Farmington Crew Coaching Staff

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Boys' Coaching Staff

Head Boys CoachLaura Butterfield, Ph.D. - Laura rowed novice thru varsity, including stroke seat, at WPI for 3 years. She has completed the USRowing level 1 and 2 coaching certification programs. In addition to being in her 14th year of coaching the FHS Crew, she is in her 20th year as a science teacher at FHS. As the head coach for 4 years, she managed all aspects of the program, and in that time was responsible for increased recruitment and retention (from 35 participants to nearly 100) and improvements in competition. She is currently the Head Boys and Varsity Coach, taking all varsity boats to silver and gold medals in the CT State Championships in Spring 2007, 2008, and 2012, and first boat to the petit finals at NERIA in Spring of 2008.  We are poised in 2019 to do it again!

JV Coach: Kirsten Preskenis - Kirsten returns this fall for her third season with FHS Crew. In addition to Farmington, Kirsten is an assistant coach at Central Connecticut Rowing in Middletown, and is a fitness instructor at Power 10 Indoor Rowing Center in Avon. Kirsten has more than a decade of rowing experience at the high school, collegiate, and master levels. She learned to row and compete at Simsbury High School, then after graduating continued the sport for four more years at Stony Brook University in New York. Currently, Kirsten is a competitive lightweight sculler with Farmington Valley Rowing Association in Windsor, where she also serves as the team's vice president and winter training coach. Kirsten is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and a USRowing Level II Certified Coach. 

Novice Coach: Kyle Winalski, FHS '16 - Kyle attended FHS from 2012-2016 where he rowed all 4 years, novice through varsity, spending most of his rowing tenure in a varsity boat.  In his novice season, Kyle helped capture the 2013 State Championship and raced at NIERAS in the 2v his junior year.  Kyle was named one of the team captains for the boys team his senior year.  Venturing from FHS, Kyle had a short experience rowing at Stetson University, as he now attends Central Connecticut State University pursuing a degree in Psychology.  Kyle looks forward to getting involved with the team again and sharing his passion for the sport with the novice rowers.   

Girls' Coaching Staff

Head Girls Coach: Chris DePaola - Chris joined the Farmington Crew program in the fall of 2014 as the girls JV coach  Chris has been rowing since middle school. He rowed for two years at Rumsey Hall School, and then continued his rowing career for three more years at The Gunnery. Most recently he finished his rowing career at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Where he rowed in the freshmen 8 and the last 3 years on the varsity team. In college Chris was part of the boat who was named Freshmen Crew of the Year and has won all of his conference championships. He is also an undefeated State Champion, and has earned a silver medal (2013), and a bronze medal (2014) at ECAC Rowing Championship. He was part of the boat that made school history by being the first boat to every race at the IRAs in the 2V event. He was also named the Hobart Rowing representative for the Hobart and also Hobart Representative for his conference. His senior year he was awarded the Chip Hart Award, and was the team’s Statesman Senior. For the past three summers Chris has interned with the US Rowing Junior High Performance team in Pittsburgh. Chris has his US Rowing Level 2 coaching certificate. 

JV Coach: Cara Grattan, FHS '11

Novice Coach: Michael Gervasi - FHS '08 - Michael attended FHS from 2004-2008 where he was involved in the crew team for every fall and spring season of his high school tenure. Michael spent the majority of his rowing experience as the 8th seat rower in boys JV, where he assumed responsibility for setting the boat's stroke rate during practices and regattas. In the spring of 2007 FHS made an historic presence at states, where Michael's boat added a silver medal to the schools accolades. As a senior, Michael spent his Fall season as a team manager, where he found himself assisting with coaching the novice girls 2nd boat. Due to extenuating circumstances, he found himself filling in for the coxswain of the novice girls 2nd boat, where he was able to coach from within the shell. From this unique perspective, Michael gained valuable experience in coaching and motivating a novice crew. Michael later graduated from UConn with a BA in Human Development in 2012, and has just recently completed a program to become a Licensed Nurse.