Learning the business: United Community Bank Junior Board gets lessons in service, finance

For the second year, United Community Bank is leading an effort to train area high school seniors on the importance of serving other while learning about the banking system and finer points of leadership in the community.

The bank’s Junior Board of Directors consists of 11 seniors from Alcoa, Heritage, Maryville and William Blount high schools.

Rick Shepard, United Community Bank president Blount County, said the initiative is a leadership program founded and sponsored by the bank. While the bank has the Junior Boards in several markets, this is the only Junior Board in the Tennessee market. “The importance of this program is that it brings in high achieving high school seniors and teaches them the responsibility of giving back to the community, about government and the federal reserve and how the banking and monetary system works,” Shepard said. “We don’t talk much about the daily operations in a bank. It is more of a global perspective.”

Jeanne Hill, community loan officer assistant, is coordinator for the Junior Board program. “It’s great working with them. I have experience with teenagers because I have two teen boys at home, so it is nothing new to me,” she said. “What I do with them is oversee everything, but they take this program and run with it. I’m there as a guide if they need any assistance setting something up.”

Shepard said the students are rewarded with points, and the points earn them shares of United Community Bank stock. “Someone really active racks up on stock. They have to wear a uniform and name tag and can’t be late. They have to take leadership roles in at least one activity,” he said.

Hill said any high school junior interested in being on next year’s Junior Board of Directors is encouraged to get an application from their guidance counselor or pick one up at the bank. United Community Bank is located at. The selection process will begin on March 15.

Alcoa High School students participating in the program are:

Aerial Carter -- Aerial is a member of DECA and received the AAA Award.

Maggie Khors -- Maggie is a member of the Alcoa Singers and the Key Club.

Heritage High School students participating in the program are:

Anna Gallagher -- Anna is a member of the Student Council and the National Honors Society as well as the HHS Marching Band, Color Guard, DECA and the HHS Wind Ensemble. She also serves as a Freshman mentor.

Brenna Barry -- Brenna is captain of the HHS Girls Soccer team, FBIA president, Mathlete president, member of the Key Club and the Political Action Club, and she is yearbook editor. She is the board’s media representative.

Jesse Poore -- Jesse is vice president of the Key Club, member of the Student Council, serves as drum major in the Marching Band, is a National Honors Society member and is a Freshman mentor.

Maryville High School students participating in the program are:

Evan Tuck -- Evan is a member of the National Honor Society, MHS STAR Mentors and is a trumpet section leader in the MHS Band. He is the board treasurer.

Isaac Parish -- Isaac is a DECA member, an Eagle Scout, member of the National Guild of Piano Musicians with a Superior rated duet performance, and he is a tri-athlete. He is the president of the board this year.

Josh Maner -- Josh is a member of the National Honor Society and is a varsity soccer player. He is the board vice president.

William Blount High School students participating in the program are:

Austin Blodgett -- Austin is a member of the Beta Club and Math Club. Austin also participated in the Roane State Math Competition and the Tennessee Math Competition.

Jessica Boring -- Jessica takes Honors Classes, is involved in the Peer Teaching Program and has earned an academic letter in English.

Taylor Cochran -- Taylor plays on the WBHS Soccer team and is a member of the Spanish Honor Society and the National English Honor Society. He is the board’s secretary.

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Comments » 1

Floydthebarber writes:

I sure wished we had a Bank in Mayberry that had this program when I was a senior. Sounds like United Community Bank and that Shepard guy and Hill lady have a great program for these outstanding students. Even if we did have this program I probally wouldn't make the cut. Congrats to the students of the board! Floyd