Print this Page

News Brief

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Maryland Teacher Named 2014 National Teacher of the Year

High School English Teacher Sean McComb To Be Honored by President Obama Thursday
Contact:Melissa McGrathmelissa.mcgrath@ccsso.org202-336-7034

WASHINGTON - The Council of Chief State School Officers announced today that Sean McComb, a high school English teacher from Maryland, was named the 64th National Teacher of the Year. McComb, along with all 2014 State Teachers of the Year, will be recognized by President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House on May 1, 2014. 

McComb teaches at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore, where he has spent his eight-year teaching career. In addition to teaching, McComb supports his Patapsco colleagues through coaching and training as the school's Staff Development Teacher. He also served as a curriculum writer for the school system and an adjunct instructor in Education and Writing at Towson University.

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

In 2007, McComb developed Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID) at Patapsco, a mentor-based, college-preparatory program. Since then, the school's program has continued to assist students who are academically in the middle and in need by equipping them with the habits of mind and academic supports they need to take rigorous high school courses to prepare for college. In the AVID program's last two graduating classes at the school, 98 percent of students were admitted to four-year colleges. This program, paired with a dedicated faculty and administration, has helped Patapsco receive recognition as a top high school from The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report for the first time in its 50-year history.

Beyond the classroom, McComb demonstrates his commitment to his students in many ways-including chaperoning students to and hosting students from China through the Baltimore County China Cultural Exchange Program, giving up his spring break to take students on college bus tours, and coaching indoor track and tennis. He also actively serves his community and works to instill a sense of service with his students.  McComb and his students have been involved in services projects such as: planting trees in the community, cleaning up a local creek, serving meals to the homeless and delivering donations for Neighbors in Need at a local church.  McComb holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master of Education in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Certificate in School Improvement Leadership from Goucher College.

Access a press kit with additional information about Sean McComb here. Find more information about the National Teacher of the Year program here.  There will be media availability with Sean McComb on April 30 from 9:30 am - 11:30 am ET. To arrange an interview, please contact Kate Dando Doran (kated@ccsso.org). President Barack Obama will honor the 2014 National Teacher of the Year and all of the State Teachers of the Year at the White House on May 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM ET.

The National Teacher of the Year Program is run by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). Every year states select a teacher of the year to participate in the National Teacher of the Year Program. State teachers of the year are selected on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators throughout the states. A panel convened by CCSSO, representing 15 national education organizations, chose the four finalists from the 2014 state teachers of the year. The panel then personally interviews each finalist before naming the National Teacher of the Year. The finalists for 2014 National Teacher of the Year are Dorina M. Sackman (Florida), Ryan Devlin (Pennsylvania), and Melissa Ann Porfirio (Virginia).  You can read more about the finalists here