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Billings superintendent reflects on first year, including big levy win, ahead of graduation

Posted at 4:25 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:49:05-04

BILLINGS – This weekend will serve as the culmination of years of hard work for the over 1,000 graduating seniors of Billings School District 2.

“Excited for graduation, obviously…1,170 as of right now, which can change by the minute,” Superintendent Greg Upham said Friday with a laugh.

Upham said the district expects between 5,000 and 7,000 people at each of the three graduation ceremonies on Sunday at Rimrock Auto Arena.

This is Upham’s first graduation weekend at the helm of Billings Public Schools. He accepted the job last May.

 “It went so fast,” said Upham. “I didn’t even know that it was coming to an end. Honestly, it’s just been an extremely quick year.”

Upham had lofty goals set for his first year, including the passage of a high school operational levy, something that hadn’t been done in over a decade. The $970,000 measure was approved with about 60 percent of the vote earlier this month.

“Just passing of the levy was a huge win for our entire district and our students and community,” Upham said. “I’ve said this time and time again, the people have been just absolutely outstanding.”

As for next year, Upham said he will continue with his three main goals of increasing student achievement, helping students to be prepared for their careers once high school is over, and the overall mental health of the student body.