Fr. T announces the appointment of Mr. Joseph Richard Poletti as Principal of St. Mary School.

Mr. Joseph Poletti / Picture source:
Mr. Joseph Poletti / Picture source:

St. Mary Basilica

412 Ann Street Wilmington, North Carolina 28401

March 13, 2023

At the end of June 2023, Mrs. Joyce Price will retire after sixteen years as Principal of St. Mary Catholic School. Prior to that, she taught at St. Mary for ten years. And before that, she taught for fourteen years at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in High Point, NC. We are thankful for the loving guidance she has provided us and others over her many years of service. 

Below is a brief bio of Mr. Joseph (Joe) Poletti, who was announced at an after-school assembly today at St. Mary Basilica. We are delighted as we look forward to welcoming Mr. Poletti this Summer. He will be leading our school into its 155th year of service to the greater Wilmington community. 

Joseph Richard Poletti 

For 37 years, his jobs as an educational professional have included classroom teacher, instructional technology facilitator, state department consultant, university program administrator, athletic director, central services director, and school administrator. He holds four college degrees ( BS Secondary Education, Appalachian State University, MA Rhetoric, Catholic University of America, CAS, Library Science, East Carolina University, MSA Educational Leadership, East Carolina University. His professional affiliations and community service networks run deep. He has received local and state-wide recognitions. 

Carteret County Public Schools has three traditional public high schools (Croatan, East Carteret, and West Carteret) and one early college (MaST). He has been the principal of all four. Additionally, he has been assistant principal of East Carteret, West Carteret, and Newport Elementary. He has been Director of Media and Technology and Carteret County Schools Athletic Director. He was on the original advisory board for the North Carolina Virtual Public School. He served on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for six years, one year as president of the Association. Early in his career, he taught high school English for eleven years. 

He was baptized at St Michael the Archangel in Union City, NJ, made first communion at St Mary of the Lake in Lakewood, NJ, made confirmation at St Stephen Catholic Church in Sanford, NC, and was married at the Church of the Epiphany in Blowing Rock, NC. He has been a member of St Egbert Catholic Church in Morehead City for 30 years. He is a lector and a church musician there. He has served on the Parish Council and the School Advisory Council and chaired several Principal Search Committees for St. Egbert Catholic School. 

He is now serving as a member of the Lewis Award Committee, which recognizes educational excellence in the schools of the Diocese of Raleigh. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 37 years. They have three "grown-n-gone" children: Juliana (Juan), Monica, and Mary. He is an avid guitarist, road bicyclist, reader, writer, gardener, landscaper, and swimmer. His family lives and works in North Carolina, California, and Texas. He is joyful for the opportunity we have given him to lead our school, rooted in virtue and tradition, to give our students the foundations they need for lives of happiness and success.

Father T