a community engagement initiative of Waverly Community Unit District #6
After thirty-three years in the district, a conversation with Lisa Nevius is filled with knowledge and perspective. With a remarkable memory and quick wit, she doesn’t spare details as she shares her experience as a District Bookkeeper, which she began in 1990. She laughs as she points out a corner where she sat at her wooden desk and wooden chair during her first years.
Lisa describes her first years as, “Way before computers and all that technology,” describing the big book with every kid’s name. During lunch, she worked her way through the book, marking off students to track their lunch purchases. Or, as Lisa tells it, “They’d walk by, and I’d mark them off; that’s how we did it back then.”
You'll Always Have Waverly
A Waverly graduate, Lisa’s seen decades of change and worked with many administrations. For a year, she even went uptown and worked out of city hall. She shares that the high school where she started was torn down and rebuilt, sharing that the current weight room was once an industrial arts area in the old high school. During the High School’s construction, students were educated inside the grade school and a temporary, portable building.
Throughout her time in Waverly, she’s witnessed many changes, yet the foundational community has remained the same. Lisa says that the community “has a lot of strengths. Things have just evolved so much. It’s always been a tight-knit community. You can tell the stuff that goes on around here through athletic events. The Baptist Church always had a big spaghetti dinner for the kids before they go on a mission trip each summer; people get together for Christmas Events and through the American Legion. Everyone comes together.”
Lisa shares that she plans to retire soon. On the one hand, she makes her pending retirement sound uncertain. Still, she also references a timeline of twenty-two months. While there’s so much of our short conversation I could choose to retell, I’ll conclude by letting Lisa’s wisdom and perspective speak for themselves:
“We make our own community. You want to remind your kids this is what you do right now. You’re going to meet new people. You’re going to be close to different people. But you’ll still be close to some of your current friends. Waverly is here, and you’re still going to have that tie, but you’re going to go wherever you want to go and do whatever you want to do,” says Lisa.
As our conversation ends, she smiles and adds, “You’ll always have those close ties. You’re always going to have Waverly.”
Waverly has a lot of strengths. It’s always been a tight-knit community.