State official lauds high school bank at Herrin

Friday, December 7, 2001

HERRIN, Ill. -- The Illinois Commissioner of Banks and Real Estate doesn't visit student-run banks very often.

But the First Tiger Trust of Herrin High School is no ordinary school project. Commissioner Scott Clark and his staff wanted to see it in action and offer a few tips.

"I'm not aware of another like it in the entire state," Clark said during his visit Monday. "In fact, I would like to see other schools adopt a similar banking program. What it does is help students learn about the importance of building good credit and teaches responsibility."

Clark talked with students about banking careers and the way banks are examined and regulated. He also gave the bank an inspection and audit.

Senior Justin Tope, who serves as the bank's president, said he learned a lot from Clark's visit.

"I felt we were pretty well-prepared for an audit," Tope said. "Whatever was asked of us, we were able to answer."

Partly because of his work with the school bank the past two years, Tope said he plans to study accounting in college and would like to work part time at a local bank while attending school.

Senior Amanda Thompson, the bank's loan officer and new accounts recruiter, said the inspection made her nervous.

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