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2022's Montana Principal of the Year leaving Billings Senior High after 25 years

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Posted at 4:53 PM, May 02, 2023

BILLINGS — A year after being named the top principal in Montana, Jeff Uhren is leaving Billings Senior High for a new career, which means big changes are coming to the school.

There’s a reason why Uhren was named Montana Principal of the Year in 2022.

“He is super, super passionate about what he does, and he truly cares about all the students here at Senior High,” said Senior High School student body secretary Kendra Lien on Tuesday.

After 25 years at Senior High, seven as principal, he’s ready for a career change, and a pretty drastic one at that.

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“I got my real estate license so I’m going to be a full-time real estate agent, working with Realty Billings,” Uhren said.

He’s used to big changes. Uhren started at Senior in 1998 teaching math and has also coached football and softball. But he has adapted from one role to the next because of the one thing that stays constant: his love for students.

“Seeing the growth when they come here as freshmen, as they graduate as seniors, and just seeing them ready to be productive members of the community,” said Uhren.

They’re excited for this new chapter in his career.

“He’s got that kind of casual approach to life but at the same time is really intelligent and charismatic, so I think he’ll do quite well,” said Robby Brown, Senior High School student body vice president.

Those qualities are ones incoming Principal Shelli Strouf hopes to emulate.

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“I have big shoes to fill, for sure. Jeff and I have been partners for 16 years so I’ve learned a lot from him,” Strouf, Senior's current assistant principal, said.

She said she doesn’t foresee any big changes when it comes to the upcoming school year, but she hopes to bring the school back to pre-COVID expectations.

“For our attendance and just some of the procedures that we have, maybe to tighten those up. But no big changes, ‘cuz I don’t really feel like we need big changes,” said Strouf.

And for Uhren, he said Senior High will always hold a special place in his heart.

“Once a Bronc, always a Bronc, so I truly will miss this place. So last thing is, go Broncs!” Uhren said.