As A Legislator
Since Schuyer won election in 2017, he has been hard at work creating legislation to help Virginia and Henrico County. For example, in his first session, he sponsored and passed a bill to prevent people from losing their state professional licensure due to student debt problems - a cruel policy which Virginia had allowed for too long. After all, if you take someone’s license to work, how will they pay the debt for which you took the license? In the wake of the Parkland shootings, he was one of a few delegates chosen to serve on a select committee for school safety, so he held community input sessions and met with parent activists and school safety experts to work on a set of recommendations to the General Assembly. He made sure the final recommendations were not just about physical infrastructure but also student mental and emotional health, and about school-community relations, to address not just tragic shootings but school violence more generally. He helped to pass Medicaid expansion, which enabled more 9,500 people in Henrico county access to affordable, quality healthcare coverage in its first few months of operation alone. In his second session, Delegate VanValkenburg led the charge to get a higher standard for school counseling in the state budget, ensuring that schools will have the resources to reach a ratio of one counselor for every two hundred and fifty students. Delegate VanValkenburg has been proud to fight for equality of opportunity, quality education, and inclusiveness - and his record speaks to his commitment to those ideas.
Personal Story and Background
Schuyler VanValkenburg grew up thirty minutes north of Albany, NY, in the small city of Johnstown, nicknamed the “Glove City” for its leather tanning mills in the 19th century. He watched as the city’s economy continually suffered when factory jobs left for overseas factories. Early on, his family impressed on him the importance education would have in this changing world and he fell in love with history thanks to some very talented educators.
After high school, he enrolled at the University of Richmond in 2001. His family’s insistence on bettering himself through education pushed him to excel in the history department and complete teacher licensure programs while he was there. During his undergraduate studies, he also met his wife. After college, they started a family and he began his teaching career in Henrico County Public Schools. He has been a teacher for twelve years, first at Short Pump Middle School, and now at Glen Allen High School.
During his teaching career, Schuyler went back to school to earn his Masters degree in American History at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2008, with a focus on women’s history. He also won National Board Certification and became the We the People constitutional competition coach at Glen Allen High School.
Schuyler VanValkenburg’s experience growing up in small industrial town, attending the University of Richmond, and teaching in Henrico County, have all invigorated him in the fight to make Virginia a national leader in education in order to expand opportunity for all Virginians. He knows firsthand the immeasurable impact a high quality education can have, and is committed to ensuring that for every child across the commonwealth. He also knows how important it is provide equitable access and opportunities for every citizen - both by ensuring a democracy where every voice is heard and every vote counted and by increasing job growth and access to economic opportunity. Finally, Schuyler believes in an inclusive society, and believes that Virginia has no place for discriminatory laws and policies which and that threaten the constitutional right to equal protection.