A Visitor’s Welcome from the President 

It is my pleasure to welcome you to St. Mary Academy - Bay View, Rhode Island’s premier all-girls, Catholic, college-prep school.

Since 1874, Bay View Academy has proudly provided girls and young women with a quality education guided by the compassionate values of the Sisters of Mercy. This commitment to academic excellence, to Catholic values, and to the belief in the power of all-girls, has served generations of young women as they have blazed ahead, leaving their mark on our global community.

As a life-long beneficiary of all-girls education, I am a strong advocate for single-gender learning. Here at Bay View Academy our students can be confident in the knowledge that it’s all about them. Every aspect of academic and extracurricular life is specifically crafted for girls and young women--how they learn, interact, play, compete, imagine, dream, think and communicate--in order to prepare each student for the challenges of her future.

It’s important to note that in addition to the benefit of all-girls, at Bay View Academy we are committed to staying at the forefront of technology so each student will advance with powerful tools at her fingertips. In fact, we’re one of the first schools to launch a full scale one-to-one iPad computing program. Students in the Middle and Upper Schools work each day on their very own iPads. We’re not stopping there! The Academy is dedicated to continued research into best practices of technological integration within traditional pedagogy, providing both a well-rounded and progressive education for all of our girls and young women.

At Bay View, we have all of the benefits of a large school, like a wide variety of advanced placement classes and Division I sports. The Bay View Bengals athletics offerings include a variety of comprehensive programs unmatched at other local institutions, such a sailing program that encompasses both fall and spring. We also reap the rewards of having a small student population of just under 700 girls. With a student to teacher ratio of 12:1 and with both the Lower and Middle Schools and the Upper School having their own principal and associate principals, each student receives individualized attention while being part of something bigger: an Academy with more than 140 years of excellence behind it and a bright future unfolding.

We hope you’ll keep checking in to see where that future takes us.

We are Bay View.

In the faithful pursuit of excellence,

Vittoria Pacifico-DeBenedictis, M.Ed., ABD


A lifelong participant in Catholic education, Vittoria 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).

Pacifico-DeBenedictis is presently working on her dissertation, New to America: Immigrant Girls and Bullying, which seeks to examine the intersection of immigration and bullying among adolescent girls. As a native-born Italian who moved to the United States during elementary school, this is a subject very close to her and she looks forward to sharing her research with the broader academic community.

A true collaborator and team builder, she 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 was principal of St. Francis of Assisi School in Braintree for 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.

Pacifico-DeBenedictis is the second President of St. Mary Academy - Bay View, having taken over the position from Sister Elizabeth McAuliffe in 2012. She has applied her passion for Catholic, single-gender education to leading the Academy forward. During her tenure, the mission statement has been revised to match the current goals of the Academy and a strategic planning process was undertaken to create the current plan, Bay View 2020 Vision. 

Professionally, she has been involved with many organizations and boards including but not limited to: commission member for the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), 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, she is an adjunct professor at Regis College with several professional affiliations including ASCD, NAESP, and NCEA. Her work was recognized by the National Organization of Italian American Women with a “Three Wise Women” award in winter 2015.

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