Mission, Leadership & History


Interim President

Barbara Haynes has been a member of the Bay View community since joining the Board of Trustees in July 2013. She is a respected leader in the Rhode Island business community and brings significant leadership and business management experience to Bay View.

Barbara was a successful broadcast media professional for over thirty years in Rhode Island. From 2003-2015 Barbara was the market manager of the largest and most successful radio group in Rhode Island owned by Cumulus Media, and responsible for the strategic planning and operation of the business. The radio stations included WPRO AM, WPRO FM, WWLI, WWKX and WPRV. She has expertise in business operations, brand management, financial management, communications, public relations, marketing, advertising and sales.

Active in the Rhode Island community, Barbara has served on the Board of Trustees at Bay View, the Board of City Year Providence, the Advisory Council of Hasbro Children’s Hospital, a mentor and tutor to students at Year Up, and has been active in public relations and community organization work for the R.I. National Guard and the military community in Rhode Island. She is a parishioner of St. Brendan’s in Riverside.

Barbara will transition from her vice chair position on the Board of Trustees to an ex officio member, and will continue to manage the search process for the next President of Bay View.

With Barbara’s leadership and the collaboration of the Bay View community, we look forward to a successful second half of the school year, and a smooth transition of leadership to the next President of Bay View this summer.

-Emily A. Gilcreast '99
Chair of the Board of Trustees

Lower and Middle School Principal

Cynthia Lorincz, M.Ed.

Cynthia Lorincz has been at Bay View Academy since 1993. Prior to becoming Principal, Cindy taught biology, chemistry and developmental psychology in the science department in the Upper School and served as chair of the science department. In 1999, she was named as the first Associate Principal of the Middle School and worked closely with Upper School Principal, Ms. Colleen Gribbin, to move the Academy from the junior high to Middle School model. She served as Principal of the Middle School and acting Principal of the Lower School during the 2008-2009 school year and was then named Principal of both the Lower and Middle Schools in June of 2009.

Prior to coming to Bay View, Cindy taught at Mercymount Country Day School in Cumberland, RI and led GED classes in mathematics for Bristol Community College. She began her career in education as a science teacher in the Boston Public Schools.

Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree from Emmanuel College, did graduate work in guidance and counseling at Boston College and earned her master’s degree in administration at Providence College. She has presented at several conferences, including “Robotics in the Middle School” at the National Coalition of Girls Schools annual conference and “Low-Cost, One-to-One Computing” at the Christa McAuliffe Technology conference with two of her Bay View colleagues.

Cindy has focused on the enhancement and expansion of technology in the learning environment. The Middle School has adopted one-to-one computing for all students. In the Lower School, students utilize both desktop computers in their technology classes and iPads in the classroom. The intermediate grades in the Lower School have adopted a team teaching model which allows the teachers to specialize in curriculum areas.

Cindy served as President of the League of Women Voters of the Attleboros and served on the board of the League of Women Voters of Massachusetts. She has also served on the Planning Board of the City of Attleboro for ten years, the majority of those as the vice chair of the board.

Upper School Principal

Colleen Gribbin, MAT, CAGS

Colleen Gribbin, Bay View Academy's first lay Principal, began her service on July 1, 1996. She was named Rhode Island's Principal of the Year for 2006-2007 by the Rhode Island Association of School Principals and was the first RI Catholic school Principal to be given this honor. The RIASP considered Colleen to be "one of the very best in her profession."

Prior to coming to Bay View, she was the Principal at St. Margaret's school in East Providence and Associate Principal at Mercymount Country Day in Cumberland. She has also taught at St. Thomas Regional School in Providence.

Colleen received her bachelor's degree in elementary education from the University of Southern Maine and her master's in administration and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in curriculum from Rhode Island College.

