Prior to her marriage in spring of 1944, Joan Thomas taught 4th Grade at Mattie V. Rutherford Elementary School (5th and Hubbard) in Springfield. She and her sister, Barbara Thomas attended MattieV as children then Joan "cadetted" or worked as an Administrative Aide at MattieV until she completed her University Degree and taught there in the late 1940s. She was especially good with dramatic and theatrical productions and was involved in several school pageants and shows. She returned to teach at Mattie V. after I was born and perhaps during this time she originated and produced Sleeping Beauty, the idea and score for which she says she got from a children's magazine called "Wee Wisdom."
It was in 1941 that she took her class on a trip to St. Augustine. It was a "pretend trip" with a real Greyhound bus one of the fathers drove for them. "Pretend St. Augustine" was actually the Carpales Manuscript building in Springfield.. But it was real enough and enjoyed by all as you can see in the few pictures Joan took of her class.