More Mary Elizabeth Connors via Grace Gist

I read some of this stuff last night. The news clips. This one would impress longtime Bridgewaterites:

Before Mary Elizabeth showed up in our community, she apparently had her disputes and difficulties in Pittston, Pennsylvania. For one, she wasn’t making the money she wanted.

I don’t know what “equivalent of a doctorate” is, but apparently in Pennsylvania, it wasn’t an actual doctorate. So Connors complained to the local board.

Here is another gem:

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a blowup of the “Local Chatter” piece reveals this:

“Miss Mary Elizabeth Connors of West Pittston, one of the finer teachers in the region has submitted her resignation as vice-principal of Pittston Area High School. Miss Connors had been stricken ill some time ago and had been a patient at Geisinger Medical Center. However, in her resignation she advised that she was resigning for personal reasons.”

Now this was 1970. We know the history after Miss Connors decided to hightail it from West Pittston to unsuspecting Bridgewater Township. And it’s highly unlikely that the Dittmans and their followers did any due diligence about Connors.

What I am curious to know is this: what exactly was Miss Connors’ “illness”? As someone who saw a perfectly healthy-seeming middle aged woman in the 1980’s lording over a high school, what exactly was the problem in Pennsylvania??

Grace Gist’s sources make it clear that Connors was disappointed in Pennsylvania about money. And apparently she was hospitalized during her educational career there for a reason that that Pittston newspaper community of the time felt it noteworthy to report on.

Usually if someone is stricken with a treatable cancer or some sort of everyday illness, you got those details. Even in 1970, right?

If I had been sitting on the Board in 1970, I would have at least been curious about the departure and the circumstances.

Is it possible that West Pittston had a lemon who was looking to be wrapped in some “dough”, so to speak? And the “personal reasons” were that Connors had found a district outside of Pittston newspaper circulation range–and some patrons, the Dittmans–who would back her in a much more lucrative role?

And an unsuspecting population of tax-paying residents?

The “first woman” this-and-that must have been icing on the cake.


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