Ann Faulkner Ridgeway
Ann Ridgeway is a native Virginian who has worked with youth and families for much of her life. She brings a love of faith, family, community, and Virginia values to her aspiration for public office. Ann is running as a Democrat for the Virginia House of Delegates in the 30th District.
Born in Fredericksburg, Ann is the daughter of Thomas G. Faulkner Jr., an Episcopal minister, and Mary B. Faulkner. Her parents were dedicated community activists and advocates for the underprivileged. They worked in a team ministry, fostered several teenagers, and starting numerous area programs to benefit youth, the elderly, and families in need. Mary Faulkner also started the Fredericksburg Interfaith Council. Both of Ann’s parent were active in the civil rights movement, inspiring Ann from an early age to work for social and economic justice for all.
Ann is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a degree in psychology. As a teenager, she worked in a home for mentally ill teenagers, volunteered in a juvenile court service unit in Norfolk supporting teenagers on probation, and served as an advisor to a youth group at St. Andrews Church in Norfolk. Following her graduation, Ann began work as a juvenile probation counselor in Orange County.
Ann was instrumental in the establishment of the Orange County Youth Commission and the Orange County Youth Council, working with a start-up research grant and a core group of citizens to create these vital public resources. As an ongoing advisor to the group, Ann helped set up “dragnet” dances for teens on Friday nights, developed the first Festival of Arts and Sciences for the county school system, created a health fair, and started an annual Law Day at the high school, and established the Outstanding Youth Advocate and the Youth Award. She coordinated with the school board and the youth council to create a new system-wide drug policy, advocated for county funding of a new Orange County Office on Youth, and subsequently helped establish the Orange County Recreation Department.
Ann has served as a substitute teacher with the Orange County schools, on the board of the Orange County Fair, and on a Virginia board focusing on teenage alcohol concerns. She set up an in-school-suspension program and later developed a program for teenagers with discipline problems called REACH for Orange High School. Ann was also instrumental in leading a community action group that successfully advocated for the relocation of a cell tower in the Locust Dale neighborhood.
Ann has been married to her husband, Michael, since 1978. They have lived in Madison since 1980. For several years, she was a stay-at-home mom for her three children: Sarah, Katherine, and Michael. She continued to volunteer with her church, preschools, and the PTO, where she started a school newspaper, spear headed the annual fall fundraiser, and the first Orange Elementary Book Festival. At her home, Ann launched the Locust Dale Farm Riding program for children and ran a summer camp. She also volunteered with both the Madison 4-H and the Orange 4-H.
In 1997, Ann and Michael lost their six-year-old son in an automobile accident. Her husband suffered a brain injury in the accident. During this time, Ann stayed close to home with her family, supporting her husband’s recovery and raising her daughters. As her family began to heal, she resumed some of her volunteer work within the community, while also helping care for aging parents. Michael’s Gift, a charity established in her son’s name , provides financial support to children in Orange County for recreational activities and esteem building programs. The fund is managed by the Orange County Office on Youth.
A determined citizen activist, Ann believes that progress takes hard work and commitment. She offers a resourceful outlook and a firm resolve to the challenges that face the 30th District. Ann’s grassroots campaign is much like her legacy of local volunteering and hands-on advocacy—a spirited, neighbor-to-neighbor outreach effort to build support for a candidate who will represent the values and aspirations of hard-working, rural Virginians. She would be honored to represent the 30th District in the Virginia General Assembly.