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Amanda Nagel

Coach, Assistant, Mother


“Kids make the world better. Being around them is awesome.”

When Amanda Nagel decided to return to the workforce, choosing where to focus on building a second career came easily.

Amanda had dedicated a dozen years to business operations before deciding to take some time away from work after her daughter was born. When she decided it was time to return to work, her newfound perspective as a mother helped solidify her passion, ultimately leading her into education.

“I truly loved the business side, but I’ve always had a soft spot for teaching. I wanted to make a bigger impression on the younger generation coming up,” says Amanda. She continues, “I love seeing the kids. Kids make the world better. Being around them is awesome.”

Rather than reach out to her old employer, a national crop-dusting provider, Amanda returned to school and obtained her short-term substitute teaching license. While she enjoyed the diversity and closeness to the students that substitute teaching provided, she also began monitoring local school websites, hoping to find the steadiness and consistency of a full-time position. Amanda eventually found such a role when former Waverly Superintendent Dr. Andrea Guerrero hired Amanda as her assistant.

“I interviewed, and she hired me on the spot,” shares Amanda, who worked for Dr. Guerrero throughout the 2022-2023 school year. While Dr. Guerrero moved on, Amanda remained the Superintendent’s assistant, helping Brandi Bruley transition into the role of District Superintendent.

Through Brandi, Amanda says she’s had the opportunity to diversify her skillset in and out of the office, learning the grant writing process and requesting to work more closely with the students.

“Assisting the Superintendent, I have learned how grants work. Grants are very big, and I hope to make a difference through them. Knowledge is power. These grants really do fund our children so they can get a better education. The more we can do to get grant money in the school, the better our children’s experience.”

Amanda grew up in Cookeville, Tennessee, a small, rural town between Nashville and Knoxville. She and her two brothers were raised by their mother, who ‘gave everything she had to be the best mom’ while working three jobs. Originally spending summers with her Aunt and cousins in Illinois, Amanda selflessly asked her mom if she could live with her aunt to provide support in the aftermath of her uncle’s passing and so she did. never returning to live in Tennessee. While the initial agreement was six months, Amanda fell in love with the region and has lived in the area ever since.

Over time, Amanda started to see Illinois as home, attending high school in Modesto. She fell in love with cheerleading and acted as the team captain her senior year. Cheerleading taught her how to work as a member of a team and motivated her to focus more closely on academics. Amanda now shares a passion for the sport, helping as an assistant cheer coach last year and recently accepted the varsity cheer squad’s head coach position.

Amanda also met her husband immediately after high school, and they eventually chose to purchase a home in Modesto. They have a daughter who just started Kindergarten at Waverly, giving Amanda multiple vantage points on the school system.

Whether as an employee or a mother who entrusts the school with the education of her only daughter, Amanda appreciates the atmosphere Waverly provides. “It’s a small school. Everyone knows everyone. It’s a working school. Everyone works together to make it work. We help one another out. It’s all for the kids,” shares Amanda.

She smiles and adds her opinion as a mother, admitting that some might describe her as a ‘bit over the top’ regarding her daughter’s education. “I know who’s teaching my daughter. I know the education that she’s getting. I know the structure. And I love that.”

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