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Showcasing Gryphon Life from the Student Perspective

GNSGNS photo
For many years, GNS used to have the Gryphon Newspaper, a publication created by students with oversight from Mr. Clint Lundgren. However, over the last two years the communication team, consisting of Ms. Cheryl Alexander, Director of Marketing and Communications, Ms. Jessica Dempsey, Communications Coordinator, and Mr. Jordy Moughtin, videographer and Communications Coordinator, has headed this extremely important club.

The Gryphon Life Media Club is open to anyone with a job for everybody. Photographers have the opportunity to publish their photos. Writers can publish articles on almost anything that is happening in the school, whether it be sports, clubs, or student life. Students interested in creating videos can document their experience and share them as well.

Past articles have focused mainly on clubs and special activities, but the club is currently looking to try writing some more articles on student life. Recently, some Club students created Instagram and social media reels around the Gryphon House, which were extremely well-liked.

Ms. Cheryl Alexander has been with the school since 1999, working in various positions around marketing and communications. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications for the school and lead supervisor of the Gryphon Life Media Club. 

What made you want to start the student Gryphon Life Media Club?

When Mr. Lundgren decided that he wanted to take a bit of a break from the Gryphon newspaper, I was approached to see if we wanted to try and start a club that would give students the opportunity to display their creative talents, whether it was writing or photography. 

We’ve been looking for ways to try and get students more involved in showcasing what happens at the school, so that the stories that we’re putting out come from a student perspective as opposed to just from the marketing and communication side of things, because I feel like it’s more authentic if it’s coming from the students themselves. 

We’ve had some success. We have one amazing writer, who has very consistently produced content for us and her sisters are now getting involved too, which is great. (Full Disclosure: I did not pay Ms. Alexander to say this about me but it goes to show how encouraging and inclusive Gryphon Life Media can be.) We have some ideas for how to get more students involved next year, because the club is not just about just writing. If they want to get involved in social media or if they want to learn a bit about marketing, or if they want to have an opportunity to write or take pictures—we’re open to pretty much anything that students might want to try to showcase what happens at the school.

I’ve been working with Ms. Nielson, because she’s restructured the Prefect Council, and some of the new roles will have some connection with myself and the club so that they will help build a bridge between us and some of the students. 

What are some challenges of running the club?

Well, obviously getting more students involved is challenging. Because I’m not a teacher, I need to figure out a better structure so that when the students do start coming to meetings, I can provide them with sort of more specific opportunities. I’ve been talking to some of the other club sponsors like Ms. Elbert, because as teachers, I think they’re better at really knowing how to engage students.

What skills can you gain from joining the Gryphon Life Media Club?

Well, there’s the more tactical things like writing or photography. Or if they’re interested in creating videos, I know Mr. Jordy Moughtin is happy to talk to students about video and cameras and the different tools that he’s using. 

But I think there’s also another skill set that you’re learning. Problem solving and looking at things from different perspectives and telling the story behind something whether that is through writing or through some kind of visual medium. I think the club is more about developing that ability to communicate about whatever it is that you’re trying to share in lots of different meaningful ways. I think that that is super valuable because those skills can be used in so many different fields.

I can speak from experience of working with Ms. Cheryl Alexander, Ms. Jessica Dempsey, and Mr. Jordy Moughtin, who are all very supportive and understanding when I had busy weeks, and open-minded to any new ideas that I may bring up. Although my medium is writing, there has also been great success with Instagram, so I would encourage anyone and everyone who has a story to tell while they’re at GNS to share it with the greater community.

If you are interested in joining the media club next year, contact Ms. Alexander at Everyone is welcome!