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Press Release: Maryland Educator Named National Teacher Of The Year

Baltimore County's Sean McComb To Be Honored In White House Ceremony

For Immediate Release                                                        

Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410.767.0486, Darla Strouse, 410.767.0369
Baltimore, MD (April 30, 2014)

Maryland Teacher of the Year Sean McComb has received the nation’s top teaching honor: 2014 National Teacher of the Year.  He will be featured tomorrow in a White House ceremony with President Obama.

The official announcement was made today on CBS This Morning.  McComb is a teacher at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore County.  He teaches in Patapsco’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, helping students strengthen their work habits and academic skills to graduate ready for college or career.

“Teachers are the foundation of our success as a State, and the major reason why our schools have been ranked number-one-in-the-nation for five straight years. Sean McComb embodies what it means to be a teacher -- tirelessly preparing his students for college or a career after high school, and setting a great example of the power of creative instruction taking place in classrooms all across our State,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “It is with deep gratitude that our entire State congratulates Sean, his students, and his colleagues at Patapsco High.”

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery noted that Sean’s work with students has helped provide them with an academic foundation that prepares them for life beyond the high school classroom.

“Maryland is preparing world-class students who can meet the needs of local employers and compete for opportunities in the global marketplace thanks to world-class teachers like Sean McComb,” Dr. Lowery said.  “I have enjoyed getting to know Sean the past several months, learning about his passion for his students and his belief in their success.   Sean’s students will tell you that they believe he genuinely cares, never giving up on them and paving the way for their success.  He’s the consummate educator, going above and beyond to make certain his students are ready for their futures.”

“Sean is a gifted and giving teacher, and Team BCPS is proud that one of our own has been recognized for this tremendous national honor,” said Baltimore County Superintendent S. Dallas Dance.  “We are privileged to have him as a teacher at Patapsco and in Baltimore County, and we are happy to share his talents and his wisdom on a much larger scale.  Now the nation is his classroom.”

McComb is typically humble about the being a finalist for the prestigious honor, noting that no teacher joins the profession for the awards.

“My teaching is built on the belief that relationships and engagement can turn challenges into opportunities for excellence for all students,” he said.  “As we embrace that truth, we help awaken students to their full potential and the possibility to live out the American dream.”

McComb focuses on creating critical readers, strong writers, and judicious thinkers.  Through his work with the AVID program, he teaches the value of service, working on projects with students that help feed the hungry in the community.  McComb serves as a system curriculum writer and as an adjunct teacher at Towson University. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he also received a Master’s in Education degree, and recently completed School Leadership certification from Goucher College.

Maryland has had a remarkable run of success in the National Teacher of the Year program.  The State has had three other finalists for National Teacher of the Year in recent years – Montgomery County kindergarten teacher Kimberly Oliver Burnim in 2006, Frederick County chemistry teacher Michelle Shearer in 2011, and Cecil County English teacher Rhonda Holmes-Blankenship last year.  Burnim and Shearer also were named National Teacher of the Year.