"It is not my job to know all of the answers. It is my job to figure them out."
Katherine Schoonover is the Executive Director of the Modern Republic. She received a B.S. in Political Science with a minor in Criminal Justice at Old Dominion University. Katherine worked in the legislature for nearly a decade in both the House and the Senate. In addition, she served in many party leadership roles, founded a newspaper, taught school, and has been part of numerous efforts to promote bipartisanship and to help citizens better understand how government and the political world function.
During her free time, while working in the Virginia General Assembly, Katherine partnered with 2 universities and a bipartisan board of legislators and created an internship program and apolitical informational news source. The goals were to provide nonpartisan information about the issues being considered by the legislature and to allow journalism students an opportunity to gain some real-world experience in a safe environment.
After deciding not to return to the Virginia General Assembly she founded the Modern Republic. This new venture originally intended to focus on efforts to address the increasing polarization in politics, however, as she began her project she realized that the more critical issue was the fundamental lack of knowledge of how the legislature and politics work. Over time, she realized that she was slowly creating a free online textbook and decided to embrace the challenge. In order to gain a better understanding of the problem and to gain some teaching experience she went to work for the public school system for a year and adjusted her approach even further. She is now in the process of incrementally publishing portions of the book online and has even added a free job board and social media features to help those who are just getting started in the field.