Rowing Club benefit honors founders

Rowing Club benefit honors founders
Missy McCranie, Chrissy Ferrer, Peggy Kennon, Miles Schueth, Marme Kopp, Karen Trammell

When her daughters, Phoebe and Poppy, were students at Stanton College Preparatory High School, biology teacher Tess Durant didn’t realize for the next 25 years her resume would include the title Owner, Stanton River Bank Rowing.

Rowing Club benefit honors founders

Stanton River Bank Rowing founders Tess Durant and Steve Hitchcock, former biology teachers at Stanton College Preparatory High School

At the time Stanton High School was established as a magnet school, there would be no sports, by design. “The only team-oriented sports were the cheerleaders for the Brain Brawl Team,” said Durant. Never mind their job was to cheer on a cerebral team, the Stanton cheerleaders did win a national cheerleading competition.

Durant became involved in rowing when her daughter, Phoebe Durant Shen, Class of ’91, took a rowing class at Jacksonville University, where, coincidentally, another Stanton biology teacher had founded the women’s rowing program in 1973. Steve Hitchcock teamed up with Durant to form Stanton River Bank Rowing and led the rowers to many successful races on all levels. In 1995 they coached the crew to gold in the Women’s Varsity Eight at the Florida Scholastic State Championships, followed the next month by a gold medal win at the USRowing Nationals on the Olympic Course at Lake Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia.

Durant and Hitchcock were guests of honor at the April 9 “Affair in Avondale” benefit for the rowing club at the home of Mike Nolan and Marme Kopp. They now serve as coach advisors to Chris Register, director of rowing, and Walker Ferris, coach and boatman.

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