Sylvia hopes to bring an educator’s perspective to the Board of Supervisors and work with her neighbors to tackle the issues critical to the Broad Run community.


Sylvia is a fifth generation Northern Virginian born in Woodbridge, Virginia. She has been involved in the Loudoun County Broad Run community for over two decades as a teacher, community advocate, and mother. Because of this, Sylvia has seen first-hand the development of pressing issues in the community, including the lack of a transportation system that matches our community growth, the lack of resources in the public school system, and the lack of affordable housing in the County. It was not, however, until the Women’s March in 2018 that Sylvia made one of the most meaningful decisions of her life: it was time for her to run for office.

I started to see women getting involved, and I knew that I wanted to be part of that process.”

Sylvia’s family has been deeply involved in social justice movements since at least the 1880s. Most importantly, her father, the Rev. James P. Russell, Sr., was president of the Prince William County NAACP, and her four older siblings integrated the Prince William County Public Schools in 1961. Sylvia is also the grandniece of Bessie Smith, the Empress of Blues, who sang of her love of women in the 1920–1930s. This upbringing taught her to believe in social justice advocacy, volunteerism, and public service, all of which contributed to her decision to seek the office of Broad Run Supervisor.

After losing her mother to cancer when Sylvia was just 15, she strived to graduate from Woodbridge High School despite the loss and then earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Economics from Bowie State University. After a time, she went back to school and received a Master’s Degree in Special Education from George Mason University.

Her career life began in the areas of accounting and real estate sales. She was first a clerk for the Defense Contract Audit Agency (1987-1995). In 1996, her first child was born, and she spent most of her time raising him and her other children. She also worked as an Accountant for Trollinger and Co. (1998-1999) and as a Real Estate Assistant for ReMax (2003-2004), where she earned her real estate license.

Sylvia’s social activism and volunteerism began in earnest while overseeing her children’s early education in Broad Run. She served as the President of the PTA at Dominion Trail Elementary School and raised money and resources for educators, while growing her own interest in the field of education. She was a Cafeteria Monitor (2008-2011) and a Teaching Assistant (2011-2014) with the Loudoun County Public School, before becoming a special education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School in 2014. She still teaches there today.

Sylvia has been a strong advocate for equal rights in the school system by supporting progressive education policies, presenting issues of diversity to the School Board on behalf of the NAACP Education Committee and the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee, and fighting for protections for LGBTQ+ students and staff in our schools from 2015-2019. Sylvia is additionally a member of the Loudoun Education Association, the local teacher’s union and has pushed to fully fund Loudoun County schools. Sylvia’s extensive involvement in the Loudoun County Public School system gives her considerable insight to the issues that need to be acknowledged in our schools and how these issues should be addressed. 

Moreover, Sylvia is a proud member of the Loudoun chapter of Moms Demand Action, a grassroots movement that promotes gun safety measures through local and national legislation. She is a Democratic Precinct Captain and was Precinct Operations Chair from 2018-2019 during Jennifer Wexton’s and Jennifer Boysko’s successful races. She has also assisted with countless food and clothing drives over the years, and has attended many marches and rallies in support of disadvantaged communities.

Sylvia is ready to advocate for a Loudoun County that works for everyone, including the working-class, the elderly, students, and minority groups through her progressive policies for our schools, roads, and housing. Sylvia’s decades-long involvement in the County, especially in the school system, has allowed her to have an extensive understanding of the issues our community is facing. Sylvia already has had a lasting positive impact on Loudoun County through her community involvement and advocacy, and she is ready to strengthen this impact as a Supervisor. When Sylvia wins, Loudoun wins!

Running for office gives you the chance to speak to constituents, learn what problems are in the community, and affect change through policy. Local policy is so important because you’re talking about schools and the everyday issues that people are concerned about.”

MORE ON Sylvia’s Impact

  • Participates in Moms Demand Action, which educates parents gun sense safety and legislation to reduce gun-related violence

  • Is a member of the Loudoun National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Education Committee

  • Takes an active role in the Minority Student Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC), presenting a monthly statement from the Committee to the Loudoun County Board of Education

  • Was President of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at Dominion Trail Elementary School, where she raised money to support educators

  • Advocates for Equality Loudoun, a grassroots organization that advocates for LGBTQ+ equality

  • She is a special education teacher at Leesburg Elementary School for five years and a longstanding member of the Loudoun Education Association (LEA), the teacher’s union

  • Has marched repeatedly for women’s and civil rights, including at the 2017 Women’s March and the 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade alongside Rep. Wexton and other elected officials, as well as many political candidates.

  • Joined the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, where she was appointed Precinct Operations Chair for Rep. Jennifer Wexton’s congressional race (D-VA 10) and Sen. Jennifer Boysko’s run for the Senate (D-SD 33) and continues to serve as a Precinct Captain.