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Billings Senior High educator wins 2022 Montana Principal of the Year

Posted at 4:39 PM, Feb 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-04 18:39:14-05

BILLINGS — During a tumultuous school year amid a pandemic, Billings Senior High’s principal was chosen as the 2022 Montana Principal of the Year.

It’s easy to see why Jeff Uhren received the award. He jokes around with his staff and he’s there when you need him.

“When you see him, it’s kind of like walking past your friend,” Senior High freshman Dominic Sease said Friday at the school.

Most importantly, his students love him.

“It’s so awesome. He’s so deserving of it, and we’ve always known that and it’s awesome that the rest of Montana gets to see what kind of guy he is,” said senior Eliza Bentler.

Born and raised in Billings, Uhren has been at Senior High for 24 years.

“I started out here teaching math, and then around 2005 I got into the assistant principal position and the last six years as principal,” said Uhren.

Little did he know that he would win such a prestigious award.

“From the staff, to the students, parents, alumni, this is a community award for sure,” Uhren said.

Uhren was nominated for the award by his staff. Senior High English teacher Jenny Fleek-Airne has known him since they were kids.

“He’s so deserving. He has such compassion and he’s filled with such leadership skill. He makes everyone in this building feel important and we know we can come to Jeff at any time,” said Fleek-Airne.

Uhren is loved by both his staff and his students.

“It makes me feel proud, 'cause Senior High is just a great environment. It’s got good people,” said sophomore Ella Shelden.

For Uhren, he’s just happy to be a part of his students’ lives.

“Favorite part about being a principal is working with the students. Just quality kids,” Uhren said.

And they’re happy to be in his life.

“We just care about him so much, 'cause he cares about us so much. It’s really not surprising and I’m super happy for him,” Bentler said.