Remembering Betsy Webb, Libra Professor of Educational Leadership

Longtime Maine educator, University of Maine alumna and UMaine Libra Professor of Educational Leadership Betsy Webb passed away Nov. 24.

Webb joined the College of Education and Human Development in 2020 after a nearly 40-year career as a teacher and administrator in Maine schools, including 13 years as superintendent of the Bangor School Department. In addition to being a professor in UMaine’s Educational Leadership program, she also served as the executive director of the Penobscot River Educational Partnership, a teacher training collaborative.

Webb received a doctorate and certificate of advanced study in educational leadership from UMaine.

Colleagues in the College of Education and Human Development and across Maine remember her commitment to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the name of developing scholarly practitioners. Her lasting impact on students will be felt for years to come, particularly her approaches to deepen ties between UMaine and surrounding school districts to develop leadership pipelines, increase accessibility of research to practitioners, and dedication to learning in the classroom.

Her lasting impact on education in Maine can be traced through her work with the Taskforce on School Leadership with the Maine Legislature, as well as through her commitments to the Penobscot River Educational Partnership and Southern Penobscot Regional Program for Children with Exceptionalities.

“Betsy was an incredible asset to Maine’s educational community, and her impact will be long lasting,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine. “Betsy was one of the first public school administrators I met when I arrived here, and I admired her greatly. She was an excellent colleague and a fierce advocate for the students of Maine. This is a tremendous loss.”

Before joining the educational leadership faculty, Webb was a key partner in the creation of the Bangor Educational Leadership Academy, which has helped numerous Bangor teachers earn master’s, Ed.S. or Ed.D. degrees from the College of Education and Human Development. She also helped to create the Maine Educational Leadership Academy for educators in 26 school districts in the greater Bangor area to help them acquire advanced degrees in educational leadership and special education.

In addition, under her leadership and in partnership with the college, Bangor schools created a STEM Academy, a Visual and Performing Arts Academy, and a Humanities Academy for students to earn dual credit for high school and university coursework.

“As a local and state leader, Dr. Webb’s first-hand experience and knowledge of issues facing educators in Maine schools was invaluable to the countless teachers and administrators with whom she worked as a professor and mentor,” said College of Education and Human Development dean Penny Bishop. “She will be greatly missed.”

The UMaine community sends thoughts of sympathy and caring to Webb’s family and her many colleagues and students in the College of Education and Human Development.

An obituary is online.