James D. Morrison Memorial Scholarship

James D. Morrison taught primarily English at Pleasant Valley High School for 20 years from 1962-1982.  He was a master teacher who was passionate about the English language, literature, and writing.  What he loved most was unlocking the mysteries of grammar and usage.  He was also adamant about propelling any and every one toward communicating with all the creative ammunition the English language could provide.  He was open to encouraging every step students took towards deep thought, analysis, and independent thinking.

“Moose,” as students and faculty alike called him with affection and humor, bore a confident manner, was a stickler for details, and had a wickedly dry sense of humor.  He loved his wife, Margaret and his dog, Wrinkles.  He cherished words, humor and using the English language.  And he loved young people – all very different and from varied walks of life – who came through his door at PVHS, completely unaware of a love for life and language that he would spark in them.  And it was with this love that in death in 2000 he has provided a scholarship fund for students who also possess that spark for life, whether brightly burning or as a little aware ember.

Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior of PVHS
  • Preference shall be given to applicants who plan to major in English or a related course of college study
  • The one-year scholarship shall be awarded on broad-based criteria, which shall include academic merit and student potential as demonstrated by non-academic indicators
  • Scholarship not based on financial need

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Please submit an essay describing yourself, including personal aspirations, educational goals, and career goals. Consider the requirements and selection criteria of the scholarship when deciding what to include in your essay. You may also report any additional information that you believe should be considered in reviewing your application.


Past Scholarship Recipients:

2017 Patrick McMonagle
2016 Sara Herzberg
2015 Rekha Karuparthy
2014 Erica Peterson
2013 Ananya Pillutla
2012 Hannah Thomsen
2011 Emily Border
2010 Kari Pauol
2009 Vanessa Van Pelt
2008 Abigail Soenksen
2007 Marielle Redington
2006 Kiley Seligman
2005 Ashley VenHorst
2004 Kelly Stavnes
2003 Adeolide Stegmaier
2002 Karina Carson
2001 Kristin Keith