St. Joe’s Teacher of the Week: Mr. Madison Upendo


Derek Starling

Mr. Madison Upendo was chosen to be St. Joe’s Teacher of the Week.

Derek Starling, Staff Writer

Every week The Bear Facts selects a St. Joe teacher to be featured. This week the staff selected Mr. Madison Upendo.

The Bear Facts: Where did you grow up?

Mr. Madison Upendo: I grew up in Jackson, MS with my mom.

The Bear Facts: What is your favorite sports team?

Upendo: The New Zealand All Blacks.

The Bear Facts: What is your favorite musical or play?

Upendo: Lion King on Broadway, hands down…fight me on it!!!

The Bear Facts: What do you do when you aren’t teaching or directing?

Upendo: Outside of those and coaching Speech & Debate, I’m learning marriage with THE marvelous Sara Upendo and sleeping. Lots and LOTS of sleeping.

The Bear Facts: Where did you attend college?

Upendo: I received my Associate’s Degree with a focus in Theatre and my Barber & Stylist’s license from Hinds Community College (Raymond Campus). I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Theater from Belhaven University.

The Bear Facts: What made you want to teach theatre for St. Joe?

Upendo: My family’s circumstances did not allow me to attend St. Joseph when I was a kid. When I heard that there was an opening for a Theater teacher, it was as if it was a nudge from God saying “I still have your spot waiting for you.”

The Bear Facts: How has theatre impacted your life?

Upendo: It has helped me identify who I am apart from what I thought I should be when I would compare myself to other people. It gave me a reason to continue to go to school which lead me to being the first person in my family to receive a Bachelor’s Degree. It is truly one of the few things that fans my inner flame to rise above mediocrity.

Mr. Madison Upendo teaches theatre. He also acts as the director for St. Joe’s theatre productions as well as coaches speech & debate.