Baltimore County educator named National Teacher of the Year

TOWSON, Md. - A Baltimore County teacher was selected as the National Teacher of the Year.

Sean McComb, an eight-year educator from Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, was one of four finalists for the award. The 30-year-old McComb was selected as Maryland’s Teacher of the Year last October and Baltimore County’s Teacher of the Year on May 6 last year.

“As a teacher, I have always found my validation in my students first – their learning, their engagement in our work and in their words of appreciation,” said McComb in a statement. “But personally, this is an incredible validation for each time I made a choice to do a little more for a student.”

The Council of Chief State School Officers announced McComb’s selection on Wednesday. President Barack Obama will introduce McComb as the 64th National Teacher of the Year during a White House ceremony at 2 p.m. on Thursday. McComb, who lives in Joppa, is the third Maryland teacher since 2006 to win the national honor and the first in Baltimore County history.  

McComb, his family, and state and BCPS educators led by Superintendent Dr. Dallas Dance are in Washington this week for events surrounding the announcement, including the White House ceremony. 

“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 Dance in a statement. “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 stage. Now the nation is his classroom.” 

As National Teacher of the Year, McComb will spend the next year travelling the nation and the world and representing public school teachers at more than 150 events.

A native of King of Prussia, Pa., McComb came to Baltimore County in 2006, As an English teacher at Patapsco in Dundalk, he became the school’s coordinator of the AVID program in 2007. AVID, or Advancement Via Individual Determination, encourages empowerment for students in the academic middle.

“Sean’s work ethic, dedication to his students, professional approach to teaching, and impeccable moral character truly make him a fantastic choice for National Teacher of the Year,” said Patapsco’s principal, Craig Reed in a statement. “The students and staff at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts could not be happier that Mr. McComb has been named National Teacher of the Year.  His passion for teaching truly represents the fantastic work that happens every day at our school.”

In addition to teaching AVID, McComb currently serves as staff development teacher at Patapsco, where he helps to coordinate staff development activities and nurture teacher growth. He has coached tennis and track at Patapsco, and in 2012, he visited China as part of the school system’s cultural exchange program. Until 2011, he captained a men’s elite ultimate Frisbee club team in Washington, D.C.

McComb and his wife, Sarah, who also teaches at Patapsco High School, celebrated the birth of their first child, Silas, earlier this year.

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