Colleen, along with Lower School and Middle School Principal, Cynthia Lorincz, is responsible for moving the junior high into the current middle school concept, incorporating new, interdisciplinary curriculum and instituting grade level teams. Colleen has also enhanced the curriculum of the Upper School, doubling the number of Advanced Placement courses. She has instituted courses that focus on problem-solving and hands-on techniques, such as Conceptual Physics and the Math Resources Lab. Her collaborative working style with teachers has encouraged them to be involved in developing new courses and upgrading existing curriculum, keeping Bay View on the cutting edge of curriculum and technology.

Colleen has been a board member at Sophia Academy, a private all girls middle school in Providence serving 57 students grades 5-8, and a member of the education committee of RISE. She is currently serving her second term on the Network Board for the Sisters of Mercy of Secondary Education. She also currently serves on the board of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League.

She has been involved with the Sisters of Mercy since 1986 and is a Mercy Associate.

Board of Trustees

Emily Ann Gilcreast ‘99
Board Chair
7/11 - 6/12 (Initial Term)
7/12 - 6/15 (1st Term)
7/15 - 6/18 (2nd Term)

Bridget L. Mullaney ‘99
7/09 - 6/12 (1st Term)
7/12 - 6/15 (2nd Term)
7/15 - 6/17 (Extended Term)

Patricia Combies, RSM
7/12 - 6/15 (1st Term)
7/15 - 6/18 (2nd Term)

Hon. Laureen D’Ambra ‘75

7/11 - 6/14 (1st Term)
7/14 - 6/17 (1st Term)

Elizabeth H. Demers, ‘99
7/15 - 6/16 (Initial Term)
7/16 - 6/19 (2nd Term)

James T. Murphy
7/12 - 6/14 (Initial Term)
7/14 - 6/17 (1st Term)

Sheila O’Brien, RSM, ‘52
8/12 - 6/15 (1st Term)
7/15 - 6/18 (2nd Term)

W. Kenneth O’Donnell
7/12 - 6/13 (Initial Term)
7/13 – 6/16 (1st Term)
7/16 – 06/19 (2nd Term)

Matthew T. Oliverio
7/13 - 6/15 (Initial Term)
7/15 - 6/18 (1st Term)

Frederick W. Reinhardt
7/11 - 6/13 (Initial Term)
7/13 - 6/16 (1st Term)
7/16 - 6/19 (2nd Term)

Ex-officio Member
Barbara Haynes
Interim President

Northeast Education Sponsors Council Liaison:

Brenda Ricard

The Co-chairs of the Mercy Northeast Sponsors Council:
Maureen McElroy, RSM
Beth Dusablon

Sisters of Mercy

The Sisters of Mercy are an international community of Roman Catholic women who dedicate their lives to the Gospel of Jesus and take vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and service. Inspired by the life of Jesus and by their founder Catherine McAuley, Sisters of Mercy envision a just world for people who are poor, sick and uneducated and commit their lives to God and their resources to serve, advocate and pray for those in need around the world. In addition to the three vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) all Catholic sisters take, Sisters of Mercy also take a fourth vow of service.

All Sisters of Mercy worldwide trace their roots to their founder, Catherine McAuley, an Irish Catholic laywoman. Catherine recognized the many needs of people who were economically poor in early nineteenth century Ireland and determined that she and women like her could make a difference.

Spending her inheritance, she opened the first House of Mercy on Lower Baggot Street in Dublin, Ireland on September 24, 1827, a place to shelter and educate women and girls. Catherine's original intention was to assemble a lay corps of Catholic social workers. Impressed by her good works and the importance of continuity in the ministry, the Archbishop of Dublin advised her to establish a religious congregation. Three years later on December 12, 1831, Catherine and two companions became the first Sisters of Mercy.

In the 10 years between the founding and her death, she established 14 independent foundations in Ireland and England. Today, nearly 3,000 Sisters of Mercy of the Americas and more than 3,000 lay Mercy Associates make a difference in the lives of others in North, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Guam and the Philippines.

