Anthony Pacitto


NORTH PROVIDENCE – Anthony Pacitto has been named principal of Stephen Olney Elementary School.

Pacitto said he was humbled and honored by the appointment, promising an unwavering focus on teaching and learning. He most recently served as an assistant principal in the Providence School District, bringing 15 years of experience in education to his new role.

He replaces Janine Napolitano, a 22-year veteran of the North Providence School District who recently announced her departure for the William M. Davies Jr. Career and Technical High School, where she will serve as the new supervisor of academic instruction.

Lori Desimone, retired principal from Greystone Elementary, stepped up to serve as interim principal at Stephen Olney while the principal position was advertised last month.

Supt. Joseph Goho said the job posting attracted a pool of 21 experienced and highly qualified applicants.

A screening committee, including members of the Stephen Olney School Improvement Team, interviewed candidates and forwarded a group of outstanding finalists to the superintendent for further review.

Goho announced last week that the committee selected Pacitto as principal, effective Dec. 13.

“It is with great excitement that I join you on this journey in continuing to build upon the great reputation that comes with being a Stepen Olney Elementary community member,” Pacitto wrote in an email to the community this week. “Along this journey, we will get to know each other better, celebrate successes, and reflect on challenges, all in the name of providing our students with the most innovative and effective teaching and learning available.”

Pacitto, a lifelong Rhode Island resident, earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education and a masters in educational leadership from Rhode Island College.

He began his career as an elementary teacher/long-term substitute in Johnston, where he said he found a love for supporting students “in all things mathematics.”

This realization led to a slight shift in paths, stepping into the role of math teacher/leader at DelSesto Middle School in Providence. He went on to serve as a district math specialist for Providence Public Schools, offering support for math educators as an instructional coach.

From 2017 to earlier this year, Pacitto has been assistant principal of Providence’s Nathanael Greene Middle School. He is currently assistant principal of DelSesto, where supervises the math and science departments, as well as attendance and data teams.

Serving as assistant principal has provided the opportunity to “put into practice many of my learnings from previous roles,” Pacitto said, “as well as build upon that learning through experiences unique to leading school communities.”

As members of the Stephen Olney community, he said families can expect an unwavering focus on teaching and learning.

With this focus, he said it’s also important to remember the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, “...and that a feeling of safety and social emotional well-being can often be the key to activating that learning.”

As a leader, Pacitto said he’s about building relationships, and he looks forward to doing just that in North Providence.

Pacitto, who lived in North Providence for five years, currently lives in Johnston. He said he enjoys spending time with his spouse and two daughters, ages 5 and 2.

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