D.C. Public Schools superintendents come and go—there’s been eight in the past 15 years alone—but Mary Levy’s been there for each one, holding them to account. Levy’s been involved in DCPS issues since her daughter entered the system in 1975. Five years later, she helped found Parents United for the D.C. Public Schools, long the city’s most outspoken schools activist group. Since then, Levy, a lawyer by trade, has spent years researching and analyzing DCPS budgeting and policy. That means, for one thing, she’s on every local education reporter’s speed dial for the institutional knowledge that DCPS’ revolving-door leadership tends to lack. Since dawn of the Michelle Rhee era, Levy has avoided the shrill rhetoric that’s greeted the new chancellor, but she has been asking valuable questions about a vague and questionably composed DCPS budget and providing the hard data to back those questions up.