Press Release: Maryland Teacher Is Finalist For National Teacher Of The Year

Baltimore County's McComb Is In The Final Four

For Immediate Release                                   Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486

Baltimore, MD (January 15, 2014)

Maryland Teacher of the Year Sean McComb, an educator at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore County, today was named one of four finalists for the 2014 National Teacher of the Year.

McComb, named Maryland Teacher of the Year last October, is a teacher in Patapsco’s Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, helping students strengthen their work habits and academic skills.

The Council of Chief State School Officers announced the finalists today, with the winner to be named in April.  Other teachers up for the honor are Dorina Sackman, Florida; Ryan Devlin, Pennsylvania; and Melissa Ann Porfirio, Virginia.

“Maryland schools are so effective because of the creative instruction taking place in our classrooms. Sean McComb embodies what it means to be a teacher, tirelessly preparing his students for college, or a career after high school,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Congratulations to Sean, his students, and his colleagues at Patapsco High.”

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery agreed.  She noted that Sean’s work with students has provided them with a foundation upon which to build a great future. 

“There are more than 7.2 million teachers in the U.S., and more 60,000 in Maryland public schools alone, which puts Sean’s accomplishment in perspective,” Dr. Lowery said.  “His passion for his students and his belief in their success is emblematic of educators in our State.”

“Sean is an extraordinary educator who cares deeply about teaching students and collaborating with colleagues.  We are proud to have him as part of ‘Team BCPS’ here in Baltimore County schools,” said Dr. S. Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. “It is gratifying to see him receive this honor and to know that a dedicated professional like Sean will represent Baltimore County and Maryland on a national stage. We wish him well as he continues to inspire, to excel, and to demonstrate with creativity and passion what it means to be a teacher.”

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

“I feel greatly honored to be selected as a finalist.  It has been a wonderful honor to represent my incredible colleagues at Patapsco, as well as the dedicated and hard-working teachers throughout BCPS and across the state of Maryland,” he said.  “I am glad to have represented the noble teachers of Maryland, who work so hard toward similar goals, in the national competition.

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 were later named National Teacher of the Year.