Katie Barber Douglas
1. Which year did you graduate?
2. What is your current position?
I am a partner at Robbins Geller Rudman and Dowd LLP where I specialize in complex class-action litigation representing plaintiffs in securities and consumer fraud cases.
3. Which college did you go to? I attended Georgetown University in Washington D.C. for undergraduate (Go Hoyas!) and University of Miami for law school (Go Canes!).
4. What is your favorite memory from Unity? I really loved the class trips. I have many fond memories of petting sea cucumbers at Sea Camp, drinking from the fountain of youth in St. Augustine (and then panicking that I would never age), and visiting the monuments and museums in Washington D.C.
5. What do you think was the most valuable thing you learned at Unity? The most valuable thing I learned at Unity was to always look towards the positive. At a very young age, though Lessons and Living, we were taught to live in appreciation and gratitude. I learned how to handle conflict by standing up for my beliefs, but also respecting another’s point of view. At Unity it was always “cool to be kind.”
6. Was there a teacher who made an impact on your life? There were many teachers at Unity that made an impact on my life. Most importantly, my mother, Maria Barber served as the Headmistress of Unity for over 20 years. She was a rock-star! At 34, and with two young daughters, she was the youngest and only female Headmistress in the area. She constantly challenged herself to be better, and led with clear expectations, kindness, and respect. She had an innate ability to identify a child’s academic and emotional needs and create an environment to support that. To this day, I have former students tell me about the positive impact she had on their lives. She also balanced a full-time career and motherhood seamlessly; and always ensured my sister and I knew that we were (and still are) the most important things in her and my father’s life.
Ms. Lang, my first grade teacher, spawned my love of reading. At reading time, she would sit in an oversize rocking chair and transform into an “old lady” with tiny glasses a shawl and read to us in various voices. She taught me to appreciate the magic of books, creativity and imagination.
Coach Sharon was my basketball and volleyball coach. She was the first female coach I ever had; and was smart, athletic and hilarious. She gave me so much confidence, but also taught me to not take myself too seriously.
7. What advice would you give to the current Unity students? Live in the moment and take this opportunity to really understand yourself, your interests, as well as those of your peers. Unity is a safe-space where you are surrounded and supported by friends, teachers, administrators and parents that genuinely care about you and want you to succeed.
8. How do you think the foundation you received at Unity prepared you for life? I always credit Unity as helping to build the confidence and self-esteem I had as a child. I learned to celebrate mine (and my peers) successes and to take responsibility and learn from my mistakes, without embarrassment. Teachers and administration knew everyone by name and took an interest in each child’s strength and interests; I always felt comfortable in my own skin and that I could succeed in anything I put my mind to.
9. Why did you choose to send your children to Unity? My husband and I wanted an environment where our boys felt special and were never just a number. We wanted them to be challenged academically, and to be exposed to various programs like art, music and sports. But most importantly, we wanted them to be supported emotionally, and for their own unique offerings.
When we toured the school we were impressed with all the positive developments since I attended, such as the full gymnasium, and technology advancements. But we were also grateful that Unity’s best qualities remained, like the Lessons in Living Program, the above grade-level math and the supportive community. I love seeing moms, dads, grandparents, friends and the like bringing kids to and from school, cheering them on at sports and school concerts and playing at the park. Everyone appears to have the same goal: putting their kids first.