In Memoriam: Anne Everest Wojtkowski, 1935-2014

wojtkowskiAnne Wojtkowski, long-time educator, author, and the first woman to serve as mayor of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, died on October 13 at her home in Pittsfield. She was 79 years old.

WojtBookA native of Pittsfield, she began her college career at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst but transferred to Boston University, where she was the first woman to earn a degree in aeronautical engineering. In the late 1960s, Wojtkowski returned to Pittsfield and joined the faculty at Berkshire Community College. She would remain on the faculty there for 35 years and retired in 2004 as a professor of mathematics and engineering. In 1983, Professor Wojtkowski and an academic colleague sued Berkshire Community College for sexual discrimination in promotions and pay. The Massachusetts Teachers Association joined the lawsuit and expanded the scope to include all women faculty members at community colleges in Massachusetts. The case was eventually settled for $10.6 million.

While serving on the faculty, Wojtkowski also became interested in politics. She served on the Pittsfield School Committee and in 1981 made her first attempt to become mayor. She lost but six years later she won the first of two consecutive terms and was the first women to serve as mayor.

Professor Wojtkowski was the author of several books including Porcelain and Pottery Shoes (Shiffer Publishing, 2004).

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