It was a process, but it has come to fruition. Tallassee High School has its own bank. First Community Bank Tallassee branch manager and president Barry Parker is excited about the partnership with the school where he graduated in 1987.
"When we opened in Tallassee, they already had a branch in Eclectic at the school," Parker said. "So, I got with Matt (Coker). He was fired up about it. It's been a three-year project."
Matt Coker, a 1990 grad, is the principal at his alma mater. He unveiled the bank branch to the public with its grand opening on Friday.
"We have been open prior to the grand opening," Coker said. "It's just another thing that we're trying to do for the kids in our school, anything that we can do to help them move forward."
Parker said that the bank will provide regular services that the other branches provide.
"You can make a loan payment, cash a check, make deposits, everything except get a loan. It's open to anybody."
Carli Aldridge of First Community is a 2010 Tallassee High graduate who is serving as the THS branch manager. She talked about how this opportunity might have benefitted her during her school days.
"I probably would’ve gone straight to First Community. For the students – "if they enjoy it, maybe they can start a career here."
There are six seniors working at the school branch who went through the hiring process; Pashen Cartwright, Jemlia Spencer, Noah Bradford, Haylee Osborne, Zane Blankenship and Anna Baker.
"It’s something that will help on their resume," Aldridge added. "We’re working on possibly having a future class to get students familiar in banking. It’s a teaching tool for now."
The Tallassee High School branch is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:15 a.m. – 11 a.m.