Beretta to leave as St. Mary Academy – Bay View’s president after this school year

Updated at 2:22 p.m.

EAST PROVIDENCE – St. Mary Academy – Bay View will have a new president come the fall 2023.

The all-girls private school announced Tuesday that Sister Marybeth Beretta will step away as its president after the 2022-23 academic year after serving as Bay View’s top administrative official since 2017. Bay View spokesperson Jan Cooney confirmed Tuesday to Providence Business News that Beretta’s contract is set to expire at the end of this coming school year and Beretta opted to explore other opportunities.

“The decision to leave Bay View has not come easily or lightly for me,” Beretta said in a statement, “but I’m looking forward to new opportunities within the Sisters of Mercy and continuing the legacy of [Sisters of Mercy founder] Catherine McAuley in another capacity.”

Bay View said Beretta’s academic career began in 1987 when she served as the school’s business manager until 1989. From there, she spent 22 years as La Salle Academy’s vice president of financial administration and chief financial officer. Following a brief stint at a private high school in Pennsylvania, the Rhode Island native returned home to become Bay View’s president, the school said.

- Advertisement -

Since leading Bay View, Beretta, the school said, has led multiple fundraising efforts that helped upgrade facilities and grounds on the school’s campus. Among those projects was the new $3 million Barbara A. Papitto Science and Innovation Center, which opened this year.

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege for me to serve as President of Bay View, and most importantly, to support so many wonderful people within our community of Mercy,” Beretta said in a statement. “The rich legacy of the Sisters of Mercy has been deeply woven throughout the life of this school for 148 years, and being able to contribute to that legacy is a gift for which I will always be grateful.”

Alison Croke, chair of the Bay View’s board of trustees, said in a statement that Beretta will be “deeply missed” and the school community is “extremely grateful for her years of leadership and outstanding service.” Bay View says an 11-person search committee will lead a national search for Beretta’s replacement.

(Update: comment from Bay View spokesperson added in 2nd paragraph, comment from Beretta added in 3rd paragraph)

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.