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Baltimore Educator Named National Teacher of the Year

By guest blogger Ross Brenneman. Cross-posted from Teaching Now.


The Council of Chief State School Officers has named high school English teacher Sean McComb, of Maryland, the 2014 National Teacher of the Year.

A roaring applause greeted the announcement at Washington's Fairfax Hotel, where the CCSSO had convened a breakfast for the State Teachers of the Year. The announcement came via the CBS morning news program "This Morning."

McComb, one of the youngest educators to ever win, teaches at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore. He is currently in his eigth year of teaching.

In addition to teaching English, McComb also heads his school's AVID program (Advancement Via Individual Determination), a mentor-based, college-readiness program. He is also active in leading student service projects and has been closely involved in cultural-exchange programs in his district.

"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," McComb said in a statement released by the CCSSO.

McComb is the 12th English teacher to be named Teacher of the Year since the honor started in 1952. (However, some of the past winners haven't had clear-cut subject areas.)

An English teacher had a 50 percent chance of winning the award; also nominated were high school English and technology teacher Ryan Devlin, of Brockway, Pa.; 8th grade ESOL teacher Dorina Sackman, of Orlando, Fla.; and Melissa Ann Porfirio, a first grade teacher in Springfield, Va. All were named 2014 State Teachers of the Year in their respective states in January.

McComb was selected from the four finalists by a panel convened by the CCSSO that represents 15 national education organizations.

All of the state teachers of the year, along with McComb, will be honored by President Barack Obama at a White House ceremony Thursday.

Below is a Teaching Channel video profile of McComb. Videos of the other finalists can be seen here.


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