Overview of Upton Clubs and Organizations

Builders Club

Builders Club is a Kiwanis-supported service club for all grades that seeks to improve our school and community through service projects.  Students build leadership skills, compassion, character, and friendship as they work together on projects. The club meets one to two times monthly October through the beginning of May. 

Adviser:  Susan Hunnell:  shunnell@stjoebears.com

Cheerleading (sideline)

This club is during the Fall during football season and is open to 6th, 7th, & 8th graders.  Practices are at Upton 5:30-7 on Mon. and Wed. As a club member you will learn sideline cheers, use poms and learn basic stunt skills.   

Adviser:  Brittany Hausmann:  bhausman@stjoebears.com

Chess Club

Chess Club is open to any interested 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. All talent levels are encouraged, from beginners to experts. It will be held every other Thursday, starting October 10th, in Mrs. Walsworth's classroom, room 219. Chess Club will run from 2:50 - 4:50, with dates through May 21. Specific dates can be accessed here. A double-elimination bracket is formed from those present at every session. Other than signing in at the beginning of each meeting, there is no sign-up or official "membership." Students may attend as many or as few dates as they'd like. 

Adviser:   Mrs. Walsworth:  dwalsworth@stjoebears.com

2019-2020 Dates:  10/10, 10/24, 11/21, 12/05, 12/19, 01/16, 01/30, 02/13, 02/27, 03/12, 03/26, 04/23, 05/07, 05/21

Dungeons & Dragons 

The Dungeons and Dragons club is a group that participates in a tabletop, role-playing game that allows each player to create their own character. These characters embark upon imaginary adventures within a fantasy setting. Together they solve dilemmas, engage in battles, and gather treasure and knowledge.

Who is it open to:  All 6th, 7th and 8th graders

When and Where:  Meets every Wednesday in the media center from 2:50pm-4pm

Adviser:  Kristin Burnette:  kburnette@stjoebears.com

Innovators Club

This is a club that meets twice a month and is open to 6th, 7th, & 8th graders.  Students will learn to code and learn how to play games using coding. Club meets after school on these dates until 3:45pm:

November 5, and 19th,December 3 and 17th, January 7 and 21st, February 4 and 18th, March 3 and 17th, April 2, 14th, and 30th *, May 12 and 25th *

Adviser:  John Phillips


Interact Club

This is a service club sponsored by the Rotary Club of St. Joe/Benton Harbor available to all 6th, 7th, & 8th grade students.  They meet bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 7:10 AM in the media center. This service group brings young people together to develop leadership skills, while discovering the power of service beyond self.  We focus on servicing the community and having fun! Some of our annual activities include fundraising, promoting literacy by reading at underprivileged schools and spending time after school with senior citizens playing games.  

Lead advisor:  Cindy Igoe: cindyigoe@yahoo.com

The Joe Bots

Upton’s FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) competitive robotics team is designed to foster middle schoolers’ interest and passion in STEM careers through designing, building, programming and operating robots that compete in head-to-head challenges in an alliance format. This program progresses from skills learned in FLL LEGO league, although no prior experience on an FLL LEGO team is required. The FTC season runs from September to December. Meeting schedules change from year to year, but are generally held one evening and one Saturday per week, with more frequent meetings as we approach competition dates. Registration is held at Upton Start-Up days and via email notifications. For more information about FIRST, you can visit the FIRST website (http://www.firstinspires.org). For more information about Upton’s Job Bots, please email us at ftcteam8513@gmail.com and look for us at Upton Start-Up Days!  Visit the SJPS Robotics Web Site.

Magic Club

Magic the gathering club is for anyone who would like to summon creatures like elves, goblins, zombies, demons, dragons, and many more insanely powerful creatures. Cast spells that cause the game to change completely.  It’s also just a great way to play a fun strategy based card game with friends. Magic the gathering involves no magic tricks whatsoever, and you need no prior knowledge of how to play the game. And if you don’t have any of these cards, that's okay because every single new player that joins gets a completely free intro deck and will get to learn how to play.


Math Counts is a national mathematics competition for middle school students, with regional and state levels of advancement. Individual and team competitions include the topics of statistics, probability, number theory, geometry, combinatorics, and logic. The Blossomland Chapter of the Michigan Society of Professional Engineers sponsors Math Counts locally. Each year we begin practicing for Math Counts after Thanksgiving, all students are encouraged to try-out for the team.

Adviser:  Ben Holleman:  bholleman@stjoebears.com

Minecraft Building 

This club is open to all students.  It will meet Tuesday, December 10th, January 14 and January 28th from 2:45-3:45 in the Upton Media Center.


This club is open to all students.  If you have an interest in learning how to take pictures, learning how to take better pictures, or learning how to make your pictures “pop”, then come join us.  Club usually meets on Thursdays after school. There is no set day and time. If you have a camera bring it! (But not necessary.)

Adviser:  Kevin Khan:   kkhan@stjoebears.com

School Musical

This is a club open to anyone who enjoys music and performance.  Practices vary and usually one performance in the Spring.  

Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad competitions are like academic track meets, consisting of a series of 23 team events in each division (Division B is middle school; Division C is high school). Each year, a portion of the events are rotated to reflect the ever-changing nature of genetics, earth science, chemistry, anatomy, physics, geology, mechanical engineering and technology. By combining events from all disciplines, Science Olympiad encourages a wide cross-section of students to get involved. Emphasis is placed on active, hands-on group participation. Through Science Olympiad, students, teachers, parents, principals, and business leaders bond together and work toward a shared goal.  (Soinc.org)

Here at Upton, Science Olympiad meets from November through April (providing that we earn the right to compete at the State Competition).  The team consists of 15 competitive members and 4-8 alternates. They are assigned 3-4 events to prepare for the competition. The Regional Competition is in early March and the State competition is in late April/Early May.  Students apply for the competitive team usually in October and the team is picked in November. Students start to meet with mentors (either teachers or members from our community) who help them prepare for the events. They meet from 2-4 days a week, 1-2 hours a day depending on the event.  They are expected to put in an additional 10-15 hours of studying a week on their own.

