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Patapsco High Teacher Named National Teacher Of The Year

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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A tremendous honor. The 64th National Teacher of the Year was announced Wednesday, and he is from Baltimore County.

Denise Koch reports Sean McComb teaches at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts.

He’s only 30 years old, yet in his eight years of teaching, he’s become a model for what works in America’s schools.

McComb was one of four finalists for becoming the nation’s top teacher after being named Maryland’s Teacher of the Year last October and Baltimore County’s Teacher of the Year last May.

“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,” McComb said in a news release. “But personally, this is an incredible validation for each time I made a choice to do a little more for a student.”

McComb will say he was not a great student but he is a great teacher. His entire career has been at Patapsco, where he developed the AVID program, getting kids ready for college–and that’s where 98 percent of them end up.

“I’ll never forget what he’s done for me and my life,” said Austin Brauer.

McComb says he had a tough childhood but two particular teachers cared for him, turned him around and shaped his teaching philosophy.

“Kids before content; love before all,” he said. “I teach students. I don’t teach English; I teach students English.”

And his students feel that love, particularly Brandy Batty who, pregnant at 16 and kicked out of her house, was ready to drop out of school.

“He’s like a hero because without him, I wouldn’t be sitting here today,” she said.

And where’s Batty headed now?

“I’ve been accepted to Coppin State University,” she said.

“I’ve had him cry with me before,” said Cierra Frasier. “He’s such an amazing teacher.”

Frasier is headed to Towson with a full scholarship.

McComb is the child of two educators and is also married to a teacher.

He was in Washington Wednesday, with the other Teachers of the Year. His selection was announced during a “CBS This Morning” segment.

McComb, a Joppa resident, is the third Maryland teacher to be named National Teacher of the Year in the past eight years.  He is the first in Baltimore County history. He will be honored by President Barack Obama Thursday in the Rose Garden.

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

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