Chris Larrabee is on the Board of Directors and serves as the league player agent at Colonie Little League in the village. He is also the 11U All Star coach and coaches throughout the season both recreation and travel baseball. In May, he was elected the South Colonie Board of Education and he began a five-year term on July 1. Larrabee also coaches a Capital District Youth Basketball League South Colonie team and was appointed in a volunteer role to the Village of Colonie Zoning Board in 2020. The business service rep at the state Department of Labor and Colonie high grad, he and his wife Stephanie and son Jackson live in the Village of Colonie
Q: You devote a ton of time to Colonie Little League through administration, coaching teams and prepping fields. Why did you pick that organization to volunteer your time?
A: My brother Brian and I grew up playing youth baseball for Colonie Little League. Colonie Little League has a historic tradition for the village and the Cook Park complex is the crown jewel. Throughout our history this special place has created warm memories for so many families. When my son Jackson began enjoying youth sports, I wanted the same amazing experience and life lessons for him that my parents gave my brother and I. I was asked from the first day of t-ball practice at 3 years old to get involved and now he is 11 and I am more involved than ever and I really enjoy it, the rest is history.
Q: Baseball is a great sport and so is basketball, but what do you try to teach the kids outside of hitting, catching and dribbling?
A: I start out by completely removing the ‘win at all costs’ mentality. I am as competitive as the next coach, but being a good mentor and teaching life lessons to these children is much more important. I love witnessing the great friendships that develop between the kids playing together on a team. I try to be a positive role model by not ‘looking the other way’ on anything. I always tell the kids to give 100 percent effort. I stress that there will always be successes and failures in life, but regardless of the outcome, they should be proud of the effort they put in.
Q: Being involved in the municipal planning process, how do you go about balancing the needs of the developer with those of the existing neighborhoods?
A: That word balance is key, you want to give all involved parties both businesses and village residents the correct information about what the law is for each case. Our volunteer board is a veteran group with great experience and they treat every appeal differently. Consistency is important and being able to listen and make an informed decision is the best approach for the highest good of the community.
Q: Being on the Board of Education is not an easy job. What are the biggest challenges facing education today and do you think how education is administered will change because of COVID-19?
A: The biggest challenges I feel facing education today are that schools need to encourage parental involvement more, and educate parents on the best way to educate their children outside of the classroom. It is important to realize education takes place in, and more importantly outside, of the classroom. The pandemic has also forced us to go back and think about what do we need students to learn and how are we going to achieve those goals. The best educators use multiple methods and approaches to be able to connect with all students. Focusing on a community of togetherness makes the students engaged and wanting to work at home and in the classroom to better themselves. Yes, I think how education is administered will change due to COVID-19 by realizing that, in some form or fashion, remote learning is here to stay. And, when schools were challenged in so many new ways with rules and different regulations from the state, they took it all in stride, worked as a team and continued to keep the district’s main mission a top priority — kids first.
Q: Who is your favorite baseball player and why?
A: Paul O’Neill — nicknamed (The Warrior) for his mental toughness and ability to play the game in a way that all fans could appreciate. He was simply a great teammate and a perfect example of how IPd want any kid I coach to act.
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