Faculty Profiles

Diane Gualtieri

Diane Gualtieri has been a music teacher at St. Mary Academy - Bay View for over 35 years. She went to Rhode Island College and received a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. She has been instrumental in providing music for a number of our student performances including Manhattan at the Bay, Annual Fall Productions, Christmas Concerts, and more.

Why did you become a teacher?
To share my love and joy of music. I love being in an atmosphere of learning. It's exciting to share my knowledge, but I also learn so much in return.

What's your favorite part of teaching?
I hope to somehow make a difference in someone's life. To at least let the students know they have someone that cares about their strengths and weaknesses. And then walk the journey with them to graduation.

What is your favorite quote and why?
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything." - Plato.
It's difficult to "explain" how music makes us feel. I find that this quote gets right to the heart of it all.

Valarie Briden

Valarie Briden has been a technology teacher at St. Mary Academy - Bay View for 20 years. She received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Rhode Island College, and a Master of Education in Counseling from Providence College. A mother of three girls, Valarie's two oldest daughters graduated from Bay View in 2015 and 2018, and her youngest daughter is currently enrolled as a 7th-grader in our Middle School.
 
What's your favorite part of teaching?
I love seeing the girls every day. I have a unique opportunity to meet many of our girls at the age of 11 or 12 and get to watch them grow and mature into young women who are ready to take on the world. It is such a satisfying feeling to see a child walk into your classroom as a 6th-grader and watch a young woman leave your classroom as a senior ready to go off to college - my own children included. When I sent my two oldest daughters off to college, I knew that Bay View prepared them for any upcoming challenges.

What is your most memorable experience at Bay View?
So many things come to mind, like the "great toast fire," but the memories I have are not of the BIG things, rather the everyday things. Great interactions with students, sharing in the joy of winning a game, a robotics competition, or a student finally grasps a concept - those make my experience at Bay View memorable.

What is your favorite classroom item and why?
Probably my Apple TV. Being a technology teacher, I try to infuse many different types of technology into my lessons. I love the versatility of the Apple TV. I can show anything from a TED talk to YouTube video or I can AirPlay something from my desktop computer. It is a great teaching tool.

Julie Battista

Julie Battista has been a second grade teacher at St. Mary Academy - Bay View for 23 years. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Boston College, and a Master of Education in Special Education from Providence College. She is a Mercy Associate and moderates the Lower School Friends of Mercy Club, and co-chairs the Lower School Yearbook Committee.
 
What's your favorite part of teaching?
The joy of seeing such amazing growth throughout the year! The wonder, excitement and joy of learning through a second grader's eyes!

What's your favorite classroom item and why?
All of the beautiful framed pictures, letters, and Miss B "treasures" that I have received from students and their parents throughout the years!

What's your favorite quote and why?
"In a world where you can be anything, be kind." I have this quote hanging in my classroom. I think it is a great daily reminder!
 

Kristine Durkay

Kristine Durkay is a science and theology teacher in our Middle School and has been teaching at Bay View for thirty years! She received a Master of Education from Rhode Island College, loves to garden, and have the opportunity to bring God into her classroom everyday.
 
Why did you become a teacher?
I wanted to make a positive difference in my student's lives.

What's your favorite part of teaching?
The inspiration I receive from my students. They teach me new things and keep me feeling young!

What's your favorite classroom item and why?
My tea cup. I love a good cup of tea just like Catherine McAuley!

What's your favorite quote and why?
"Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul; and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all." I just love Emily Dickinson's poems and believe that a life without hope is a very sad place.

Matt Daly

Matt Daly began teaching theology at St. Mary Academy - Bay View in the fall of 2018! A Boston College graduate, Mr. Daly has a Bachelor of Arts in History and Human Development, and a Masters of Education in Religious Education. He is a father of four girls, and loves nothing more than to spend time with his family at home.
 
Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
I am a father of four little girls. I think this is a very important moment in history for women to play an instrumental role in defining our future. 

What's your favorite part of teaching?
The aha moments - when you know a lesson you are teaching has struck a chord with the students and connects in some way with their personal experiences.

What's your favorite classroom item and why?
I have crosses from different cultures. They show that God can't be limited to any one culture, but also that people from all backgrounds can be drawn towards a common faith.
 

