Many people can relate to Sean McComb's story. Growing up outside of Philadelphia, what began as a comfortable childhood was later torn by strife. Facing chaos and despair at home, he turned to school as his sanctuary and found inspiration in extraordinary teachers. That experience compelled him to go into education, and the calling to build into the lives of students fuels him each day.
During his 10 years at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts in Baltimore County, Marlyand, Sean became an integral member of an outstanding school and community. Sean's English courses are deep dives into the exploration of humanity through literature and building communication skills. He coached tennis and track, and regularly led his students in community service projects. It is his work in building a site of the AVID college-preparatory program that has been's true calling.
AVID targets students in the academic middle who have college dreams and provides them a pathway and a partner to achieve them. It's through this program that AVID students have what every child needs, a champion: an adult in their life who values them, believes in them and expects great things from them until the child can come to expect those things of themselves.
CBS News Profile
With the support and collaboration of his colleagues, AVID at Patapsco has grown to a flagship program that engages students and inspire them to excel. Over the last four graduating classes, 98% of Patapsco’s AVID students received admission to a four year college, as well as earning more merit scholarships than all the other students in their graduating class combined. The AVID program helped buoy the school as the FARMs population (a measure of low-income homes) rose from 27% to 54% over seven years, but with the steadfast efforts of a dedicated faculty and staff, the school was recently heralded as one of the top high schools in America for the first time in it's history.
In an effort to strengthen and improve the teaching profession, Mr. McComb serves as an adjunct faculty member at Towson University and supports pre-service teachers to develop the habits of effective teaching. He also designed a professional learning program in his school that has been so well embraced upon implementation that it has been emulated throughout the state.
Since being announced on May 1 as the 2014 National Teacher of the Year, Sean has been able to share his message of "sparking hope" across the country. His contagious passion, enthusiasm for learning and deep-seeded belief in the power of education has made him a highly-sought speaker and presenter.
Peek Inside Sean's Classroom:
Click the image below to view a lesson on analyzing and adapting a rigorous text, filmed by The Teaching Channel in one of Sean's classes.