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Paul VI Catholic High School (known as "PVI") is a Roman Catholic college preparatory school in Fairfax, Virginia, US.[2]

Paul VI Catholic High School
10675 Fairfax Boulevard


United States
Coordinates38°51′17″N 77°18′52″W / 38.8548°N 77.3144°W / 38.8548; -77.3144Coordinates: 38°51′17″N 77°18′52″W / 38.8548°N 77.3144°W / 38.8548; -77.3144
TypePrivate, Coeducational
MottoGrow in Grace & Wisdom
Religious affiliation(s)Roman Catholic
Patron saint(s)St. Francis de Sales, St. Jane de Chantal
OversightDiocese of Arlington
CEEB code470801
PrincipalTom Opfer
Head teacherVirginia Colwell
ChaplainRev. Stephen Schultz
Enrollment908 (2017–2018)
Average class size22
Student to teacher ratio10:1
Color(s)Black and Gold         
SloganDo Ordinary Things Extraordinarily Well
Athletics conferenceWashington Catholic Athletic Conference
RivalBishop O'Connell High School
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools [1]
SAT(2017) average1210
NewspaperThe Panther Press
Tuition$19,310 (non-Catholic)
$14,625 (Catholic)

The school is located in southwest Fairfax, and is named after Pope Paul VI. It competes in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and has a high-profile athletic rivalry with Bishop O'Connell High School in Arlington.

Paul VI opened for the 1983–84 school year, accepting freshmen and sophomore students only. The next year (1984–85), the school was open to freshmen through juniors, and 1985–86 saw the first senior class. The Diocese of Arlington purchased the school building, which was in a dilapidated condition, from George Mason University, which had owned it for about a decade. The structure had originally been Fairfax High School, which opened in 1936 and relocated to a new facility in January 1972. One wing of the building housed Alzheimer patients until the school's third year.

During its first years, the school was ministered by five Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, who also taught classes and one of whom (Don Heet) served as the principal. The remainder of the faculty were lay teachers. In 2000, the school selected its first principal who was not from the De Sales order. Philip Robey was selected for this position, and stepped down seven years later. He was replaced by Virginia Colwell, a former English teacher at Paul VI. In 2020 the high school will be relocating to South Riding in Loudoun County, VA. [3]

The team name "Panthers" was voted by student body during the school's first year. The original school colors were brown and gold until the 1999–2000 school year. The school moved away from brown in favor of black, which was considered more stylish by the student body.

2001–2003 expansionEdit

On May 9, 2001, Bishop Paul S. Loverde of the Arlington Diocese led a group of civic and school officials at the groundbreaking for a new $6.5 million student activity center. The new center included a gathering space for the entire student body, three classrooms, gymnasium, locker rooms, weight room, movable stage used for athletic and stage equipment, offices, laundry facilities and concession stand.[4]

The expansion was the result of five years of planning and fund-raising by the school to refurbish its grounds. After a generous grant from the Diocese of Arlington, school officials were able to make some needed repairs to the old building. Before actual construction began on the activity center in winter 2001, air conditioning was installed in the current building and the original locker rooms were torn down.

The two-story addition was completed for the 2003–04 school year. This included the new gymnasium, locker rooms, computer lab, coaches' offices and a wrestling room.[5]


Advanced Placement Courses include: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Computer Science A, English Literature and Composition, European History, French, German, Latin literature, Macroeconomics, Music Theory, Psychology, Statistics, Studio Art: 2-D Design, Studio Art: Drawing, United States Government and Politics, United States History, Comparative Government.

