Kelsey Barberi LaPerle '02

Which dorm(s) did you live in?
McKean, Shepard and Colby.

What do you remember most about Colby-Sawyer?
Making some incredible friends and accepting my diploma on graduation day with a huge sense of accomplishment and pride.

Which staff or faculty member inspired you most?
Professor Maurissa Abecassis, because she encouraged me, inspired me and supported me in such an outstanding way. She helped me realize my aspirations and always pushed me just enough so I would always succeed.

What are you doing these days?
I am a birth-three classroom teacher for Head Start in Central Vermont. I have two children and a fantastic husband. Also, I began skating with Central Vermont Roller Derby when the league was first established in May 2010.

How did you get into Roller Derby?
I heard about a possible team from various people in the community and was immediately intrigued. After attending one of the first meetings, I ordered my gear as soon as I got home — before the team even had its first practice. I have been skating happily since then. Roller derby is an amazing thing because it brings together women of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles and abilities. We accept everyone for who they are. Roller derby is for women who want to compete, want to belong to a team and want to kick some serious butt on the weekends.

Why should someone come watch a match?
Why not?! Roller derby is an exciting, entertaining, keep-you-on-the-edge-of-your-seat thing to do. It is fast paced and wonderful to watch because of the diversity of the skaters. If you think you know someone who skates, watch them in a bout and you will soon come to know their alter-ego.

Roller Derby is growing in popularity as a woman's sport. Why do you think that is?
Men have many options out there for team sports as adults, and women have very few. In central Vermont, the only options for women are softball and broomball. The popularity of roller derby, I think, is probably due to the "rugged girls" nature of the sport and the fact that it's exciting to watch.

What's the worst injury you've sustained?
Our team, Twin City Riot, has not started competing yet — we will begin scrimmaging soon and will host our first bout in the spring. While practices can be brutal, most injuries in roller derby occur during a bout. So far, my worst injury happened during an outdoor practice in Randolph. I was jamming through the pack, lost my balance, and scraped my tail on the pavement. A bruise and a scrape that both healed in a few days.

Will you encourage your kids to play?
My kids love to try on my skates and gear. I can't wait to take teach them to skate. When my daughter turns 21, I know Central Vermont Roller Derby and Twin City Riot will be waiting with open arms at her first practice!

Anything you'd like to say to your fellow alumni?
For anyone who may be interested, you can look up our team on Facebook (Central Vermont Roller Derby), Twitter (CVTRollerDerby) or through our Web site We are always looking for new skaters (and sponsors, too) and would love to chat with anyone out there who wants to know more about roller derby.

Know an alumna/us who should be here? Let us know!

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