MassBay Alum Empowers Students in the Classroom and on the Field, Mike Webb of Hopkinton

By contributor,
Mass Bay

MassBay alum Mike Webb began his higher education journey at Framingham State University (FSU), where he played football and studied to become a history teacher. “Playing football was the main reason I stayed in college. I saw my peers’ passion for history but didn’t have the same level of commitment to the subject, which caused me to doubt my career path,” said Mike. “When the football season ended in my senior year, I realized I didn’t have enough credits to graduate, tossing my future into flux. I decided to pivot and try something new.”

Mike began taking acting classes, and while working as an actor and model, he got what he considered to be his “big break” and became a professional wrestler. “Pro wrestling and making kids happy by wrestling and performing is what actually made me feel fulfilled."

“One day, out of the blue, my high school football coach reached out to me and asked me why I wasn’t coaching football,” Mike continued. “I was ecstatic when he referred me to a football coaching position with Hopkinton High School. Becoming a coach turned my career path around. I loved working with the kids, watching them develop into strong athletes. I started to discover teaching was more about the love of working with kids, rather than being enamored with a particular subject, such as history.”

While coaching football at Hopkinton High, Mike realized how much he still wanted to teach. When a paraprofessional teaching position opened, Mike applied and got the job. He started making strategic strides to turn his goal of becoming a teacher into reality. He reached out to MassBay and learned that he could apply credits from FSU towards a liberal arts associate degree. He worked at Hopkinton High School during the day and took classes at MassBay in the evening. He graduated from MassBay with a 3.6 GPA, receiving his Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. “MassBay’s Critical Thinking course really resonated with me, and I still use the material I learned in that class with my own students. I returned to FSU to finish the remaining courses needed to earn my bachelor’s degree and was thrilled to land a teaching position in Hopkinton. Everything in my career started falling into place.”

Mike continued, “MassBay understands how students want both a quality education and time for a quality life outside of the classroom. I learned so much from my MassBay classes—the work was practical and directly tied to my career path. The professors challenged me, their teaching methods were engaging, and they understood students. I truly loved every minute I spent at MassBay. When talking to my own students about college, I always lead with asking if they have applied to a community college. As a teacher myself, I feel the education I received at MassBay is as good, if not better than, a four-year college. My MassBay experience included taking a class with a biology professor who was teaching the same course, with the same exact syllabus, at Boston University. I am grateful that I now can work with MassBay’s dual-enrollment program here in Hopkinton, exposing high school students to college courses. It’s been so gratifying, and I feel like my academic journey has taken me full circle.”

After graduating from MassBay in 2016, Mike went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Framingham State University and a master’s degree in special education from Cambridge College. Mike is a licensed history and special education teacher.

Mike lives in Shrewsbury, MA and is the leader of the EMPOWER program at Hopkinton High School, where he works with his Service Dog Lombardi, supporting students with social-emotional-behavioral needs. He also coaches the Hopkinton Middle School football team. In his spare time, he still wrestles with Lucky Pro Wrestling of Hudson, MA.

“I feel so lucky because as a teacher, something positive happens in my life every day. Learning from my students and seeing them grow is amazing. I wouldn’t change my career for the world,” Mike said.