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The Honorable Laureen D’Ambra, chair of the Board of Trustees of Rhode Island’s 138 year old St. Mary Academy-Bay View, announced the appointment of Mrs. Vittoria Pacifico-DeBenedictis as the new incoming president. Mrs. Pacifico-DeBenedictis assumed her role on July 1, 2012 replacing the first president of the Academy, Elizabeth A. McAuliffe, RSM, Ed.D. who had held the position for the past 18 years.
“The Board of Trustees and the Presidential Search Committee spent many long hours reviewing credentials and interviewing candidates. We are confident that the team now in place, led by Vittoria, is poised to continue Bay View’s tradition of excellence in preparing girls and young women for success in all endeavors. We look forward to welcoming and working with Mrs. Pacifico-DeBenedictis,” commented Judge D’Ambra.
A lifelong participant in Catholic education, Mrs. Pacifico-DeBenedictis attended St. Clare High School, where she was so positively influenced by the effects of an all-girls Catholic education that she matriculated to Regis College where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. Following her passion for an all-girls education in the Catholic tradition, she received her Master’s degree in School Administration from Emmanuel College in Boston, and is currently a Doctoral candidate pursuing her degree at UMASS Boston (ABD).
A true collaborator and team builder, Mrs. Pacifico-DeBenedictis has had a long career of educating tomorrow’s future leaders beginning as a middle school teacher at Our Lady of Czestochowa in South Boston, to her position as middle school teacher, vice principal, and finally acting principal at Lt. J.P. Kennedy Memorial Middle School in Hyde Park where her love for administration was found and fostered. As a result of her successful leadership at the Kennedy School, she was hired to lead St. Francis of Assisi School in Medford for several years, where she increased enrollment and was instrumental in opening the school’s first science lab, instituted a world languages program and acquired grants.
She has been principal of St. Francis of Assisi School in Braintree for the past 11 years. During her tenure she increased enrollment, improved the school facility and campus, strengthened curriculum, added state-of-the-art technology, and led St. Francis of Assisi School through its first New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) accreditation with success and high accolades. Most importantly, she placed St. Francis of Assisi School at the top of the Archdiocese of Boston’s premier schools list.
Professionally, she has been involved with many organizations and boards including but not limited to: a chairperson and speaker for NEASC accreditations and conferences, a member of the boards of Regis College, Malden Catholic High School, C.A.S.IT (Italian Consulate Educational Program), and currently Archbishop Williams High School. Her expertise also includes mentoring first year principals in the Archdiocese of Boston, serving as a member of the recruitment team for the Catholic Schools Foundation, as well as, a member of a team supporting the Superintendent’s Office of the Archdiocese of Boston evaluating second year principals. Remembering her roots and in the spirit of giving back, Mrs. Pacifico-DeBenedictis is an adjunct professor at Regis College with several professional affiliations including ASCD, NAESP, and NCEA.
“As the incoming president of Bay View Academy, I am excited to bring forth my energy and expertise to lead this prestigious school. I believe in preserving traditions, most especially the tradition of an all-girls Catholic education, and will strive to uphold the Sisters of Mercy foundation at Bay View.. My plan is to highlight the Academy’s strengths while continuing to build upon them in collaboration with the entire Bay View community. It is an honor to have been chosen for this position and to have been given the opportunity to move Bay View Academy as a school of excellence into the future.”