Hailing from a town of 250 residents, Joan Karen Gaut spent much of her childhood developing expertise in various musical disciplines, which ultimately led her to her chosen path. After completing a preparatory nursing program during high school, she sought a career in health and education. Initially enrolling at California State University, Chico, Ms. Gaut began her higher education by earning a Bachelor of Science in nursing in 1965. The following year, she obtained her teaching credentials from the California Department of Education and her public health nursing credentials from Sacramento State University. Ms. Gaut concluded her educational ventures by attaining her life teaching credentials from Saint Mary’s University, having also taken courses in dance and theater.
Commencing her professional career, Ms. Gaut began served as a public school nurse for two years. Afterwards, she cultivated a distinguished reputation as a music teacher through the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District in Solano County, California for three decades. Notably, Ms. Guat was named Teacher of the Year for the 2008-2009 school year, having also taken home a Woman of the Year Award and Volunteer of the Year Award from Fairfield County. Today, Ms. Gaut continues to excel in the musical realm as a private music teacher with the Make a Joyful Noise Music Studio. Additionally, she had also served a member of the board of trustee for the Fairfield-Suisun School Board from 2016 to 2020.
A philanthropist at heart, Ms. Gaut maintains her affiliations as the president of Music for Our Children, chair of the Fairfield-Suisun Arts Council and as an active member of the Mission Evangelism Committee with the Rockville Presbyterian Fellowship, as well as a choir member and accompanist substitute for the Rockville Presbyterian Fellowship, among other roles. In addition, she has been a parent to seven foster children and three biological children, which she is most proud to have done in her lifetime. Ms. Gaut presently maintains professional involvement with the California Teachers Association, the Performing Arts Network and the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Association, among others. Looking toward the future, she plans to travel to Africa, Spain and Austria while persisting in her musical pursuits.