Born in Maryland, Mary Kate is a longtime Marylander. The oldest of eight children, she grew up in Rockville, Maryland. She attended George Peabody College for Teachers/Vanderbilt University for undergraduate and Gallaudet University for graduate school. She taught special education for Montgomery County Public Schools for 33 years, retired, and is currently teaching jewelry and crochet classes for Montgomery County Recreation. Kate has one daughter and lives in Germantown.