Notre Dame High School announces Laura Swenson as its new academic dean

Notre Dame High School president George Valadie has named Laura M. Swenson as the school’s new dean of academic affairs effective July 1.

“You don’t have to spend very much time with Laura before you’re caught up in her enthusiasm for young people, her fellow teachers, and the idea of not standing still,” Mr. Valadie said. “She’s already been researching our students’ online suggestions for elective and extracurricular possibilities with an eye to what we might offer in the future.”

“I’m thankful that Pat Landry [outgoing academic dean] is going to remain a part of our staff for one more year. His willingness to be a resource for Laura will help tremendously. Many good things have happened during his tenure, but it’s also going to be exciting to see where we go next,” Mr. Valadie added.

Mrs. Swenson comes to Notre Dame with 23 years in the field of education, most recently serving the West Hartford (Conn.) public school system. For most of that time, she has also served as an educational consultant providing workshops for faculty as well as tutoring kindergarten through college-level students.

She earned a bachelor of arts degree in Russian/Soviet studies and political science from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., and a master’s degree in education from the University of St. Joseph (West Hartford, Conn.).

Before her teaching career, Mrs. Swenson served eight years as an intelligence officer and analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency, where she earned recognition for exceptional performance during international conflict.

She has been published in the professional journal “The Reading Teacher” and is a reviewer for “Teaching for High Potential.”

She is a member of the Catholic Church and is married to Steve Swenson; they have two sons: David will be studying in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship, and Matthew is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston.

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