Ian Kaffenberger Memorial Scholarship
Ian Michael Kaffenberger was born on August 22, 2001, in Davenport, Iowa, the son of Aaron and Courtney Kaffenberger. Ian passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on August 26, 2022, at the age of 21 from an unknown cause.
Ian grew up in the Pleasant Valley School District. He attended Pleasant View Elementary and Pleasant Valley Jr. High where he began his running career with the Spartans. He went on to attend Pleasant Valley High School and graduated in 2020. From there he attended the University of Northern Iowa where he was a member of the cross country and track team before transferring to Iowa State University for his Junior year to study in their business program.
Over the years at Pleasant Valley, he grew many close and respectable relationships between teachers, coaches, and peers. He could hold a conversation with anyone and didn’t know a stranger. He was personable, engaging, enthusiastic, and always listened intently because he had a genuine love and care for everyone.
Ian was an avid runner throughout his life. He was one of the last kids in his neighborhood to learn how to ride his bike because he preferred to run rather than ride. He never walked anywhere….he ran.
His time spent running for Pleasant Valley was some of the best times of his life. Some of his favorite memories were summer runs with the team, pasta parties, and trips to Fort Dodge for state and South Dakota for Nike Regionals. The highlight of his high school career was helping his team to their 1st place finish at the state championship meet his sophomore year in 2017. He finished 4th for the team and 20th overall with a time of 16:13. He was a determined, focused, and talented athlete that loved being active with his teammates and friends.
Some of Ian's other running accomplishments over the years were:
- Spartan Challenge Fresh/Soph champion 2016
- MAC XC Fresh/Soph Champion 2016
- Freshman MVP 2016
- 4-year Varsity Letter Winner
- 3-time state qualifier in Cross Country 2017, 2018, 2019
- 2nd team MAC All Conference 2017
- 2x 1st team MAC All Conference 2018, 2019
- 3x Team MAC champion
- 3x Team District champion
- XC Team state champions 2017
- XC Team state runner up 2019
- Team total time record 2017
- Holds one of the fastest times of 16:02 ran by a sophomore
- 2019 Carl Schillig Award winner
- Winner of the 2020 Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation Boys Cross Country Scholarship
- Team captain 2018, 2019
- 3x state qualifier in track & field (4x800) 2018, (4x800 & 1600m Relay) 2019
- 2x 1st team all-conference Track & field (4x800m & 1600m) 2019
- 2019 Drake Relays qualifier (4×800m)
Aside from his running accomplishments at PV, he was the 2015-2016 Above and Beyond award recipient and was on the honor roll in junior high, high school, and graduated with honors.
Although Ian believed in having good grades, doing well in school, and crossing the finish line first, he believed there was more to life than that. He believed in making a difference. He believed in being there for others and being a person of good character. He was selfless, kind, and loving. He was always taking care of others making sure everyone felt included and cared for. He was encouraging, positive, and helped strengthen those around him by motivating them to be the best version of themselves. He brought out the best in everyone. He was enthusiastic and uplifting to his family, friends, and teammates every single day he was with us.
Ian was honored to wear the Spartan gray. He worked hard at everything he did and never accepted anything less than his best. He showed up to practice every single day and trained as hard as he possibly could and was never too afraid to go that extra mile, where he knew it was never crowded.
Criteria to Apply:
- Be a Pleasant Valley senior, male athlete; with a preference for a student who participated in cross country
- show empathy to others
- demostrate acts of encouragement to his teammates and peers.
Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay
- In less than 250 words (1700 characters), please tell us why you've chosen your field of study.
- In less than 250 words (1700 characters), please tell us what your plans are after your post-secondary education is complete.
- In less than 250 words (1700 characters), please tell us about one of the following: your ability to problem solve, work with others, and/or your dedication to the community.
- In less than 250 words (1700 characters), please tell us how you've overcome an obstacle.
- In less than 250 words (1700 characters), please tell us anything else about yourself you think the selection committee would like to know.