Amador Valley Scholarships, Inc. was started in 1965 when a group of Pleasanton educators and business people got together for the purpose of raising money for scholarships for graduating seniors from Amador and Dublin high schools. AVSI now awards scholarships to graduating seniors from Amador, Foothill, and Village High Schools and serves as administrator for 17 Memorial Scholarships.
In addition to the general AVSI Scholarships awarded, we also serve as administrators for the following scholarships:
Bette Allen believed every child should have an opportunity for an education and worked tirelessly as a volunteer to support that goal. Bette served many years on the San Jose Unified School Board and also developed many early educational programs including programs for children with drug challenges and for gifted children. She was a lifelong learner until her death in 2018 at the age of 96. Bette inspired lifelong learning and giving back to one’s community in those she touched. We hope Bette’s commitment to lifelong learning lives on in this scholarship.
Dan Gabor was a 1987 Amador graduate. He was a standout Track and Field runner who won the State Championship in the 800 meter in 1987.
Dan earned a track scholarship to the University of Arkansas where he became a two time All American. The Dan Gabor Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a member of the Amador Track/Cross Country team.
I’m pleased to be able to offer the Don Foreman Memorial Scholarship to graduating students from Amador/Foothill/Village High Schools, who may be interested in the teaching field. My husband, Don, was a popular History Teacher at Amador from 1966-1989. He died in 2002 but he still lives in the hearts of many of his students, especially those who received his Scholarship. I’m proud to carry on this tradition. Marilyn Foreman
Ernie and Nancy Dohner moved to Pleasanton in 1957. Ernie was an engineer at Leslie Salt Company and Nancy was a teacher. They raised their 2 children, John and Emy in the house they built on Happy Valley Rd. Both John and Emy are graduates of Amador High School The family hopes that this scholarship will help make a small difference in the cost of a college education.
George Dunphy was a respected and valued resident of Pleasanton for over 40 years. You could always find him around the ball field, whether coaching his sons or just helping out. He impacted the lives of so many student-athletes in Pleasanton and will be fondly remembered for his love of sports and passion for education. He was pretty funny, too. The George Dunphy Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to student-athletes who demonstrate the attributes that mattered most to George: honesty, integrity, hard work, and a love for their community. One male and one female student-athlete from the community will be chosen each year to honor the memory of George.
George Jacobson taught Math at Amador for 32 years, he took great pride in the accomplishments of his students. One of George’s outstanding students, who became a dear friend, was Brent Wilcox. When Brent died several months after George the families decided to set up a scholarship in both their names
The James and Mei Fong Tong Scholarship Fund was established in 2021.
James Tong passed away in 2020. He was a well-known developer in the Tri-Valley area, particularly in the City of Dublin. Mr. Tong was responsible for the construction of John Green Elementary School and Eleanor Murray Fallon Middle School in Dublin.
Jim Reding taught at Wells Middle School since 2003. He taught various classes, 6th grade Core, PE, READ 180, Wood Shop and Art. The biggest testament to Jim’s teaching could be found in his students themselves. They loved his classes! Jim’s students were constantly engaged, challenged and entertained.
This scholarship is being offered only to graduating seniors from Dublin or Valley High School who attended Wells Middle School.
Matthew was a 20 year old who loved life. He woke up every day with a smile on his face and went to bed at night with the same smile. Matthew grew up in Pleasanton, going to St Raymond for K-8th grade. When it came time for high school, the choices were very difficult, but Matthew chose Foothill High School where he thrived in academics, golf and the social aspects of high school. Having graduated in 2011, he then went to Cal Poly SLO to begin studying for a degree in business. While a junior at Cal Poly, Matthew traveled to Spain on a study abroad program where he tragically drowned in November 2013. Besides his parents and one brother, Matthew leaves behind all of his friends, teachers, parents, co-workers and extended family that he had met throughout his short life.
Nich Ermak was the son of Pleasanton School District educator, Tricia Poulous Leonard. Nich died in a rock climbing accident on Mt. Diablo in 2006, he was 22 years old. The scholarship in his name was started by contributions from students at Harvest Park Middle School. At the time of his death, Nich was a student at U C Santa Cruz and had achieved a black belt in martial arts. Nich’s family hopes that this scholarship in his memory will help the recipient achieve a college degree.
Richard and Freida Greville moved to Pleasanton in 1971. They lived in the same house across the street from Amador High School for 47 years. They loved watching the high school students going to and from high school. After his service in WWII Richard started his successful business life in the grocery industry. He and Freida were married for over 60 years. They both loved music, traveling, football, and telling jokes. The Grevilles donated these funds with the intent to support local students in their educational endeavors.
Tom Hart, served the Pleasanton School District as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent from 1951 until his death in 1975. His wife, Mary, was not a teacher by profession but was the first and foremost teacher to her seven children, all of them graduates of the Pleasanton School system. Tom and Mary Hart’s commitment to education lives on in this scholarship.
Tom Peters was an active dad in his three sons’ lives. He was admired and loved by all. Unfortunately, in 2006, Tom suffered an unexpected fatal heart attack. Tom’s friends and colleagues created a scholarship fund to honor him. Tom passed just as the last of his 3 sons was graduating from college. His sons were thankful that they had 2 parents to help support them financially throughout their college years. They decided to pass it forward by using the funds to help others who may not have the support of both parents. Please know that this was the original focus of our scholarship, but through the years, we have awarded scholarships to deserving students who have both parents in their lives.
This scholarship is in memory of Zachary Scanlan, Foothill High School, class of 2016. After a 2 and a half year battle with Ewing Sarcoma, Zachary’s wish is to leave a legacy. From something bad, he can pass along something so good. He was a very bright student but faced challenges with structured learning. This scholarship is to benefit a Foothill High School graduate with learning challenges, to assist with costs for college or trade school.