Vittoria Pacifico, second from left, incoming head of Academy of Notre Dame, meets with staff.
Vittoria Pacifico, second from left, incoming head of Academy of Notre Dame, meets with staff. (Courtesy photo)

TYNGSBORO — The Academy of Notre Dame's (NDA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Vittoria Pacifico, Ed.D. of Hyde Park, as head of school. A search committee of the Academy's Board of Directors evaluated a number of strong Catholic school leaders and conducted extensive reference checks before recommending her as their top candidate. Dr. Pacifico received formal approval by the Board of Directors and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur (SNDdeN), who serve on the Academy Corporation.

Pacifico earned her doctorate in urban education, leadership, and policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She holds a Master of Education in school administration from Emmanuel College and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Regis College.

"The Board of Directors couldn't be happier to bring Dr. Pacifico on board," says Joseph McNamee, chairman of the Academy's Board of Directors. "Given her 33 years of experience in education, her commitment to Catholic values, and her track record of collaboration, she is perfectly suited to help the Academy steward a vision for the future that preserves its values and traditions while embracing a forward thinking approach to 21st Century education."

Her connection with the school's sponsors, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, also makes the appointment a good match. "Through my association with Emmanuel College, I am quite well versed with the charism of the SNDdeN and their drive for continuous improvement and academic excellence," says Pacifico. "I look forward to helping to build dynamic programming through the school's new Academic Innovation Committee and to mentoring leaders that embody the school's commitment to the SNDdeN mission and Hallmarks."


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Pacifico brings to the academy a distinguished background in Catholic education and expertise in strategic planning, philanthropy, recruitment and the mentoring of school administrators. She provided professional development to principals of the Archdiocese of Boston as well as public schools both as a coach for the School Leadership Program at Harvard University Graduate School of Education and in her own consulting business.

"Her experience will undoubtedly prove helpful in the newly created administrative structure here at the Academy which will have her working closely with Assistant Heads of School for the Upper School, Middle School and Lower School," says McNamee.

"We feel enormously blessed to have Vittoria join the NDA community as she brings precisely the expertise we require at this pivotal time," says Timothy Stever, board member and current parent. "In addition to her background as teacher, vice principal, principal and president, she has grade school, high school and all-girls experience. On top of that, she's a Massachusetts resident and has been working locally for the majority of her career."

Calls to former colleagues confirm Dr. Pacifico's exemplary track record. "In Vittoria we have a phenomenal leader," the Academy's search committee enthusiastically reported. "We've done a lot of reference checks in our time and never have they been so consistently glowing about a candidate."

Over her 30-plus year career, she has worked with Salem High School, Salem; Walnut Park Montessori and Jackson Elementary schools, Newton; St. Mary Academy Bay View, Riverside, Rhode Island; Saint Francis of Assisi, Braintree; Saint Francis of Assisi, Medford; Lt. J.P. Kennedy Memorial School, Hyde Park.