One nation, under gryph

School spirit goes mobile at St. George’s

Senior Alton Stovall announces Gryph Nation to a crowd of students as fellow innovator senior Isabel Correia looks on. The app was revealed to the student body with much fanfare, including a band and free popsicles.

While at Victory Ranch, senior Isabel Correia had an idea: diversify student life and spirit at St. George’s. She didn’t know how to do it, but she was determined.

Now, 13 months have passed, and Correia alongside seniors Alton Stovall, Grace Bennett, Mason Walker and Assistant Director of Student Life Mrs. Emmy McClain have revealed Gryph Nation, a student-run, school-spirit app.

“The function of Gryph Nation can be summarized in one simple phrase: earn points, get rewarded,” Stovall said during the app’s reveal on Wednesday, April 26. “Using the app, you will now be able to check in and get rewarded for attending school events you would already.”

Gryph Nation uses geolocation and a point system to reward students for attending school-sponsored events, such as games, theater productions and service opportunities.

When creating events on the app, one of the student administrators defines the edges of an event’s location, such as the pool for a water polo game or the tennis courts for a tennis match. Anyone hoping to receive points for a specific event must be inside of that geographical boundary when they press check-in on the app’s events page, a facet which prevents students at the soccer field from checking into a game at the baseball field.

Alongside geolocation, the app uses a tiered point system to bring up attendance at less popular events by rewarding more points for attendance at certain events.

“Our basic structure is that JV sports get a little more than varsity, and then middle-school sports get a little more than high-school sports,” Correia said. “Within the sports, a cross-country meet will get more points than a home football game, or away games will get more points than home games. There’s lots of different tiering.”

Once students collect points, they are able to exchange them for prizes in the St. George’s Spirit Shop or with Flik Independent School Dining. Some prizes include skipping the lunch line when at the top of the leaderboard or getting 20 percent off any purchase at the Spirit Shop.

Mrs. McClain is hopeful that this rewards system will diversify student involvement.

“I know that the sports will automatically do fine, but I think it’s going to bring greater support of those other programs like recycling with Elle [Vaughn] on Wednesdays,” Mrs. McClain said. “I think that it’s going to build community around some of these other smaller projects that people are working on.”

Junior Bennett Matson, who was elected as Student Government President for the 2017-2018 school year and will play a role in coordinating events on the app next year, believes the app will make school events more entertaining.

“It’s gonna make sports games a lot more interactive for the students,” Matson said. “It will hopefully lead to better experiences, not only for athletes to have their friends come out and go see them, but it will really highlight some of the sporting events or theater events that are usually overshadowed by some of the bigger ones and give them a spotlight of their own.”

According to Correia, the purpose of the app is to bring recognition to all events, no matter what current attendance is.

“We don’t want to take away student spirit from popular events,” Correia said. “We want to recognize and support their peers in all of the endeavors that we do and are involved in in the St. George’s community.”