By Ellie Lane
Late August, 1983: 10675 Fairfax Boulevard opened its door to high school students for the first time since 1972. It was the beginning not only of a high school, but of a home. The Paul VI community had just begun. As the years went on, the school grew not only in number of students, but also in size. The original building was much smaller than the PVI we know today. The PAC and locker rooms were added in 2000 when the school went through a $10-12 million renovation. Now, Panthers enjoy ending their days with a “Snack in the PAC,” at the relatively recent concessions stand.
Apart from the school’s physical changes, the Panther family has changed quite a bit. Some teachers have been at the school since its start like Mr. Hutson and Mr. Taylor. Other current teachers have even attended the school themselves as students recently such as Ms. Desmarais and the Dean of Academics, Mr. Opfer. When some of these teachers were asked to comment on what they think has changed at the school they all had different things to say. Mr. Opfer mentioned, “I believe that the more things change, the more they stay the same. PVI has excellent school spirit. It has always been a great school, but school spirit is much more evident now than it was when I was a student here.” PVI is known for its great student section at its sporting events like what Mr. Opfer implies here, but the students are also known for their good works in charity. The Options program here is a prime example of how the PVI students work for others. Students with special needs have been offered a special education at Paul VI since the start of the Options program in 1997.
As much as students love Paul VI for their great programs, there is always one thing that many students do not like: uniforms. Some students love having them and others can’t stand them. The current uniform of a skirt and polo shirt for girls and pants and a polo for boys has not always been the case. Current teacher and former student Ms. Desmarais recalls, “the boys used to have to wear ties I think. Also I remember that instead of being able to wear the Sperry shoes we had to wear either the still-optional black shoes or these clunky brown shoes.” Even with the uniforms, there have always been occasional “dress down days” for the students to relax and wear their usual at-home attire. Up until a few years ago, seniors used to have the privilege to dress down on “S” days. Yet even with all these changes, Paul VI remains a beloved school that holds fast to its’ mission to “do ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
– Ellie Lane