In his senior year of high school at Burlington County Institute of Technology in Westampton, New Jersey, John Schuyler ’23 realized that he wanted to be a high school teacher. The following year he found himself majoring in history with secondary education at Immaculata University.
Schuyler’s journey to college involved him looking for a university that had a supportive community and was financially feasible. At Immaculata, Schuyler found what he was looking for when he came to IU, and he is now set to graduate this week.
A native of Roebling, New Jersey, Schuyler was active at Immaculata, serving as a resident assistant for three years, a member of the environmental club, and a cast member of several Cue and Curtain theater productions.
“It’s important to me that I got the chance to show IU spirit while engaging in student leadership activities,” he said. He has helped organize campuswide events, including dry tailgating before sporting events and the annual block party. What’s more, since Schuyler’s favorite holiday is Halloween, he organized Halloween-themed events with other RAs for the enjoyment of students.
Schuyler’s strengths are familiar to those around him, as his involvement in student leadership opportunities made him instantly recognizable as one of the role models on campus. Showing up with a smile and positive attitude in everything he did was always something people noticed and appreciated.
As Schuyler prepared to graduate, he thought back on his time at Immaculata and remembered some of his favorite memories. Two years ago, while the campus was still in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, he and his friends held an outdoor picnic to celebrate the end of the year. Before long, other friends joined in the celebration, and he felt the sense of community that’s been so important to his experience at Immaculata. Similarly, he felt that same connection after the first performance of Cue and Curtain’s production of Newsies this semester. Schuyler and the rest of the cast relished in a moment of pure joy and rejuvenation that can only describe how amazing it felt to be a part of something that brought such joy to others.
“There are a lot of powerful memories in those moments that I’ll treasure for a long time,” he admitted.
After completing his student-teaching at B. Reed Henderson High School in West Chester, Schuyler hopes to secure a full-time teaching position there. As a child, he held his teachers in high esteem and decided early on that he wanted a career that makes a difference. To him, teaching is more than just a way to put money on the table. It’s about connecting with people and doing his best to help students the way he was helped by his teachers throughout elementary and high school.
“It’s not about being the best teacher ever,” he says. “It’s about making sure the students have resources and support they need and making sure your students aren’t overlooked.”
A lot has happened in Schuyler’s young life that led to his desire to become a teacher who can be a role model for students. With a positive attitude, he doesn’t dwell on the negatives or let prior experiences define him. He wants to support students who are going through a difficult time in their lives.
Schuyler shared that his philosophy isn’t about being overly righteous or having a savior complex either. Instead it’s a genuine desire to use his life in the best way he can. Through his student-teaching duties, he has already started putting back into the world what he felt it gave him when he needed it most.
“I want to be for others what my teachers were for me,” Schuyler stated. “Everyone needs someone to look out for them, and I want to be that person for some people.”
Vincent “Vinnie” Damiri ’23 is an Immaculata senior who interned with the University’s Communications and Marketing office in spring 2023.