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Sean McComb: Maryland STOY and National Teacher of the Year Finalist 2014

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Sean McComb(MP3)

Sean McComb

Sean McComb began his teaching career in Baltimore County Public Schools in August 2006.  Determined to make a difference in the lives of at-risk students, he chose to teach at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts, located in the working class community of Dundalk, MD.  At the time, there was a sharp increase in the number of students coming from low-income home to Patapsco.  The school decided to take action and tasked McComb with developing a mentor-based college-preparation program to serve the school community.  Through this AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program, McComb shepherds and supports cohorts of 9th grade students through a rigorous course path focused on college-readiness, the admissions process and onto graduation.  This program, in concert with a devoted faculty and administration, has helped Patapsco become recognized by two national publications as one of America’s top high schools.   This accomplishment is all the more remarkable as the school’s FARMS population rose from 27% to 50% over the last seven years.

In his eighth year of teaching, Mr. McComb remains unflinchingly confident that all children can learn, and that ability is maximized through a relationship with a teacher who believes in, values, and expects great things from all students.  His dedication and rapport with students are hallmarks of his work and the joy of teaching and learning is evident in his classroom.  McComb is also dedicated to integrating technology tools to meet students where they are and to encourage their creativity in his English and AVID classes.  From Twitter and blogging to student created digital magazines and mini-documentaries, McComb’s students use tools that help them become more collaborative learners and critical thinkers.  To meet the demands of their future, Mr. McComb knows that students must be more than knowledgeable, they must be able to apply knowledge creatively; they must be “knowledge-able.”  In addition to teaching, McComb now shares his expertise and supports his colleagues at Patapsco through coaching, training, and mentoring.

During his time in Baltimore County, Mr. McComb has coached indoor track and tennis, become a lead-writer for county English curricula, presented numerous professional development workshops and served as a chaperone for the immersive, two month BCPS China Cultural Exchange Program.  McComb has also been an adjunct faculty member in Towson University’s Department of Education since 2008.

Mr. McComb earned both his bachelor’s degree in English with summa cum laude honors and master’s degree in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh, where he received the 2005 Student Government Board’s Student Leadership Award.  He has also earned a certificate in School Improvement Leadership from Goucher College.  Mr. McComb lives with his wife Sarah, AP Psychology and AVID teacher at Patapsco, in Joppa, MD.  The couple is expecting their first child in March.

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