August 5, 2020

St. Mary Academy- Bay View Graduates 87 Young Women


East Providence, R.I.- St. Mary Academy – Bay View, a leader in all-girl education since 1874, proudly graduated 87 members of the Class of 2020 on Sunday, June 7 in a ceremony as unprecedented as the end of the school year itself. The ceremony took place on campus with families arriving- and staying in their cars throughout the ceremony. Despite the unusual conditions, Bay View graduates were undaunted in their enthusiasm and shared pride about all they accomplished. “Our graduates demonstrated unusual maturity and resilience while planning alternative graduation traditions. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to celebrate them at this ceremony” noted Colleen Gribbin, Principal of the Upper School.

In keeping with tradition, the graduation began with an invocation from Cecilia Bianchi (North Kingstown), President of Peer Ministry. Valedictory addresses were offered by Nicole Baalbaki (Pawtucket) and Ishita Rai (Warwick). Nicole has been an active member of the community as a member of the Environmental Club, Mercy Action, Peer Ministry, Math Team, Model UN and Student Council. Her awards include Science. Spanish and English National Honor Society, Wellesley College Book Award, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony Award, Excellence in Mathematics and the Natural Sciences, Mu Alpha Theta. She will be attending the University of Michigan this fall. Her address included words of gratitude including, “Bay View has given us the tools needed to be strong, independent women, but we are different from most people because of our Mercy background. We are able to recognize injustice, to be compassionate, and to live our faith.”

Ishita has also been an involved member of her class. She served on the Student Council every year of high school, founded the Vision Club, and was a member of the Math Team and Ambassador’s Club. Ishita was published as First Author in the medical journal Surgical Infections. Her awards are highlighted by being one of 161 students across the country to be named a US Presidential Scholar in addition to being a National Merit Finalist, the Harvard Book Award, Best in Fair RI Science and Engineering Fair, National Honor Society (President), Mu Alpha Theta member, Rho Kappa member. Ishita will be pursuing her studies at Boston University in the fall. Ishita’s remarks reminded her class of their potential, “Each and every one of us has the potential to achieve greatness. Bay View’s Class of 2020 will not be remembered for our grades, or popularity. Rather, we will be remembered for our unequaled spirit, our resilience and positive outlook during these unpredictable times, and, most importantly, for how we make people feel.”

Bay View President, Sister Marybeth Beretta offered her remarks and reflections, “What inspires me about our Mercy community is that we meet our most demanding moments with courage, resolve, and a selfless concern for others. I’m so proud of the countless ways that our graduating class has responded to the Covid-19 crisis by rising to every challenge and accepting every disappointment with resilience and grace. Their many talents, undaunted spirit, and sense of responsibility give me great confidence for the future of a world that needs the conviction and compassion of students grounded in Mercy values.”

Every graduate has been accepted and plans to attend college this fall. Their accomplishments are reflective of the academy’s attention to the development of their character, academics, arts, and athletics as part of its programming. The fullness of their achievement will bring them to prestigious institutions of higher education. This year’s class earned a total $14,223,004 in merit scholarships for colleges and universities (for four years).

Ishita Rai was awarded the most prestigious honor given by Bay View to a graduating senior: the Catherine McAuley Woman of the Year Award, a title named after the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. The award description is as follows:
The recipient is a woman of singular character and impeccable integrity who leaves an indelible imprint on the fabric of the Bay View community. She reflects the unselfish values of Catherine by improving the quality of life of those with whom she comes in contact; by her welcoming attitude towards others and her understanding of her responsibility to service. She also possesses a firm commitment to her academic pursuits, as well as a deep, intellectual curiosity. She is a well-balanced, firmly-grounded young woman with a strong moral fiber combined with a passion for the continued pursuit of knowledge and wisdom.

Ms. Rai, in addition to her academic accomplishments, embodies all the Mercy qualities. She is a young woman of integrity, warmth, and empathy who demonstrates these attributes in all she does. Her commitment to social justice includes a wide lens as demonstrated by her countless hours tutoring others in school and working for world vision care in partnership with Harvard University. She is humble, continuously challenges herself, and is well respected by her peers and faculty. The Bay View community is proud to name Ms. Rai as the Catherine McAuley recipient for 2020.

The following list represents St. Mary Academy - Bay View’s Class of 2020, including the academic and character awards bestowed to them. Membership in the Rhode Island Society and the National Honor Society is also included.

The Class of 2020 By City And State
+ National Honor Society
* Rhode Island Honor Society

Isabel Alho Cruz +*
Juliana Maria Goncalves *
Gabriella Sofia Moreira +*

Melina Lynn Cabral +*
Elise Angeline Dezotell +*
Katie Elizabeth Kane *
Zoha Muqudas +*
Daniella Olivares +*

Rhode Island:

East Providence
Rachel Celestina Bettencourt *

Emily Anne Conley +*
Amy Angelina Hurst *
Cassandra Kelly Warr *

Kinzie Spotswood Fairman *
Sihan Yang +*


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