It's been a year of milestones for Windsor Federal Savings Bank. The local business celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2011, and will open its first high-school branch at Windsor High on September 12.
According to Windsor Federal Savings representatives, the branch will be run by seven members of Gloria Wellington's honors accounting class at the high school, but they won't be handling the money of classmates and faculty members as complete novices.
The students were enrolled in a training program this summer, during which "they were instructed in banking protocols, company expectations, customer service, and received hands-on teller training. Each student was also paired with a Windsor Federal “Manager Mentor” to assist them with their training.
President of Windsor Federal Savings Mark Griffin described the effort to establish the new branch a "collaborative, community initiative."
"The benefits it will bring to Windsor High students will be tremendous, and we’re quite grateful to the administration and faculty, as well as our Windsor Federal team, for working so hard to make it happen," added Griffin.
From an educational standpoint, the new branch will be an opportunity for the high school to expand it finance curriculum.
"We had been exploring ideas to increase the financial literacy of our students, so the idea of having a working bank in the building is completely in line with that," said Windsor High Principal Russell Sills.
"Plus," he added, "[the bank operation] will be tied into our accounting curriculum, so it’s a win-win.”
That curriculum, Wellington said, will now be able to include the history of banking alongside the everyday operations of the industry.
"This is a hands-on project for the students not only to learn a life skill, but also as a career opportunity," she said. "You can’t imagine how excited I am."
The opportunity for career training is something Deb Maccarone, supervisor of technical and career education for Windsor Public Schools, is particularly excited about.
“Everyone talks about twenty-first century skills and workplace readiness, so this is where the rubber meets the road," she said.
"The students are not just learning in the classroom, but they are actually getting a chance to practice it here. So that whole aspect, which can be so difficult in the classroom, they actually have the opportunity to do it.”
The Windsor High branch will be open for business Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.