Dual Enrollment Courses: Biology 101, Biology 102, Chemistry 111,German 101, German 102, Cyberscience, Microbiology & Genetics, English Writing and Composition [6]

Faculty with Advanced Degrees: 55 Master's degrees, 4 PhD, 1 MD, 1 CPA

Academic facts:

  • From the Paul VI Class of 2015, 98% are attending post-secondary educational institutions; 94% attend four-year colleges and 4% attend two-year colleges.
  • Over the last 7 years,[when?] 68% of the final grades awarded were “B” or higher
  • 45% of Paul VI's current[when?] students have earned a 3.5 or better GPA (honor roll)
  • The Class of 2015 was offered over 13 million dollars in college scholarships
  • Paul VI was named one of the Top 50 Catholic schools in the nation by the Cardinal Newman Society in 2013[7]
  • In 2014, Paul VI was named to the Catholic Education Honor Roll by the Cardinal Newman Society. Fewer than 5% of Catholic high schools in the U.S. made the honor roll in 2014, numbering 71 schools (up from 50 the previous year).[8]
  • In 2013 it was chosen by the editors of Virginia Living Magazine as a 2013 Top Virginia School.[9]
  • In 2014, Paul VI was named Best Private High School in the Best of Suburbia poll by Posh Seven Magazine [10]


Paul VI's athletic teams compete in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) and in the Virginia Independent State Athletic Association (VISAA).


Levi Franklin, Jr. left the Paul VI coaching staff to become an assistant coach at Robert Morris University. He is responsible for coaching the post players as well as serving as one of the program's top recruiters. Over his six years at Paul VI he posted an overall record of 120–62 (.659), averaging 20 wins per season. He guided Paul VI Catholic to the WCAC Tri-League championship in 2002–03 as well as two second place overall finishes in the WCAC (2003–04 and 2005–06). Franklin also led Paul VI to three semifinal appearances as well as one championship game of the WCAC Tournament.

As of the 2007–08 season is Glenn Farello has been the head coach. Prior to his arrival at Paul VI he coached at Eleanor Roosevelt (Maryland) for over nine years as head coach, in addition he spent five years as an assistant coach. His record as Eleanor Roosevelt's head coach was 163–68. At Roosevelt, Farello won four Maryland Regional titles, and one state crown (2002). Thirty five of his players have gone on to play college basketball, while ten have competed professionally.

The Paul VI basketball team created high school basketball history on Monday, February 27, 2012, when they won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference boys' basketball championship. In addition they did not lose a game in conference play, winning 21 consecutive conference games. No other team in the history of the WCAC has had an undefeated season while winning 21 games. What makes this feat all the more rare, is that there were three nationally ranked teams in the WCAC when Paul VI accomplished this feat. The WCAC is widely regarded as the best high school basketball conference in the country.[11]

The 2011–12 team had ten Division 1 players on the team. They received offers from a variety of conferences including the Big East, ACC, Patriot League and Ivy League.

The basketball program has also enjoyed success in the 2013–14 season. Both the boys' and girls' basketball teams were able to capture the WCAC title.[12] The boys' team was also able to capture the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championship and the Alhambra championship for 2014.[13] The boys' team won again in 2018.[14] The girls' team has won the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championship every year since 2002.[15]


Paul VI play's in one of the toughest high school baseball conferences in the mid-Atlantic region, in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC). The baseball program at Paul VI has become nationally recognized, and an area powerhouse with a record of 121–32 and seven Championship titles between 2004 and 2008. Every year since 2000, the WCAC has produced at least one nationally ranked baseball team and on several occasions multiple teams have been ranked. Paul VI baseball also competes for the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association (VISAA) State Championship at the end of each season. The VISAA State Tournament includes the top eight private school baseball teams in the State of Virginia. Several Major League players are alumni of the VISAA State Tourney including BJ Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Panthers were ranked as No. 6 in the nation by USA Today in 2008 and ranked as No. 3 by Rise Magazine. They finished the 2008 season with a record of 27–3, captured the Southeastern Baseball Classic Championship, the VISAA State Championship and ended the year ranked 12th in America by several publications. The program has produced several All-Met, All-State and All-American players along with sending 33 players to college baseball since 2003. 21 Paul VI alumni are currently playing in college. Many are at major Division I programs that participated in the 2008 NCAA Tournament such as Georgia, St. John's, University of Dayton, East Carolina, Rider and Mount St. Mary's.

Former coach Billy Emerson, had an overall record of 138–44 upon arriving in 2003. He was named coach of the year several times by the Washington Post, Washington Examiner, as well as coach of the year in the WCAC and the VISAA. In 2008, he was also named Mid-Atlantic Coach of the Year by the National H.S. Baseball Coaches Association and was one of eight finalists for National H.S. Coach of the year. Emerson stepped down to focus on being Paul VI Athletic Director.[16]

In 2016, Billy Emerson returned as the head varsity baseball coach.

