ISD Bank Ribbon Cutting

Posted October 9, 2019

The ISD Bank is officially open! Blue Ridge Bank and the Independence Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Independence School District, for a ribbon cutting ceremony on Saturday, October 5. The ISD Bank is the newest capstone program in the ISD’s award-winning ISD Academies, preparing high school students for college and careers.

Superintendent Dr. Dale Herl calls it a great day for the ISD and our community, “To bring a community bank back to the square and partner it with our students and our school district is really special. It’s something no other school district in the country is doing. It makes me very proud of the things we are able to offer in the Independence School District.”

ISD junior Victoria Barber was excited to be part of the ribbon cutting and proud to be among the students involved in this unique collaboration. Barber says, “All of these things are leading up to something bigger and I feel like it’s preparing me and it feels really great to be a part of it.”

The ISD Bank is a capstone experience for Independence School District students interested in finance and banking.

Pamela Gill is the teacher and says she’s enjoyed collaborating on lesson plans with the banking professionals to ensure the teaching matches what the workplace demands. Gill says, “It’s exciting to have the students come out and look at the real-world experience and see it in a real-world setting. And then to also have the in-depth knowledge in the classroom, it’s going to benefit them no matter what profession they choose.”

Blue Ridge Bank President and proud ISD graduated Bill Esry is excited about the partnership. Esry says, “The interactions between the bankers and the students have been wonderful. The students are interested and eager to learn. I hope some of them decide they may want to explore a career in banking.”

Student Ana Fernandez says this is preparing her for a career in business. She hopes to become an accountant, “I think I’ve gained more confidence with talking to other people. That’s a really important skill working here.”

Jonathan Moreno says he’s using the skills he’s learning in the bank to prepare for a career in real estate, “I would like to take these skills that I’m learning about numbers, how markets work, how banks interact with you, loan details and everything that you would want to know in real estate.”

Moreno says his friends in other school districts are envious of the opportunities he’s getting here in the ISD, “I love the Academies. It gives you the opportunity to experience what you want, get the college-like experience by getting into the course you want and the Pathway to get to that.”

Governor Mike Parson recently visited the ISD Bank, showcasing the ISD’s college and career readiness with the ISD Academies. This is the first student-assisted stand-alone bank in the nation. The bank is located on the historic Independence Square at 201 West Lexington.

The ISD operates in a wall-to-wall Academy model, allowing every high school student at the district’s three high schools the opportunity to choose their Academy, earn dual credit, an Industry Recognized Credential and an Associate’s Degree if they choose. The ISD offers more than 90 courses for college credit with more than 400 college credit hours available.