We have a lot of fun and love the chance to learn about many different types of science because we all know Science Rules!

Adviser:  Kelly Kietzerow:  kkietzerow@stjoebears.com

Ski/Snowboard Club

Upton has a ski club for grades 6th, 7th & 8th. All students may join. Skiing takes place at Timber Ridge in Gobles, Michigan, which is 55 miles from St. Joseph. There is a fee for participants. Lessons and transportation are included. Trips are offered one time per week, after school. Information comes out in October with sign-ups following in November. Skiing is December through February.  

Adviser:  Ian Brown:  ibrown@stjoebears.com


This a Fall activity for boys in 6th, 7th, & 8th grade and a Spring activity for girls in 6th, 7th, & 8th grades.   All students may join. Games take place during the week at our field here at Upton and in surrounding communities. There is a fee for uniforms.  

Adviser:   Aaron Soule:  soule3@mac.com.  

Spanish Club

Introductory and Intermediate Classes!  Both meet in Rm 406. Come to Spanish Club to improve your speaking and understanding of the Spanish language.  You will learn the alphabet, numbers, weather terms, grammar rules and play listening games.   

*Winter Schedule

Introductory Spanish ClassTuesdays, 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm

* *  PLEASE NOTE * *

Class WILL NOT meet on:  Tuesday, January 28th - Out-of-town

January 7, 2020

January 14, 2020

January 21, 2020

February 4, 2020

February 11, 202

February 18, 2020

February 25, 2020

March 3, 2020

Intermediate Spanish ClassWednesdays, 2:45 pm – 4:15 pm


Class WILL NOT meet on: Wednesday, January 22nd - Exams-no class

                                            Wednesday, January 29th - Out-of-town

        January 8, 2020

        January 15, 2020

        February 5, 2020

February 12, 2020

February 19, 2020

February 26, 2020

March 4, 2020

March 11, 2020 

Adviser:  Cynthia Ellspermann


Spelling Team

This is a fall activity. However, we practice nearly year-round to prepare for the Cloverleaf Competition held in February. It is not necessary to be a fine speller, but students must work hard to memorize words and meanings. We send our best three spellers to competition.

Adviser:  Cathy Gressley:  cgressley@stjoebears.com

Student Council

A student-run government consisting of an executive board of 8th graders: president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and publicist. These students are elected by the student body and are expected to fulfill specific job requirements. Each homeroom elects two representatives that also make up Upton’s Student Council. 

Adviser:  Jill Hubble: jhubble@stjoebears.com


This is a Spring activity for anyone interested in learning the basics of playing tennis.  Practices will be held after school on our own tennis courts. There are A and B teams that may compete in matches with other schools. 


This group is open to 6th, 7th, & 8th graders interested in nature and science.  Students look for invasive species around the middle school and clean up our outside school environment. 

Adviser:  Mrs. Ann St. Amand

Variety Show

Our annual talent show for all students interested in showing us what they have!  Tryouts are necessary. Performance is in the Spring.

Video News Team

The Upton Middle School news team is a student run news program that airs every morning. It is open to all students at Upton Middle School. There are 2-anchors, 2 camera people and 3 technicians. Two students are chosen to be producers for the year. Their job is to keep things running smoothly and to train the students on how to run the equipment. Together they report all the happenings in and around the school, district and community. The commitment for the news team is to be on time to school and to be in the news room by 7:30 AM. If your student is interested, have them sign up at the beginning of the year when sign ups are announced or see Mrs. Anderson. There is no cost to be a part of the Upton news team. 

Adviser:  Kristin Burnette: kburnette@stjoebears.com


This is an Elective Course offered during the school day, to 8th grade students.  It will focus on print and mass media and the publication of the Upton Middle School yearbook.  Projects such as writing for the yearbook, and developing promotional campaigns will be assigned.  Students will also learn and apply computer skills and explore the role of digital cameras, manipulations of digital imagery in communication.  This course is designed for students who are self-disciplined and who enjoy writing, speaking and sharing ideas with classmates. 

Adviser:  Kevin Khan:  kkhan@stjoebears.com

Weight Training

This club is open to all 6, 7, 8 graders.  Begins after football season and runs through the end of the school year.  Students meet Tues and Thurs from 2:50-4:30 and Fri from 2:50-4:00. Strength training, conditioning, speed and agility, and fun cardio games.  No sign-up necessary.  

Adviser:  Ian Brown:  ibrown@stjoebears.com 


Writing Club

This club is open to all students interested in writing poetry, prose, plays, song lyrics, graphic novels and other genres.   You will have a positive atmosphere for developing your writing! Please meet in Mrs. LoPresti’s room from 2:45-3:30 on the following dates:  9/19, 9/26, 10/10, 10/17, 10/24, 11/14, 11/21, 12/12, 12/19, 01/09, 01/16, 02/06, 02/13, 02/20, 03/05, 03/12, 03/19, 04/16, 04/23, 05/07, 05/14

Adviser:  Mary LoPresti:  mlopresti@stjoebears.com



Other Community Clubs


Summer Food Service Program

Welcome to the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) site locator. The SFSP was created to ensure that children in lower-income areas could continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to the National School Lunch or School Breakfast Programs. Use the SFSP site locator to find a SFSP site near you

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