Dr. Kathryn (Katie) McDermott is Professor of Education and Public Policy and Chair of the Department of Educational Policy, Research, and Administration at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMASS). She teaches courses about U.S. education policy and politics. Her research is on the ways in which laws and policies can make educational inequality worse, but also can contribute to creating a more just and equitable education system. During the COVID-19 shutdown, she helped the College of Education at UMASS continue to meet students’ needs through remote instruction. Katie graduated from Freedom High School in 1986, and she fondly remembers the high academic expectations, kindness, and support shown by Freedom teachers like Mr. Richard Baksa, Ms. Linda Boykas, Mr. Dan Kunkle, and Mr. John Jordan . She earned a B.A. from Lehigh University in 1990 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1997.