Meet Linda, member since 1985…
“I have to tell you a love story about the Credit Union,” says Linda. “It’s a surprising, uncommon love story.”
Last winter, Linda brought in her coins to be counted at Education First’s Downtown branch when an older man came into the branch yelling. “I was scared, this guy was really hollering and caring on,” says Linda. “I looked over at the tellers to see if they looked worried, but they all seemed very calm.”
“How can I help you today?” said one teller to the man. “What is your account number?”
“You KNOW my account number! I come in here all the time!!” the man screamed. “I want all my money! Give it all to me RIGHT NOW!”
“It’s ok sir, we’re going to take care of you,” said the teller. “Remember, you can withdraw some money from your account today, while also leaving some money in there for another day. What do you need from us today?”
The man began to calm down. Linda was impressed.
“This teller was so patient, so understanding, he never got upset or angry. He maintained a smile and level of professional that is rare to witness,” says Linda. “I don’t know what else to call that but a display of love.”
“It takes a lot of love to be that compassionate and patient,” says Linda. “I was frightened, but the teller was completely unfazed, and he defused the situation.”
Linda joined the Credit Union in 1985, as a new substitute teacher for Columbus City Schools. “I had just graduated from college in Cleveland and had moved to Columbus. I saw information about [Education First] in my new teacher packet. I thought, well its time for me to get a savings and a checking account. I’ve been with the Credit Union ever since.”
Linda went on to become a principal at Burroughs Elementary and in the late 90’s she helped found Millennium Community School, a charter school.
In the 1990s there were 26 different charter schools that opened in central Ohio, out of all these schools, Millennium is one of only two that was successful and still in operation today.
“We built a really good, solid foundation for [Millennium], with my background as a principal, we focused on teaching core subjects like reading, writing and arithmetic with the explicit instruction teaching method,” says Linda.
Millennium’s back to basics approach with one-on-one attention to students helped the school succeed where other charter school were unable to.
Today, Linda works at the Ohio Department of Education as the Transformation Specialist. She has a PhD from the University of Dayton in Educational Leadership and Administration.
Her favorite thing about the Credit Union is being able to immediately talk to a real, live person, not an automated machine.
“It gives you a secure feeling that the same people have been [at the Credit Union] for so long, they know you and they want to really talk to you and meet your needs. If you ever need to talk to someone you can call and will immediately be able to talk to someone. They really care.”