Mr. John A. Kreiger, former Superintendent of the Pittsfield Public Schools, passed away June 21, 2021 at his home in Leesburg, VA, after a brief illness.
John was born in Pittsfield on April 1, 1932, the son of the late Catherine Rose Mackey Kreiger and Albert James Kreiger. A 1950 graduate of Pittsfield High School, where he starred in both baseball and basketball, he excelled in left field for the Pittsfield High baseball team. In 1949, he played for the New England Champion Pittsfield American Legion Baseball team.
He earned a Baccalaureate Degree from the University of Massachusetts in 1954 and received a Master’s Degree in Education from North Adams State College in 1963. John was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 1999 from the successor to North Adams State, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
John entered the U.S. Army in 1955 and served as a Radio Operator at the Headquarters Battery of the 95th Anti-Aircraft Battalion in Germany and was honorably discharged in 1957.
Returning to Pittsfield in 1957, he was named the Program Director of the Catholic Youth Center where he succeeded in doubling the membership and significantly increasing the number of programs offered at the CYC.
Upon leaving the CYC, he began his career in education as a 5th and then 6th grade teacher at Pomeroy School in Pittsfield. During his time at Pomeroy, John led a team that produced a modern math program for all schools. He also developed a math curriculum for elementary schools and led a committee on pre-kindergarten education.
John was appointed Principal of the former Bartlett School in 1966 and served for a two-year period.
In 1968, he was named the Director of Elementary Education for the Pittsfield Public Schools, leading all of the elementary schools.
In 1974, he was selected as the Assistant Superintendent for Operations. He successfully implemented redistricting and introduced the new middle school model into the system.
John was named Superintendent of the Pittsfield Schools in 1992. He focused on the availability and quality of early childhood education. Additionally, he established high school magnet programs. He also focused on adapting the school system to the changing needs of the community.
John retired in 1998. Before and during his retirement, he served on many local boards, including both the South Mountain Concert Association and the Berkshire Museum.
A communicant of St. Charles Church, he was active on many parish advisory committees. John was an avid golfer and longtime member of the Berkshire Hills Country Club. He also loved to ski at the Brodie and Jiminy Peak ski areas.
John and his wife relocated to Leesburg, VA in 2009 to be closer to their children and grandchildren
He and his wife of nearly 54 years, the former Mary Jane McGovern, were married August 26, 1967 in St. Mary’s Church.
In addition to his wife, John is survived by his 3 daughters, Katy Kreiger McCarthy and her husband, Michael, of Great Falls, VA, Amy Kreiger Wigmore and her husband, Michael, of Arlington, VA, and Sarah Kreiger of Washington, D.C. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Joseph P. McGovern and his wife, Christine, of San Diego, CA. He was a loving grandfather of Kaitlin Rose McCarthy of Great Falls, VA, John William “Jack” Wigmore of Arlington, VA, and Erin Michal Ashe of Boston, MA. John loved attending his grandchildren’s school and sporting events which were the highlights of his years living in Virginia.
Because of his dedication and commitment to Early Childhood Education, the John A. Kreiger Memorial Scholarship is being established at Berkshire Community College for students who will be pursuing a career in Early Childhood Education. Donations may be made in his memory to Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St. Pittsfield, MA 01201 with the following notation in the Memo Line: John A. Kreiger Memorial Scholarship.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, July 20th at 11:00 a.m. at St. Charles Church with the Rev. A. Peter Gregory, Pastor Emeritus, officiating. The family will be receiving friends prior to the Mass in the vestibule of the Church beginning at 10:00 a.m.
To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of John A. Kreiger, please visit our tribute store.