St. Mary Academy - Bay View celebrates seniors with unprecedented graduation


EAST PROVIDENCE — 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). 

Baalbaki 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.”

Rai 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. Rai 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. Rai will be pursuing her studies at Boston University in the fall. She was also 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. 

Rai’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).

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.


National Honor Society

* Rhode Island Honor Society



Sophia Lynne Martin                     *

North Attleboro

Meredith Elaine Bourque             +*


Isabel Alho Cruz                              +*

Juliana Maria Goncalves              *

Gabriella Sofia Moreira                 +*


Melina Lynn Cabral                        +*

Elise Angeline Dezotell                  +*

Katie Elizabeth Kane                        *

Zoha Muqudas                                 +*

Daniella Olivares                             +*


Julia Lisa Smith                               +*           Sister Marie Andre Guay Award



Caitlin Ann Cummings                  *

Kyliegh Laurel Souza                     +*


Zoë Neve Ferreira                           +*

Ciara Amy Morency                         *

Elizabeth Margaret Morris          +*

Emma Jane Simas                             *


Isabella Marie DiSalvo                  +*


Hunter Lyn Grenier                        *

Isabelle Lynn Palmisano                *


Emma Rose Broomfield                               

Sofia Alicia Burdiel                           *

Jenna Noel Cassiere                       +*

Lauren Elizabeth Cerullo               *

Olivia Amelia DaCosta                    *

Sofia Ana DiGregorio                       *

Lauren Grace Dohoney                 +*

Melany Flory Guzmán                     *

Tiffany Grace McLoughlin           +*

Caroline Emily Michaud                 *

Ava Marie Rabiner                           *

Xiaohan Ren                                     *

Gianna Kristen Spremullo             *

Shafali Sabina Verma                     *

Xici Wang                                          *

Madelyn Elizabeth Weir                 +*

East Greenwich

Victoria Rose LeBlanc                   *

East Providence

Rachel Celestina  Bettencourt    *


Lauren Alexandra DiSanto          +*           Sister Maureen McElroy Award

Kinzie Spotswood Fairman            *

Ryleigh Mills Fortin                       +*

Teraesa Catherine Handren          *

Ashley Nicole Mariani                  +*

Jessica Diane Pezzullo                   +*

Megan Joyce Ranucci                     *


Justice Julesa A’Vant                    *

Lisa Romina Ortiz                            *

North Kingstown

Cecilia Marie Bianchi                     +*           Sister Marlene Laliberte Award

Elayna Marie Jaques                        *

North Providence

Sophia Marie Fraioli

Sokhna-Binta Gueye                       +*           Sister Mary Edward Walsh Award

Natalie Ann Karneeb                       *

Hanna Belle Morrissette-Drowne *

North Scituate

Rylee Blair Marin                            +*

Elizabeth Renee Yi-Ying Ng          *


Nicole Mary Baalbaki                    +*

Die Hu                                               *

Chloe Joella Ruhan                         *


Shuhan  Chen                                    *

Jessenia Lee Collazo                        *

Katherine Ellen Keating                  *

Kasandra Rosely  Kue-Rojas       +*           Sister Mary Bernard McCann Award

Caitlyn Paige McCarthy                  *

Kristine Elizabeth Moore               *

Berlinessa Vargas                             *

Shengning  Xu                                   *


Emily Anne Conley                         +*

Amy Angelina Hurst                        *

Cassandra Kelly Warr                      *


Kinzie Spotswood Fairman           *

Sihan Yang                                        +*


Brooke Ann Mattos                        +*


Haley Nicole Clement                    *


Catherine Molly Jones                  +*

Rebecca Marie Vaillancourt         *


Alexandra Lillian Buffi                    *

Theresa Mary Der Manouelian    +*

Isabella Coletta Kopech                 +*

Kayla Marie Leandre

Paige Lowney Maloney                   *            Mother Frances Xavier Warde Women of Courage Award

Grace Marie Pelletier                       *

Ishita Rai                                            +*           Catherine McAuley Award

Mackenzie Anne Rowlands             *

Tiffany Amber Smith                        *

Elliana Jillian Spagnolo                +*

Sandy Zhou                                        *

West Warwick

Natalia Anise  Chantharangsy      *

Hunter Elizabeth Grace                 *