top of page

Waverly Superintendent Dr. Andrea Guerrero believes in setting others up for success. Throughout her tenure in education, she has spent significant time in urban environments, such as Springfield and Decatur, as well as rural environments. With the ability to maintain a balance, she’s learned to identify and capitalize on opportunities as they’re presented and has built her career by leaving things foundationally stronger than she found them.

Setting Foundations for Long Term Impact

“I knew we needed to apply for competitive grants to get where we wanted to go as a school. It was that peak moment, you have an opportunity to change after COVID, and you had funds coming in at unprecedented amounts for years to come, so it was worth applying for.” She adds, “There are things we applied for that we didn’t get, but we took full advantage of the opportunity.” Shares Dr. Guerrero.

While Dr. Guerrero is completing her tenure at Waverly, her impact will be evident for years to come. She will complete the 2022-2023 school year at Waverly before transitioning to the Knoxville School District. The position is a homecoming, as Dr. Guerrero returns to her childhood home as the community’s first female and Mexican American Superintendent.


While at Waverly, Dr. Guerrero has written multiple successful grants, bringing over $640,000 to the community. The grants are being utilized in various positive ways with one primary intent—to improve the lives and education of Waverly’s youth. Through the grant money, students will be paid to help enrich the facilities through summer work projects, school fitness spaces will be significantly improved, and a behavioral interventionist and multiple school counselors have already been hired. These projects and countless others wouldn’t have been possible without Dr. Guerrero’s knowledge of the competitive grant writing process.


Reflecting, Dr. Guerrero shares, “I came from a larger district where I learned all these skills; grant writing, operation of funds, system development, and knowing current legislation. Because I was in a bigger district, it’s highly specialized. They had a flow of money that rural America doesn’t have. It was very beneficial that I had that background, but I also came from a rural town so I could relate. Because I taught in urban schools, they always had me complete my internships in rural schools. I had that balance throughout my career, which was nice.”


One of Waverly’s central focuses followed national trends by using COVID-era funding to focus on curriculum enhancements working towards closing the educational gap between urban and rural schools. Potential initiatives were analyzed using a per-pupil cost and an emphasis on longevity. While many grants dictated spending requirements, available funds could be maximized to ensure a lasting impact.


Dr. Guerrero shares that “academic change always takes three to five years to fully realize. We’ve seen some immediate gains, but long-term, lasting, significant gains are five years away. Now it’s the easy part. Making those slight adjustments for continued success. The hard part’s done.”


Dr. Guerrero believes that teachers set the foundation for opportunities for tomorrow’s workforce and acknowledges that it takes higher standards that today’s students need to succeed. “You can’t enter welding or building trades without advanced math and computer skills. Things we didn’t have to do at our age,” shares Dr. Guerrero.


In the end, Dr. Guerrero shares that it isn’t just the teachers impacted by the curriculum enhancements, but all the students these teachers touch and their families that feel the lasting impact created by school enhancements. Dr. Guerrero’s tireless resolve established the foundational resolve and laid a strong foundation that will impact Waverly’s youth for years to come. And if long-term impact studies are accurate, Waverly will see the full impact of Dr. Guerrero’s impact just as she’s getting started in the Knoxville District.

Now it’s the easy part. Making those slight adjustments for continued success. The hard part’s done.
bottom of page