Dr. Dale Barber “True Grit” Scholarship

Dale Barber

The True Grit Scholarship was created in 2014 by 1979 PVHS alum Douglas J. Nicholas, and his wife Susan W. Nicholas who endowed the scholarship fund with $25,000 to honor Dale Barber, his former high school principal. Dale provided assistance to Doug in enrolling in college by making contacts, writing recommendations, and generally encouraging Doug to pursue post-secondary education.

Doug demonstrated his entrepreneurial capabilities in high school when he founded and operated a successful firewood business. While at the University of Northern Iowa, Doug paid for his education by founding and operating a successful hotdog and bagel push-cart on “The Hill” district adjacent to the university campus. Doug graduated from UNI in 1983 and holds a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing.

Following his graduation from UNI, Doug served as a territorial manager in the pharmaceutical industry. A born entrepreneur, he was involved in the start-up and operation of several successful companies in the software industry.  Doug is currently a venture financier and lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, with his family.

Dr. Dale L. Barber served as a K-12 teacher, principal, and superintendent for 30 years in Iowa public schools.  He was active as a community volunteer and civic leader in the Quad Cities area during his career and in retirement.

A native of DeWitt, Iowa, Dale followed a non-traditional path to his career in K-12 education.  He worked for several years following graduation from high school and continued to work as he completed his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Northern Iowa in 1973.  He then taught social studies at La Porte City High School for four years and completed his Master’s Degree in School Administration at UNI in 1975. Dale was named Junior/Senior High principal at Olin Consolidated School in 1977, where he served for one year.  He next was named Associate High School Principal at Pleasant Valley High School in 1978 and after one semester was appointed as High School Principal.  In 1989, Dale was awarded the Ph.D. Degree in School Administration from The University of Iowa.  He was named Superintendent of Pleasant Valley Community School District in 1990, a position that he held until his retirement in 2003.

Dale has been active in our local chamber of commerce, served on the Board of Directors of the Scott County YMCA, Junior Achievement, LeClaire Lions, Bettendorf Rotary, served on the Board of Scott Community College Foundation for 15 years, served as Chairman of the Scott County Public Safety Authority, and was active in the School Administrators of Iowa at the state and local level. He remains active in community affairs. Dale and his wife, Judy, are currently enjoying retirement in Bettendorf.

Purpose:  To help a student with financial need who demonstrates persistence, tenacity and has initiative or entrepreneurial drive.

Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior of PVHS
  • Demonstrate persistence and tenacity in the classroom and beyond
  • Shows initiative or entrepreneurial drive
  • Is a well-rounded person of good character

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • What is your vision of an entrepreneurial experience you would like to pursue?

Click here to Apply for a Scholarship


Past Scholarship Recipients

2021      Nathan Lokenvitz
2020     Chloe Clemons
2019      Ada Duncan
2018      Naina Inan
2017      Michael Showers
2016      Luke Gibney
2015      Matthew Conway