Thelma Mothershed Wair, The Little Rock Nine

Thelma Mothershed Wair was a junior when she enrolled at Central High. She continued her education during the “The Lost Year,” by attending summer school in St. Louis, Missouri, and taking correspondence courses. Her diploma from Central High was sent to her by mail.

Wair graduated from Southern Illinois University at Cabondale in 1964 with a bachelors degree in home economics. She later earned a Master of Science degree in Guidance and Counseling Education. She taught in the East St. Louis school system for twenty-eight years. The East St. Louis chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction and the early childhood/pre-kindergarten staff of District 189 honored her as an Outstanding Role Model. She retired from teaching in 1994.

Wair has also devoted her time to the American Red Cross Shelter for the homeless, where she taught survival skills to women.

As an Educator
“I was determined to treat my kids equally,” she said. “I taught home economics. I taught white kids and helped them and graded them fairly.”

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