The Sisters of Mercy of the Americas sponsor more than 200 ministries including elementary and pre-schools, secondary schools, colleges and universities; healthcare facilities; social centers; retreat centers; housing and justice ministries.

Whenever you find a Sister of Mercy, you will find a woman committed to the welfare of the people in the community in which she works and lives.

For more information, visit www.sistersofmercy.org.


St. Mary Academy - Bay View is an independent, Catholic school serving a diverse population of girls from pre-school through grade twelve.

In the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, we foster academic excellence in an innovative and creative learning environment.

We are committed to empowering each student to be a confident, independent, compassionate and socially conscious young woman who fully lives her faith.


We support and actively implement the following Mercy values:

Compassion and service
Educational excellence
Concern for women and women's issues
Global vision and responsibility
Spiritual growth and development


Opened as St. Mary Seminary in East Providence by the Sisters of Mercy in 1874, St. Mary Academy - Bay View began and continues as a private school for young women.

The Sisters of Mercy continue to sponsor Bay View as a Catholic, all-girls Academy. The focus on single-sex education is rooted in the belief of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, that, “there is nothing more conducive to the good of society than the education of young women.” Continued research supports this value.

In 1874, the Howard Mansion in Riverside, Rhode Island was purchased by the Sisters of Mercy, under the direction of Mother Mary Bernard Read. The mansion was to be opened as a boarding school for girls. Sister Mary Juliana Purcell was named the first directress, taking charge of students from age five through eighteen.

Fire destroyed the 19th century building in 1948, making construction of the present complex a necessity. St. Mary Academy - Bay View opened for the first session in the present high school building on January 31, 1949.

In January, 1967, St. Mary Academy - Bay View was separately incorporated. The entire elementary school moved to St. Joseph Hall in 1968. The boarding school closed in June, 1979. The elementary school was coeducational for many years. In 1970, when grades seven and eight became part of the high school, education for boys was formally phased out. By the academic year 1995-1996, boys were no longer part of the makeup of the elementary school.

In the spring of 1991, after a year of intense preparation and visitation, the United States Department of Education recognized St. Mary Academy-Bay View as a Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence. Because the level of students continued to become stronger and stronger, by 1996-1997, the curriculum no longer included a level three placement. The Blue-Ribbon School of Excellence was renewed in June 2002.

The Board of Trustees was formed in June, 1991. In September, 1991, a proposal on reconstructing the Academy was presented to the Board of Trustees “that the elementary and high school combine into one institution - Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Twelve under the direction of a president.”

The proposal became a reality; the elementary and high school combined into one institution. The first President was named in the spring of 1994, began her term of office in the fall of 1994 and was installed the following spring.

In the spring of 1996, for the first time in the history of the Academy, a laywoman, a Mercy Associate, was appointed by the President of the Academy to serve as Principal of the Middle / High School. At the same time, a new focus was established; the Middle School concept. After considerable time spent in workshops and courses, the Middle School became a reality in September, 1996.

As part of Bay View’s former Strategic Plan, Bay View 2000, a facilities study was initiated in September, 1997 which resulted in the development of a master facilities plan for the entire complex. The Master Facilities Plan was a multi-phased one. The first phase included construction of an Athletic Wellness Center which supports the Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Twelve physical education and athletic programs. Subsequent phases included the renovation and relocation of the kitchen, dining room and Upper School Library, installation of a sprinkler system and dedicated exits for early childhood classrooms, renovation of Middle School classrooms, replacement of the central heating plant and underground storage tank, replacement of the Mercy Hall elevator and creation of a new main entrance and reception area.

In July of 2012, a laywoman was appointed as the second President of the Academy, Vittoria Pacifico-DeBenedictis. The President initiated the review and completion of Bay View 2000, the review and revision of the Academy’s Mission Statement, and the beginning of the Strategic Plan, Bay View 2020 Vision. The Academy now looks to the future with a sharp focus on providing young women with a superior education, based on Judeo-Christian values and a spirit of innovation.

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