Meet McKay Larrabee, Senior GIS Analyst
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I am from Michigan (huge metropolis of Dimondale) by way of North Carolina (Asheville and Chapel Hill). I currently live in southeast Portland and love it!
What do you do at FLO?
What’s rewarding about your job?
I find it very rewarding to provide school communities with the tools they need to make important, lasting, and often difficult decisions. I will say, though, that building consensus among district staff and parents/guardians has been the best part of my job.
Why is what you do important?
I think that, in the past, school districts have needed to make boundary modifications based on immediate need—“We are busting at the seams, let’s bring in two portable buildings.” Our tools help identify and forecast not only where districts might have an issue now, but also where they might encounter enrollment or equity imbalance in the future. Our tools allow school districts to anticipate, for instance, where they might need to build a new school, add or expand programming, or make staffing adjustments. I know that, as a parent, I want my kids to have the best possible education and access to programs, so it is rewarding on a personal level that we can help school districts make informed, long-term decisions rather than reach for reactionary, short-range solutions.
What skills do you bring to your work?
I am organized and detail-oriented, and I really enjoy people. I have the skills to dive into a complex analysis and the ability to translate the results into something that is easily understood by the public.
What do you like to do off the clock?
I love to hang with my peeps (furry and human)—they keep me pretty busy. My partner and I have two kids, two dogs, and two cats. Their names are Steve, Parker, Ben, Slim, Nora, and Carl—any guesses which names are the humans?
If you were not a senior GIS analyst, what would you be?
A wildlife biologist.
What’s on your bucket list?
To see the northern lights with my partner and kids.