PREP honors late Betsy Webb at regional professional development conference

The annual Penobscot River Educational Partnership (PREP) virtual conference this year is dedicated to the late Betsy Webb, longtime Bangor School Department superintendent and Libra Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development. Webb was executive director of PREP from 2020 until she passed away last November.

UMaine is a higher education partner in the collaborative, which includes 22 school districts in the eastern Maine area. Under Webb’s leadership, the annual PREP conference regularly attracted more than 1,400 educators for professional development sessions on a variety of topics, such as literacy, mathematics, outdoor learning, social-emotional learning and STEM education.

The 2023 conference is being held March 17. Several UMaine COEHD faculty and alumni typically present at the event.

The College of Education and Human Development’s School of Kinesiology, Physical Education and Athletic Training is hosting an in-person workshop for physical education teachers at Lengyel Hall with a focus on educators from PREP schools. Senior lecturer in health education and lifespan Jennifer McNulty will lead a session at the workshop, “IMPROVE the Moment with Autogenic Training.” The college and PREP are holding the workshop in partnership with the Maine Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

In addition, assistant professor of curriculum, assessment and instruction Rebecca Buchanan and School of Educational Leadership, Higher Education and Human Development director Ian Mette are helping lead portions of a professional development day for educators in the Bangor School Department. Buchanan and Mette, along with associate professor of higher education Leah Hakkola, are part of a research practice partnership (RPP) that is assisting the district with an equity review that includes analyzing student information system (SIS) data, survey data and interviews with community members. The district is using information from the review to make its own decisions and address student outcomes. In addition, as part of the RPP, Hakkola, Buchanan and Mette are offering three separate courses throughout this school year for BSD educators on culturally responsive educational practices.