mort said. “He was a top-notch educator. When he worked for the (Middletown Community) Foundation, he started a college scholarship program. If there was a kid from Middletown who wanted to go to college, they could get help from the foundation. He’d cobble it together and if the foundation couldn’t help, he’d reach out to his network of educators.”

She thought Hayes was a good superintendent who was compassionate and expected good things from his people.

“He was a great guy,” Mort said.

Rick Pearce, president and CEO of The Chamber of Commerce Serving Middletown, Monroe and Trenton, did not work with Hayes but was very well aware of his impact on the city.

“What an extraordinary gentlemen who gave his entire career (and retirement years) for the betterment of the Middletown community,” Pearce said. “The organizations Norm was associated with are better off today due to his leadership and vision.”

“Mr. Hayes was the standard bearer of education for years as a teacher and administrator. His life was a gift to the children of Middletown,” Carmella Cotter, Middletown High School principal, wrote on Twitter.

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Hayes received his bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and Master’s degrees from Miami University and Xavier University before becoming an advanced graduate student at Ohio State University and Columbia University.

In 1986, he was among 20 superintendents from Ohio selected to visit and study China’s educational system. Always interested in history and realizing a need, in 1987 he wrote “A Brief History of the Middletown City School District” covering the years 1800 to 1987.

After retiring as Middletown’s school superintendent, Hayes continued teaching as a adjunct professor at Miami University and Wright State University. In addition, Mr. Hayes volunteered for 12 years as an instructor at the Lebanon Correctional Institution.

He was a community leader as he served as interim president of the Middletown Area Chamber of Commerce; 11 years as executive director of the Middletown Community Foundation where he established a large system of scholarships for Middletown area youth.

Hayes was also an active member of many boards, including the Middletown Area YMCA, Middletown Area United Way, Middletown Job Opportunities, Middletown Symphony, Arts in Middletown, Middletown Chamber of Commerce, American Savings Bank, Middletown Community Foundation, Miami University Middletown, Monroe Historical Society and Warren County Literacy.

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At his request, there will be no funeral service.

Memorial donations, if desired, may be made to the Norman and Pat Hayes Scholarship Fund at the Middletown Community Foundation, 300 N. Main St., Suite 300, Middletown, OH 45042; to the Norman and Pat Hayes Education Endowment Fund at the Atrium Medical Center Foundation, 1 Medical Center Drive, Middletown, OH 45005 or to DayCity Hospice, 8039 Washington Village Dr., Suite 110, Dayton, OH 45458.

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