Merrit & Dorothy Parsons Memorial Scholarship

Merrit and Dorothy were both born during the Depression Era into families in rural eastern Iowa.  Merrit into a grain and livestock farming family in the Iowa River bottoms just outside of Wapello.  Dorothy Winey was one of nine children growing up in and around Clarence, Iowa.  They were both fortunate to be able to enroll into the Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls and earned their degrees through hard work, determination, and support from their families. Merrit’s college career was deferred until he had completed his military service.

They met while in college as they both pursued teaching degrees.  Following graduation, they found their first jobs in western Iowa.  Dorothy was hired as an elementary teacher and Merrit became a high school teacher and coach.  They were married after graduation and had taught school until 1955 when Merrit was recruited to be a teacher and coach at Bettendorf High School.  Dorothy stepped up to fulfill a need as a “home teacher” who worked with students who for health and also for disciplinary reasons could not attend school with their peers.  Merrit enjoyed a storied career as Bettendorf’s football coach with many successful seasons and much statewide recognition.  He redirected his career into school administration earning two advanced degrees. Dorothy committed time and talent to community service, including two terms as a member of the Bettendorf City Council.

The highlight of Merrit’s career came in August 1976 when he began his sixteen years as Superintendent of the Pleasant Valley Community School District.  They were formative years for the District when a foundation was laid for much future success and growth.

Merrit and Dorothy adopted Bettendorf as their hometown and were proud to live as residents of the Bettendorf/Pleasant Valley community.

They have directed the administration of the Pleasant Valley Community School District to identify a graduating senior as the recipient of their scholarship award who has demonstrated strong work ethic, who has been diligent in seeking to achieve his/her potential, and who has contributed to their school community through their integrity, compassion, concern, and service.  This award is not based on academic standing or financial need.  It does not require that recipients have outstanding athletic or other extra-curricular accomplishments.

*Students do not apply, but are selected by Administration* 


Previous Scholarship Winners

2020     Christin Hartman
2019      Ebteehal Ismail
2018      Jidong Sun
2017      Ebeehal Ismail
2017      Matthew Nelson
2016      Emma Hauber
2015      Madeline Bowman
2014     Nicole Childers
2013     Drew Miller
2013     Tristian Thompson
2012     Taylor VenHorst
2011      Megan Flynn
2010     Matthew Sy
2009    Nicholas Addelia
2008    Alison Slowey
2007    Joseph Saelens
2006    Geoff Bueker
2005    Alex Hahn
2004    Michael Martinez
2003    Jordan Vernoy
2002    Drew Larson
2001     Nathan Suh
2000    Kelly Kaiser
1999      Matthew Gass
1998      Nicholas Mohr
1997      Laura Ahlstrand
1996      Elaina Livings
1995      Jake Sunderbruch