EAST PROVIDENCE — Following extensive local and national searches led by a dedicated search committee, including board members, faculty, and alumnae, St. Mary Academy – Bay View has announced the official hiring of two new administrators. Both began working on campus this summer, preparing to lead the school into a successful 2021-2022 school year.
Dr. Marcela Rossi has been named the new PreK-12 principal and Andrew Bessell has been named the dean of the Lower School, reporting to Dr. Rossi and Mary Ann Snyder, vice principal of Academics.
Dr. Rossi holds a Ph.D. in Applied Biological Sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.S. in Physics with a minor in English Literature from Fordham University, and she is fluent in English, Spanish, and French. Beginning her career in 1996 as a middle and high school math and science teacher, Dr. Rossi eventually went on to become a high school principal in 2014 and has served as an administrator ever since — with her most recent positions as the head of school at two PreK-12 schools in Chile. Dr. Rossi is a passionate and forward-thinking educator whose every effort is focused on connecting with her students and guiding them to their full flourishment in the classroom and beyond. Her first-hand familiarity with teaching has enabled her to collaborate with her faculty in ways that are uniquely supportive and understanding as they partner to position all students for success. Over a career that spans nearly 25 years in education, Dr. Rossi joins Bay View with seven years of experience as a Pre K-12 Head of School – a highlight of her profile in leadership that was essential as the school prepares to implement a re-imagined administrative model that features one PreK-12 principal at Bay View.
“I am honored and grateful to the Bay View community for trusting me to help lead this wonderful school into its next chapter of continued growth and excellence,” said Dr. Rossi. “I am driven by the learning environment at Bay View and focused on its Mercy mission. The product of an all-girls education myself, I deeply value the intellectual curiosity, exploration, discovery, and reflection that are possible within a learning environment like Bay View’s, tailored exclusively to young women. I look forward to building meaningful relationships with our students and school community that set our students up for life-long success.”
“We wanted a gifted educator to carry on the legacy of purpose, excellence, and achievement that previous principals have provided Bay View during their administrative tenure,” Sister Marybeth Beretta, president. “In Dr. Rossi, I believe deeply that we have found that leader.”
Andrew Bessell was born and educated in England prior to moving to the U.S. and earning a Master of Arts in Teaching (K-6) from Mary Baldwin University. He has accumulated nearly 10 years of teaching experience in Catholic and Episcopal schools as a 4th grade teacher in Virginia and North Carolina, and recently completed his Certificate in School Management and Leadership (K-12) from Harvard University. Throughout his years of teaching and leadership, Bessell has acquired significant experience in the design and delivery of curriculum, while also becoming a leader in STEM education and project-based learning. In the classroom and beyond, Mr. Bessell has dedicated himself to student engagement through innovative instruction and real-world applications, led colleagues through a new instructional technology program, organized bible studies for the girls in his 4th grade class, and advanced efforts toward diversity and inclusion through the development of global and cultural learning opportunities. As a father to two young children — a 3-year-old son and a 2nd grader daughter who will be joining Bay View in the fall — Mr. Bessell is dedicated to providing the kind of education that he desires for his own children.
“As the Bay View community gears up for an exciting new school year, there has never been a more exciting time for me to transition into this important leadership role with the capacity to help so many current and future students reach their full potential,” said Bessell. “I have great respect for the powerful and impactful education students receive at Bay View — including my own young daughter — and will continue embracing my life-long commitment to mission-motivated education while enhancing the learning and development of both students and staff. Thank you to the Bay View community for this tremendous opportunity — I look forward to a great school year ahead.”
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