New year, new spirit

Lambert students showing their pride at the homecoming game

Kristina Chapple

Lambert students showing their pride at the homecoming game

Lambert High School introduced a new program upon the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year in order to increase school spirit among students. The Spirit App, with its self-explanatory name, is a platform that students can use to earn “spirit points” for their grade level. Points can be earned through attendance of school events, such as sports, games or shows, as well as through fun competitions held every other Friday. At the end of every month, the class with the most spirit points wins a reward for everyone in their grade.

Coach Bass, the assistant principal at Lambert, says that, with the Spirit App, Lambert hopes to build, “fun, healthy competition; not class wars.” He wants children not only to go to high school and earn their diploma, but also to have the complete high school experience. In Coach Bass’s eyes “the high school experience comes from, yes the academics…but also if you go through high school and don’t build relationships and don’t truly experience high school then that’s a shame.”

The Spirit App was first introduced to the Lambert Administration by one of Lambert’s own students, Arnold Hong. Hong had a loose connection to the Spirit App and realized that the values the app promoted aligned with the administration’s view for the school’s future. He approached the administration about possibly using the app at Lambert, the administration loved the idea, and then, starting this school year, the app was implemented.

Just as with everything else in the world, though, the Spirit App comes with a cost. In order for all of Lambert’s students to freely download and utilize the app, the school pays a little under $200 a month. Coach Bass admitted that the cost was “a little pricy” but he believes it’s worth it. He views this year’s use of the Spirit App as “taking a chance in order to develop something that we value as a school.”

Some of Lambert’s students, however, don’t see it in the same light. Jasmine Milligan, a junior, believes it’s a “waste of resources to invest so much time and money on spirit, which doesn’t really mean anything.” Milligan has never used the app; saying, “she has never even looked it up.”

Milligan isn’t alone in her protest. Miles Griffin, a senior, also expressed discontent for the Spirit App’s involvement in Lambert this school year. Griffin believes the app’s use isn’t “ethically right” because “third party businesses shouldn’t be allowed to come in and profit off of students.”

In response to these comments, Coach Bass said that he respects everyone’s opinions and they’re entitled to them, but to him it is not a waste. Lambert values the high school experience very highly and they deeply desire for students to enjoy their time here.

Although, right now it may seem like the spirit app hasn’t had as drastic effect on school spirit as the administration might have hoped, they believe that we are way beyond where we were last year, spirit wise. Coach Bass and others believe that “we’re headed in the right direction,” and that the future is bright for the student experience at Lambert High School. The process is in motion, but it won’t change completely overnight.

Coach Bass’s last comment on the topic was, “It’s the tortoise, not the hare.” Everyone may not agree with the school’s choices and things might not be perfect immediately. But the Lambert administration believes that they have made strides in the right direction and the Spirit App is just the latest seed planted that they hope to see grow into a beautiful tree.