Note from the Barrow County School System: The Partners in Education program is a voluntary and collaborative relationship between an organization and the Barrow County School System. Thank you to The Barrow News-Journal for enabling us to celebrate each of our district partners and the investment they are making in our school system.

Through local banking mergers over the years in our community, Bank OZK has been a District Partner in Education (PIE) since 1991, when it was known as Winder’s People’s Bank.

The Barrow County School System’s PIE Program celebrates 39 years of success in 2020, and Bank OZK is one of two founding members in this program. With more than 250 locations across 10 states, the “OZK Way” is strong in our community as they focus on building relationships one person at a time with their excellent customer service.

Bank OZK’s commitment to the students of the Barrow County School System is exemplary year after year with 12 employees working individually with all 19 schools and programs across the district. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Bank OZK representative was involved in almost every school and program event during the school year.

Across the school district, Bank OZK promotes careers in banking by participating in mock interviews, as classroom speakers, and Career Day participants. Bank OZK also provided financial literacy training to over 200 Apalachee High School students last school year, which included banking practices, budgeting, credit, debit, saving and investing. This school year, we are looking forward to sharing Bank OZK’s financial literacy information digitally in our schools.

Bank OZK volunteers have served in numerous ways in our schools, including as a spelling bee judge, mentor, serving Grandparent’s breakfast, working a book fair, guest-reading in a classroom, sponsoring staff recognitions, donating student recognition certificates across the district, and many more. Bank OZK also invests in our student-athletes with their corporate sponsorship at Apalachee and Winder-Barrow high schools to support the development of student work ethic.

Bank OZK representatives are working one-on-one with schools to support student achievement, teacher and staff recognition and collaborative school activities as part of their Partner in Education plan. A featured highlight this year is Bank OZK’s Gold Sponsorship of the Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy inaugural Cultural Connections Series, a performing arts series at the Innovation Amphitheater. Each family-friendly show will provide on the job training for Sims Academy students learning show production, and performances will engage the hearts and minds of the audience through music, song, dance and theater.

Thank you, Bank OZK, for your long-standing commitment and dedication to the students and families of our community, and your role modeling in building one relationship at a time, the OZK Way!

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