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Press Release

Friday, March 06, 2015

CCSSO Announces 2014 National Teacher of the Year Presenting at SXSWedu

Contact:Olympia Meolaolympia.meola@ccsso.org202-336-7071

Washington, D.C. (March 6, 2015) - What does a student need from a teacher to be successful?

It's a question that 2014 National Teacher of the Year Sean McComb and Maryland Superintendent Lillian Lowery will explore at the SXSWedu® Conference & Festival, which draws educators and stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds for four days of workshops, discussions and networking.

McComb and Lowery will be joined by Alisa Pham, a recent graduate from Gilmer High School in Texas, who is now a junior at the University of Texas at Austin. She was part of the Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) program at her high school, where teachers helped motivate her to go on after high school. McComb in 2007 developed the AVID program at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts to help mentor and better prepare students for college.

At SXSWedu, McComb, Lowery and Pham will discuss ways classroom teachers can nurture habits, mindsets and determination in students and how education systems can better support teachers in this work.

The session is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 10 at the Hilton Austin Downtown. If you attend the panel discussion, expect to walk away with ideas about how teachers are creating critical relationships with students to help them set - and achieve - academic goals, as well as strategies that teachers use to give students the academic and emotional skills and support they need to succeed. To learn more about the session, click here.

The session is part of SXSWedu's Policy Forum, a series of reporter-moderated discussions with policy makers and others about legislative issues such as standards and assessment, accountability, funding and privacy.

The National Teacher of the Year program, run by the Council of Chief State School Officers and supported by Voya Financial, works to elevate the voice of teachers.


The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.