DeLand-Weldon students and FNBT employees attend ribbon

Second Central Illinois student-run bank opens in DeLand-Weldon Community Unit School District

February 1, 2023

Clinton, IL, February 1, 2023 - First National Bank and Trust Company and the DeLand-Weldon Community Unit School District are excited to announce the student-run Eagles Branch opened on Friday, January 27.

This is the second in-school branch for First National Bank as Clinton Elementary Maroons Branch opened in January 2023 as well. All students, Kindergarten through 8th grade, will have an opportunity to bank every other Friday morning and three students will serve as 'student bankers'. Both bank employees, teachers and parents will volunteer to assist with the student-run branch.

The student bank is designed to introduce the economic concept of saving money at an early age and reinforce this idea throughout the elementary, middle and high school curriculum. In addition, the bank demonstrates saving money should be part of a student’s future financial plan, as well as increases parental involvement in children’s lives through banking activity.

Here are a few comments from others on the inaugural banking day:

Student banker, Cecilia Beal said, “I like this because I get to help kids learn,” and student banker, Mason Austin shared, “This is the best thing that ever happened to the school!”

Meanwhile, parent volunteer, Christy Knight commented, “This is an awesome opportunity for students to save their money and it is so convenient!”

First National Bank and Trust Company is grateful to special education teacher, Mrs. Hieronymus, the school champion who was instrumental in getting the bank off the ground. Hieronymus shared, “I have a passion for teaching students life skills. You can’t teach these skills; they learn them by doing. Having my students learn how to save money makes me happy!”


Additional special thanks to Elementary Principal, Jill Collins, Jr. High/High School Principal Matt Goldman, Interim Superintendent Jeff Holmes and school secretary, Michelle Budzis who were also crucial to the in-school bank implementation. 

This student-branch structure and financial literacy curriculum is made possible by First National Bank and Trust Company's mission to reinvest 10 percent of its pre-tax income back into the community.

The goal of the program is to provide students, K-12, with knowledge to make sound financial decisions. Additionally, the program collaborates with school districts to promote financial literacy.

To learn more or to help partner in financial literacy efforts, visit or call First National Bank and Trust Company at 217.935.2148 to speak with Connie Unruh.

About First National Bank & Trust Company: First National Bank & Trust Company is a community bank located in Clinton, Illinois as well as Arcadia, Whitehall and Independence, Wisconsin. Dedicated to community prosperity, the First National Bank and Trust Company was chartered in 1872 under the name DeWitt County National Bank and became part of the TS Banking Group in 2017. With $400 million in assets, First National Bank and Trust Company is dedicated to community reinvestment and gives 10% of its pre-tax income back to the community. For more information, visit