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By Erica Pauda / A-J Media

Posted Feb 15, 2018 at 7:46 PMUpdated Feb 15, 2018 at 7:46 PM

Presidents from Cleveland and Jackson to Washington and Lincoln were well represented as second graders at All Saint’s Episcopal School came dressed for success and full of knowledge Thursday morning at the school’s 34th annual Hall of Presidents event.

Some children wore wigs, while others donned caps and dressed in period attire to help parents, guardians and other sightseers in the audience identify which United States president their students were trying to look like as part of the celebrations of the nation’s leaders ahead of Presidents Day.

Each student, assigned a president by their teachers, had a minute or less to give a speech about which president they were to share with the audience, said Cindy Morris, a second grade teacher at All Saint’s.

Some students gave a speech focusing on the biography of the president they were assigned, while other students, like Tess Stockdale, added a fun fact, as she did with President Andrew Jackson.

“I also had a pet parent named Paul,” she said. “At my funeral in 1845, my pet parrot Paul had to be removed because he was swearing.”

Finn Newsom, who portrayed President Abraham Lincoln, said he liked to keep important papers in his hat.  “You never know what you’ll find in there,” he said. As he took off his hat, he pulled out money and said he had $5.

Olly Killeen, who portrayed President Grover Cleveland, had a bit of a biography at the beginning of her speech, but ended it with a fun fact that some people may have not known.  “People think that the candy bar, Baby Ruth, is made after a famous baseball player, Babe Ruth, but it was actually named after my daughter Ruth,” she said.  After Olly’s speech was over, she threw Baby Ruth candy bars into the crowd.

“Most of these children memorized all 45 presidents in order,” said Morris. “A lot of them chose to memorize them also backwards. Amazing.”  She said each student was randomly assigned a president in January, and given the last month to focus on their research and presentation.  “Some of the older (presidents) the children enjoy getting to learn about – they don’t really know about (them),” said Morris.  She emphasized that the purpose of the annual event is to focus on history rather than politics.  “We’re learning about history in terms of the Declaration, our Founding Fathers,” she said.

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