Paul VI is currently coached by Billy Emerson.[17]

2004: (17–12) REGULAR SEASON: 2nd place in the WCAC South – POST SEASON: WCAC Tournament Quarterfinalists, VISAA State Champions

2005: (26–5) REGULAR SEASON: WCAC South Champs – POST SEASON: WCAC Tournament finalists, VISAA State Semifinalists (Nationally ranked as high as No. 17)

2006: (24–8) REGULAR SEASON: 3rd place in the WCAC (north/south divisions no longer in place) – POST SEASON: WCAC Tournament Finalists, VISAA State Finalists

2007: (27–4) REGULAR SEASON: 1st place in the WCAC – POST SEASON: WCAC Tournament Champs, VISAA State Semifinalists (Nationally ranked as high as No. 41)

2008: (27–3) REGULAR SEASON: 1st place in the WCAC Southeastern Baseball Classic Champs- POST SEASON: WCAC Tournament Semifinalists, VISAA State Champions (Nationally Ranked as high as No. 3)

American footballEdit

1999 WCAC Varsity Football Champions

Boys' soccerEdit

2010 Virginia State Champs (VISAA) 2015 Virginia State Champs (VISAA)

Boys' lacrosseEdit

The PVI men's lacrosse program is headed by Coach Bob Waters, a graduate of the University of Delaware. He has been the head of the program since 2013, where he led the men's lacrosse program to their first appearance in both the State Championship and WCAC Championship games. Falling short in both to SSSAS in states and Gonzaga in the WCAC. The lacrosse program has made a final four every year since 2013. Coach Waters has sent 45 players to the Division I, II, and III level, since starting in 2013. Since 2013, the men's lacrosse program has been ranked in the top 25 three different times and has stayed in the top 50. Beating programs in the Top 25 such as Georgetown Prep.

Current and Former players have graduated Paul VI and now attend these colleges to play lacrosse... Duke University, University of Maryland, University of North Carolina, University of Virginia, Johns Hopkins University, The Ohio State University, Rutgers University, University of Michigan, Penn State University, Georgetown University, Dartmouth College, United States Naval Academy, United States Military Academy, High Point University, University of Delaware, Furman University, Bryant University, Wagner College, Mount St. Mary's University, Virginia Military Institute, Christopher Newport University, Gettysburg College, Catholic University of America, Washington College, Lynchburg College, Washington College, Wheeling Jesuit College, Bridgewater College, Delaware Valley University.

US Lacrosse High School All Americans: Ryan Lamb (2015, University of Virginia) Ryan O'Connor (2015, University of North Carolina) Roman Puglise (2017, University of Maryland)

Paul VI Men's Lacrosse Team is Famous for the Dub Plank, they bring it to every home and away game.

Girls' soccerEdit

On November 5, 2016, The Lady Panthers took home the Washington Catholic Athletic Association (WCAC) Girls Varsity Soccer Title home for the first time since 1993 – when the league was named “Catholic Girls Athletic Association”. The 1–0 victory came against St. Johns College Preparatory School; Paul VI was currently ranked No. 6 in the conference with the record of 13–1 and St. Johns ranked No. 4 with a 9–2–1 record. Paul VI was carried by Sophomore Goalie, Gretchen Bennet, who managed to deny 17 shot attempts on goal and lifted by Washington Catholic Athletic Association (WCAC) Player of the Year, Gabriella Gordon, who took a feed from a teammate for a shot towards the opposite side of the net for the winning shot. Paul VI finished with a total of six shots in the match.[18]

Other sportsEdit

Cross country, golf, ice hockey, soccer (girls), swimming & diving, tennis, indoor track (winter), track and field, wrestling, volleyball, cheerleading, dance team, softball, special Olympics soccer, basketball


  • Campus Ministry
  • Catholic Athletes for Christ
  • Liturgical Musicians
  • Salesian Spirituality

