Laura Swenson, Head of School

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge appointed Mrs. Swenson to be the new Head of School starting on July 1, 2022. Mrs. Swenson began her career as an intelligence analyst before moving into the education field 26 years ago. She has served in a variety of roles in Connecticut and Tennessee over the course of her career, including as a teacher, consultant, instructional coach and advisor, and school administrator. Most recently she has served as academic dean, then principal at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, TN, where she helped guide the school community through the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.
As Head of the School, she is charged with meeting the goals of the school’s long-term strategic plan. As part of that, she manages PVI’s fundraising, marketing, and public relations efforts; facilities; security; financial planning and management; recruitment; and alumni relations. She also oversees Athletics and Campus Ministry.

Mrs. Swenson earned a Master of Arts in Education from the University of St. Joseph and a professional educator license in elementary and secondary history and political science.  Additionally, she holds a certificate in school management and leadership from Harvard University. 
“I am delighted to join the Paul VI community and look forward to building upon the school's tradition of excellence to grow its mission as a service-oriented, faith-filled Catholic institution. I have been warmly welcomed by all, and feel blessed to join the Diocese of Arlington, a dynamic and supportive diocese that is committed to Catholic education.” ~ Laura Swenson

Tom Opfer, ’96, Principal

Dr. Opfer first walked through the doors of PVI as a student. He has been an educator at the school since 2002 teaching math, computer, and public speaking courses. In 2006, he became the Assistant Principal/Dean of Academics.  In 2016, he was appointed Principal. Currently, he serves as PVI’s chief academic officer and oversees the school’s curriculum and faculty.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science from James Madison University, Dr. Opfer worked briefly as a computer consultant before he found his passion for teaching while tutoring students in math. He has since earned master’s degrees in education from George Mason University and school leadership from Marymount University. He received a doctorate degree from George Mason in May 2017. Dr. Opfer teaches as an adjunct professor at the Graduate School of Education at George Mason University.
St. Paul VI Catholic High School is a private Diocesan Catholic preparatory school for girls and boys in grades 9-12 in Chantilly, Virginia, seeking to help our students Grow in Grace and Wisdom. Our school is part of the Diocese of Arlington and offers rigorous academics, an inclusive community focused on spiritual and leadership formation, and a proud athletic tradition featuring nationally renowned programs competing in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association.

St. Paul VI Catholic High School is an accredited member of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.