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 from October through the beginning of May.  During 21-22 we will be meeting on Wednesday's in the Foods Room until 4 PM.

Adviser:  Kristina Allen:  kallen@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:  Elizabeth Reimers:  ereimers@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 7th, in Mrs. Walsworth's classroom, room 219. Chess Club will run from 2:50 - 4:50, with dates through May. 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

2021-2022 Dates:  10/07, 10/21, 11/04, 11/18, 12/02, 12/16, 01/13 (only date in Jan), 02/10, 02/24, 03/10, 03/24, 04/21 (only date in April), 05/05, 05/01

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.

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.  

Adviser:  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.


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

School Musical

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

Adviser:  Cassidy VanGilder:  cvangilder@stjoebears.com

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 the 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 from December through February.  

Adviser:  Ian Brown:  ibrown@stjoebears.com  

2021-2022 dates are Jan 4, 11, 18 and 25. Feb 1, 8 and possibly Feb 15. 


This is 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:  Sara Dawalt:  socceruptonmiddleschool@gmail.com

Spanish Club

Introductory and Intermediate Classes!  Both meet in Rm 406.  Come to the 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.   This class will run Sept through Nov  and will meet in Rm 226.

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 the competition.  We will be meeting on Tuesdays in Rm 209.

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 and Victoria Mulliner: vmulliner @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.  The performance is March 11 at the HS Auditorium.

Adviser:  Victoria Mulliner: vmulliner@stjoebears.com and Cassidy VanGilder: cvangilder@stjoebears.com


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

Weight Training

This club is open to all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.  It begins after football season around Dec. 1 and runs through the end of the school year.  Students meet Tues, Wed,  Thurs from 2:50-4:00.  We will focus on 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!   We will meet the 1st and 3rd Thursday's of the month, beginning Dec 2. Please meet in Mrs. LoPresti’s room 313, from 2:45-3:30. 



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



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