Honor Societies

  • Art Honor Society
  • Chinese Honor Society
  • French Honor Society
  • German Honor Society
  • International Thespian Society
  • Latin Honor Society
  • Music Honor Society (Tri-M)
  • National Honor Society
  • Spanish Honor Society


  • Newspaper (The Panther Press)
  • Yearbook (Imprints)


  • Friends Inviting Sharing Healing (FISH)
  • Panther Pals
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Teens for Life


  • Asian Culture Club
  • Chinese Club
  • Computer Competitions Club
  • Engineering Club
  • French Club
  • German Club
  • History Club
  • Junior Classical League
  • Junior Math League
  • Math Club
  • Senior Math League
  • Spanish Club


  • Big Brothers and Big Sisters
  • R.E.A.C.H.
  • Student Ambassadors
  • Student Government Association

Special Interests

  • Academic Team
  • Book Club
  • Cappies
  • Chess Club
  • Cooking Club
  • Debate Club
  • DECA
  • Gaming Club
  • Guitar Club
  • Intramural Sports
  • Model Judiciary
  • Model United Nations
  • Odyssey of the Mind
  • Personal Finance Club
  • Philosophy Club
  • Pink and White Club
  • PVI International Association
  • PVI Players
  • Psychology Club
  • Reading in the Movies
  • Scrub Club
  • Sign Language Club
  • VI Man Spirit Club
  • Weather Club
  • Web Crawlers
  • Young Politicians

Fine Arts

  • Band
  • Chorus
  • Drama
  • Art

Notable alumniEdit


There was a high profile scandal at PVI in 1999 when it was discovered that 16-year-old student Jonathan Taylor Spielberg, who claimed to be Steven Spielberg's nephew, was actually Anoushirvan Fakhran, a 27-year-old porn actor from Tehran, Iran. After repeated truancy by Fakhran, school officials contacted DreamWorks to see if Spielberg had any information about his "nephew". When it was discovered that Steven Spielberg only had nieces, a police investigation followed. Fakhran was arrested and later pleaded guilty to forgery.[19][20][21] Fakhran was sentenced to two years and eleven months of probation, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service, and was barred from having contact with minors.


  1. ^ SACS-CASI. "SACS-Council on Accreditation and School Improvement". Archived from the original on April 16, 2010. Retrieved 2009-06-23. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  3. ^ Catholic Herald. "Paul VI Catholic High School to relocate to South Riding- The Arlington Catholic Herald". Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Flach, Michael. "PVI Breaks Ground for New Student Center – The Arlington Catholic Herald". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  5. ^ "Activity Center Ushers in New Era at Paul VI H.S. – The Arlington Catholic Herald". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  6. ^ "Dual Enrollment – Paul VI Catholic High School". 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  7. ^ Kiley, Eilien. "Paul VI named among Top 50 Catholic High Schools in U.S." Retrieved 2015-02-06.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-10. Retrieved 2015-06-08. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Virginia Living–October 2013". Issuu. Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.
  10. ^ "Best of Suburbia Winners!". Oct 2, 2014. Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.
  11. ^ Tennis, Mark. "Inside the FAB 50: WCAC toughest league? – ESPNHS Boys' Basketball – ESPN". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  12. ^ "A clean sweep for the Panthers – The Arlington Catholic Herald". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  13. ^ "Varsity Boys' Basketball – Paul VI Catholic High School". Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  14. ^ " Document: Boys Basketball Championship Results". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  15. ^ " Document: Championship Results". Retrieved 2018-12-09.
  16. ^ "Baseball: Paul VI Coach Billy Emerson to step down at end of season". The Washington Post. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  17. ^ "Baseball Coaching Staff – Paul VI Catholic High School". 2013-11-22. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  18. ^ "Gretchen Bennett helps Paul VI shut out St. John's; Gonzaga outlasts DeMatha in WCAC soccer championships". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-11-24.
  19. ^ "BBC News | ENTERTAINMENT | 'Spielberg's nephew' guilty of forgery". Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.
  20. ^ "Say uncle". Salon. Feb 16, 2000. Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.
  21. ^ "Spielberg Story: A Self-Made Star Who Fell to Earth". Retrieved Jul 28, 2019.

External linksEdit