The start of any school year is usually met with promise and great expectation by kids and parents alike.

For kids, there are new haircuts, new clothes, a new backpack and maybe some hope for a fulfilling new year.

In Bangor, we have a new superintendent. We have great hopes.

In June our former school superintendent, Dr. Robert “Sandy” Ervin, resigned. Taking his place is his assistant, Betsy Webb.

In the past, some citizens and school board members have felt their voices have gone unheard by the superintendent and the board chairwoman.

But just as all kids get a new and fresh start next week, so does the Bangor school administration at the direction of Webb.

There are fresh voices on the school board, voices that take offense at being silenced.

Since she took over in June, Webb has taken a series of simple steps that have made members of the school board feel more comfortable and more part of a team. It is reasonable to think that those efforts will eventually expand to the entire community, including parents.

At school board meetings now, Webb has established a table in the front of the room that outlines Bangor school policies and board policies. There is actually a sign that welcomes visitors to the school board meetings.

When the school board agenda is sent out, Webb actually makes personal phone calls to the school board members to see if they have any questions on the agenda.

One school board member was completely taken aback by that small gesture.

“Can you believe that?” she asked me. “She actually allowed me time to ask questions and it allowed me time to get prepared for the meeting.”

It is indeed a great time of change for one of the state’s largest school systems, and parents, teachers and city and school officials should be prepared to embrace it.

Webb has made it clear that she is willing to listen and consider a variety of ideas to improve Bangor schools. She has an incredible technological background that should serve to thrust the system ahead, both academically and systematically.

Ervin once told me that he disagreed with the idea of “Power School,” an online system that allowed parents to keep track of their children’s grades, homework assignments and conduct. Despite his opposition, he tolerated its implementation last year.

Webb clearly sees the benefits of such a program.

She is reaching out to the new and the more experienced members of the school board. While they may not agree on every issue — nor should they — they are at least equally educated and informed about them.

So far Webb’s actions suggest she is not afraid of negative feedback and is willing to learn from it.

Our kids are about to tie up their sneakers, load up their lunch bags and head off for a new school year.

I think the residents of Bangor, with Webb in the lead, can expect great things.