Guntersville High School students learn banking and finance by running a bank inside their school

Northeast Alabama
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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) -- Guntersville High School students are getting a first hand look at banking and finance because, well, they're running a bank inside their school.

Will Giles leans over a counter clutching a wad of money to deposit in between classes. Giles is a senior at Guntersville High School.

One of his peers fills out the necessary paperwork. Four days a week during lunch though, Giles is usually on the other side of that counter. "It is Wildcat Branch," Giles explains, "It is a branch of Citizens Bank & Trust based in Guntersville, and it is in our high school."

That's right. A group of selected students run the branch at the high school. They're closely monitored by Guntersville High School teacher Angie Blanchard, and they had to go through a rigid process in order to participate.

"We do deposits, withdraws, we can do service with teachers, and students, faculty staff, substitutes, everyone," Giles explains. The bank is only for the high school.

Blanchard keeps a close eye on them, and they don't have access to personal information. While they're serving their peers those four days a week, they're learning.

"They have lots of responsibilities and duties," Blanchard says. A few of those lessons include learning how to handle cash, finance aspects, and customer service.

"They're learning both sides of the banking business," Blanchard explains, "They're learning about customers and things that they go through every day, they're learning what the employees have to deal with."

As for Giles, well, this is something he enjoys. "It is what I want to go into. It's preparing me to see if I like it or not, which I really do," he says.

All in all, it's an experience for students to learn on both sides of the counter.

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