Submitted by Sonja Bailes, Public Relations Liaison for Bossier Schools
It speaks volumes when students take the time to nominate their teacher for Bossier Schools’ Gold Star employee award. It just goes to show how beloved Deb Webb, a music instructor in the Talented Arts Program, is.
For the past six years, Webb has crisscrossed Bossier Parish, coaching students with exceptional vocal talent at more than 20 schools. She is talented, no doubt, but it is the heart-felt connection Webb shares with her young charges that sets her apart.
One student from Bossier High wrote, “She should get this award because she is one of the most inspirational and giving people I’ve ever met.”
Another Bearkat said, “She’s absolutely the best instructor anyone can have. She makes sure you have all the tools needed before we venture off into the real world of music. If she can’t teach us, then she’ll find someone else who will. That’s how much she cares about her students.”
Their words moved Webb to tears at the 2015-16 Gold Star banquet, where, to her surprise, she was named Bossier’s Gold Star for the month of May. She thought she was solely there with her Bossier High jazz ensemble that was providing the evening’s entertainment.
Webb later said, “To be nominated by my students and chosen as one of the Gold Star recipients is an honor and privilege I will cherish forever. I just want my students to have the tools available to them so they can grow not only in music, but to be able to have skills that they can apply in whatever they try.”
TAP Supervisor Vicky Lynch sings Webb’s praises, too, saying “Her heart is just so big … The difference between Deb and the rest of us is she sees with eyes that are different than ours. She sees right through students and sees their hurts and pains, and their potential. Then she works with them so they become that potential.”
Webb helped one student realize her potential by taking the day off from work to drive her to a college interview when the girl’s mother could not. That selfless act resulted in the student receiving a $110,000 scholarship to Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. That is just one example of so many.
Her husband, Lex, believes Deb’s dedication stems from them losing their son in 1985 when he was nine-months-old.
“She says when he died, she didn’t stop loving him, but it has grown over the years and she channels that love into her students.” Lex Webb went on to write, “That’s where that deep devotion to them comes from.”
Webb is not one who seeks the limelight for herself, but she does for her students. What gives her the most fulfillment?
“The moment when a student puts their heart and soul into a song that they have either written or learned and the performance comes together,” she said. “There’s nothing better than to see their hard work pay off to enrich their life in a special way. They have the vehicle to get their personal message out and just to have fun. I mean music makes or breaks a party. It helps the human spirit, pray and worship. It starts and ends a celebration. Music helps lay us to rest and smoothes us all.”
It is no wonder Deb Webb is Bossier Schools’ Gold Star. She shines from inside and out.