Senator Christine Gearhart Cournoyer "Unlocking Potential" Scholarship 


Senator Chris (Gearhart) Cournoyer currently serves as an Iowa State Senator and is a self-employed website developer and substitute teacher. She has a degree in Computer Sciences from the University of Texas (BS, 1992). She has four children: Bennett (PV 2016), Sydney (PV 2018) and Tanner and Chase (PV 2025) and lives north of LeClaire, Iowa.

Senator Chris Cournoyer was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2018 and represents Clinton County and part of Scott County. She currently serves as Assistant Majority Leader, Chair of the Education Budget and Vice Chair of the State Government Committee. She also serves on the Education, Appropriations and Natural Resources & Environment committees, Legislative Council and as the legislative member of the College Student Aid Commission, Early Childhood Iowa State Board, Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Iowa’s Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJag) and Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council. 

She served on the Pleasant Valley Community School District Board of Directors from 2013-2019, serving two years as Board President. She also served as PTA President at Cody Elementary and PVJH, helped establish the PV Trapshooting Team, coached FIRST LEGO League and FIRST LEGO League Junior Robotics Teams at Cody and PVJH, mentored the Iowa Girls Code team at PVHS and helped start the Hour of Code program for PV elementary students. 

Over the years, Senator Cournoyer has volunteered and served her community in numerous ways, including as President of the Quad City Engineering and Science Council, Reserve Deputy for the Scott County Sheriff's Department, Board Member of Junior League of the Quad Cities, Member of North Scott Rotary Club, Den Leader for Cub Scout Pack 88, President of the Friends of the LeClaire Community Library, Board Member for the LeClaire Chamber of Commerce and a volunteer basketball, baseball and soccer coach.

Senator Cournoyer believes that every person should have the opportunity to unlock their full potential and hopes that this scholarship will encourage and support a deserving PVHS graduating Senior reach his or her goals. 


Given to a student that has persevered through challenges during their K-12 education to get accepted into a post-secondary program (community college, vocational institution, or four year university) for additional education and/or training. They have demonstrated resilience, strong work ethic, positive attitude and good citizenship and also participated in at least one extra-curricular activity while in high school.


Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior from PVHS
  • Plans to pursue post-secondary education and/or training at a community college, vocational institution or four year university
  • Has demonstrated resilience, strong work ethic, positive attitude and good citizenship
  • Participated in at least one extra-curricular activity while in high school
  • Have at least two references (one from PVHS and one outside of school) with email or phone number
  • Preference given to students who have financial need


Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Please describe a challenge you have overcome and how you grew from the experience.
  • Please share how participation in an extra-curricular activity enriched your high school experience and how you believe it will help you in the future.
  • Please describe your post-secondary action plan, any challenges you may have in financing your plan, how this scholarship would help you achieve your goals and anything else you would like to share.