Superintendent of Waverley Recognized for Commitment to Education

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Waverly School Principal Andrea Guerrero grew up in a fairly diverse community. Currently, she is one of the few Mexican-American Superintendents in the area.

She was recognized by Illinois Treasury Secretary Michael Frerichs during Hispanic Heritage Month on September 16 for her commitment to education and leadership in the Hispanic community. She was recognized for her outstanding commitment to her education.

“I didn’t know I was nominated,” Guerrero said. “This is an honor, and as a woman, as a Mexican-American, and as a rural manager, I can use it as an opportunity to highlight another perspective on education.”

Guerrero has been Superintendent of Waverly School District since July 2021, and has been teaching for over 10 years.

Since joining Waverly, Guerrero has worked with district staff to improve teacher-student relationships, curricula and activities to move the school forward, she said.

She sees this award as an encouragement.

“The efforts being made in the district were highly commended,” Guerrero said.

She is honored to receive this award and hopes it will inspire others to reach higher goals.

“I come from a different background, which allows me to bring a different perspective to things,” Guerrero said. “I grew up in a community that was a melting pot of cultures. There were many first or second generation immigrants.”

Using her growing experience, she often connects with different students, she said.

Frericks’ office has been presenting the award for eight years during Hispanic Heritage Month, he said.

“We’ve done these awards to show people that people of Hispanic heritage are successful in a variety of areas.

The accounting firm presents eight awards: Outstanding Service in Business, Outstanding Service in Leadership, Outstanding Commitment in Education, Outstanding Commitment in Community Service, Outstanding Commitment as an Elected Official, Workforce and Outstanding Achievement in Labor, Outstanding Achievement in Sportsmanship, and Outstanding Achievement in the Arts and Humanity.

“Mrs. Guerrero stood out because of her extensive experience in teaching,” Frericks said. “She has experience at all levels: K-12, college, public administration.”

By honoring and highlighting people in this field with different ethnicities and cultural backgrounds, Frericks hopes to encourage others to pursue their dreams in the field.

“Students who don’t see someone similar to them in a field are less likely to try that field,” Frerichs says. “If we can hold these people as examples or role models to which they connect, if we can see the potential for ourselves, they are more likely to follow that path.”

Ethnicity isn’t the only thing that makes her different, Guerrero said. Although there are many people who receive these awards from wider areas of the state, she said she grew up in a small rural neighborhood similar to Waverly.

“We face different challenges than Chicago,” she said.

Guerrero wants to see others push for what they want in life and recognize that their heritage shouldn’t be the deciding factor, she said.

“The goal is to show a successful professional in this field,” Guerrero said.