Ruth Flanigan

Ruth Flanigan has been an art teacher in our Lower School for three years. She went to the Rhode Island School of Design and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration. Her daughter Lily, is a senior at Bay View, and has been a student at the Academy since preschool! In her spare time, Ms. Flanigan is a freelance children's illustrator, and likes to plant flower gardens in the style of her favorite artist, Claude Monet!
 
Why did you become a teacher?
I enjoy sharing the process of making art with students, and want to encourage each student to express their individual creativity through that process. 

Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
I believe in the value of a Bay View education. I believe in the Mercy mission of educating women, and giving them the confidence to be leaders. My daughter Lily is a senior and the founder of the Culture Share Club, an organization that celebrates diversity among the Bay View community. When the Lower School art position became available at the school, I wanted to be a part of it, and a part of this extraordinary community. 

What's your favorite part of teaching?
I am continually surprised and delighted by the variety of responses that the students bring to each assignment.

Samantha Burns, RN

Samantha Burns is our Middle and Upper School Nurse and is enjoying her second year at Bay View. She graduated from Quinnipiac University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and decided to become a school nurse because she always wanted to work with children in a school setting. She also loves Disney World. 
 
Why did you decide to work at Bay View?
I decided to become the school nurse at Bay View because I also went to an all-girls Mercy school and had a great experience there. It has been great being back in a similar environment and relating to the girls on that level. 

What is your favorite office item?
My favorite item in my office is our pet fish, Maui. The girls enjoy seeing him and taking care of him when they stop by.

What is your favorite quote and why?
My favorite quote has always been "this too shall pass," because no matter what you are dealing with, stay positive and better days will come.

 

Daniela Johnson

Daniela Johnson is our Middle and Upper School English teacher and is enjoying her second year at Bay View. She graduated from Wheaton College with a Bachelor of Arts in Education and decided to become a teacher become she loves the English curriculum and interacting with students. 
 
What's your favorite part of teaching?
Seeing the "light-bulb" go off for a student when they finally understand/accomplish something they found a challenge at first! 

What is your favorite quote and why?
One of my favorite quotes is "all that glitters is not gold" by J.R.R Tolkien, because I love the truth that there are vast "things" in the world that "glitter" and have a worth that is not measurable.

Do you have any fun facts? If so, what are they?
I traveled and studied in Bhutan, the last remaining Buddhist Monarchy Kingdom! On a side note, I also taught myself archery. 
 

Anna Misurelli

Anna Misurelli has been teaching third and fourth grade students in our Lower School for three years. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Women's Studies from URI and a Masters Degree in Education from Roger Williams University. A huge animal lover, Anna and her husband welcomed their first son, Leo, last April.
 
Why did you become a teacher?
To enrich the lives of my students with a love of learning that will last forever!  

Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
As an undergrad, I majored in women’s studies and have always wanted to work in a place where I could further empower girls and educate them about how much they can change this world. Bay View is a fantastic platform to nurture each girl's mind and spirit. 

What is your favorite quote and why?
“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself.” I’m not sure who said it, but it is a fantastic reminder of the power of one's own voice, and it take immense courage to think for yourself in this world.
 

Elisabete Teixeira

Elisabete Teixeira has been teaching Spanish in our Middle School for 13 years! She received a Bachelor's Degree in Spanish and Portuguese from Rhode Island College. She has a passion for foreign languages, loves to cook, and spend time with her family–especially her daughter Mary Elizabeth who is a second grader at Bay View!
 
What's your favorite part of teaching?
Getting to know my students and seeing them progress. That is the ultimate reward!

What is your favorite classroom item and why?
Calaveras. It reminds me of the wonderful tradition of "Día de los Muertos" from México. Regardless of how we look or how much we have, in the end, we are all the same.

What is your favorite quote and why?
"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart." -Nelson Mandela
I truly believe that compassion and Mercy toward others comes from a deep understanding and active participation in someone else's culture.

Mary Jane Andreozzi

Mary Jane Andreozzi is our Visual Arts Department Chair and is celebrating her 32nd year teaching at Bay View! She received her BA from Rhode Island College and received a Master of Art in Teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). In addition to teaching, Ms. Andreozzi is a practicing artist herself. Her artwork is currently on display in several local art galleries, in addition to private and corporate collections.

Why did you become a teacher?
I love to help students discover the creative process and develop an understanding of art and design.

Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
At first, I didn’t plan to stay long at Bay View, but I liked working with our young women so much I never left!

What is your most memorable experience at Bay View?
My two daughters went through the Lower, Middle, and Upper School. They both had many memorable achievements that made me so proud. They are now successful career women and I often look back to their time at Bay View with fond memories.
 

Nancy Parella

Nancy Parella is a kindergarten teacher in our Lower School and is celebrating her 21st year teaching at Bay View! She graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Early Childhood Education and has taught in our preschool, first and second grade classrooms. In her spare time, Nancy loves to decorate, go to the beach, explore cities, and spend time with her family, which includes her two daughters who graduated from Bay View in 2008 and 2011.

What is your favorite part of teaching?
The relationships formed with students, with parents and with colleagues.

Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
My two daughters came first and loved it! I followed the year after.

What is your favorite quote?
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.” A.A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh

Do you have any fun facts?
I used to have dark red hair that has faded over the years. When I tell my students that I’m a “redhead” they look at me like I’m crazy!

Elaine L'Etoile 

Elaine L'Etoile has been teaching Theology in our Upper School for 14 years! She received a B.A. in Sociology from Stonehill College, and went on to receive her master's in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University. She loves to read the newspaper – especially political cartoons, and in her spare time bake cinnamon buns. 

What is your favorite part of teaching?
Being supportive as our young women struggle with spiritual questions about life's meaning and about their relationship to God and the world.

What is your favorite classroom item and why?
I have inspirational posters all over my classroom in the hope that one or more will impact a student (or myself) on a day when we need uplifting.

What is your favorite quote and why?
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mohandas Gandhi 
God has given us the gifts to bring about a world where love reigns. It starts with how we live and stand against injustice in solidarity with others.

Sister Sheila Harrington, RSM 

In honor of National Catholic Schools Week, this week's Faculty Feature is none other than Sister Sheila Harrington, RSM. Sister Sheila is Spanish teacher in our Lower School and has been teaching at Bay View since 2001. She received her B.A. in Education from Salve Regina University and a master's degree in Pastoral Ministry from Emmanuel College. A registered Sister of Mercy, Sister Sheila not only helps plan religious activities and programs in our Lower School, but also runs our Lower School Friends of Mercy Club. In her spare time she loves to root on her New England sports teams!

Why did you become a teacher?
I enjoy working with children and watching them grow.

Do you have any hidden interests or talents?
I love doing puzzles. It centers me. Life is made up of many parts coming together to create a complete picture.

Where is your favorite place in the world?
Ireland...home of my family roots and my Mercy roots.

 

Erica Cross 

Erica Cross is an English teacher in our Middle School. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Education from Rhode Island College and is celebrating her 17th year teaching at Bay View! A mother of two Bay View alumnae (2016 & 2014), Erica first came to the Academy as a substitute teacher, fell in love, and 17 years later is still here! In her spare, time she enjoys reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Why did you become a teacher?
I always enjoyed school and learning new things. I wanted to pass along my love of learning to others and to make a difference in their lives.

What's your favorite part of teaching?
When the lightbulb goes on and the students understand something that they may have been struggling with.

What is your favorite quote and why?
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt. This quote is especially significant teaching in an all-girls school where we teach our girls confidence and self-respect.
 

Vera Keller 

Vera Keller is our Foreign Language Department Chair and teaches Spanish, Portuguese and French in our Upper School! In addition, she also moderates the Culture Share Club, Craft Club, and French Club. A teacher at Bay View for 20 years, she studied at the Centro de Ensino Unificado de Brasilia in Brazil and went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in English Language and Literature and a Master's Degree English as a Second or Foreign Language from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, VT. A mother of two, Vera's daughter (a 6th grader at Bay View), was diagnosed with Marfan Syndrome at the age of six. Together, they raise awareness about the syndrome through fundraisers and various events throughout the Northeast. 

Why did you become a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I can remember. My 2nd grade teacher had such an impact on my life that I wanted to show others the kindness and love she showed me. I am a firm believer that educators can change the world and bring about peace by teaching students to respect each other and the planet.

Why did you decide to teach at Bay View?
I got this job two weeks after I moved to this country and have never left! I feel at home here.

Do you have any fun facts? The love of my life is my Shih Tzu, called Pebbles, or as I call her, Pebblelicious!