Alumnus Sean McComb Is Named 2014 National Teacher of the Year

Issue Date: 
May 5, 2014

University of Pittsburgh alumnus Sean McComb has been named the 2014 National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers.

McCombSean McComb, an English teacher at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore County, Md., was recognized by President Barack Obama during a May 1 ceremony at the White House.

The National Teacher of the Year award winner is selected from the pool of those named state teachers of the year, who are chosen on the basis of nominations by students, teachers, principals, and school district administrators. The national honor is given to a teacher who is exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable, and skilled, and who inspires students of all backgrounds and abilities to learn.

At Patapsco, McComb has worked to develop Advancement via Individual Determination (AVID), a mentor-based program that assists students who are academically “in the middle” by equipping them with the habits of mind and academic support needed to take rigorous high school courses to prepare for college. In the AVID program’s last two graduating classes, 98 percent of students were admitted to four-year colleges. McComb also supports his Patapsco colleagues through coaching and training as the school’s staff development teacher.

“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,” said McComb.

McComb (A&S ’05, EDUC ’08G) earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature from Pitt in 2005 and completed the School of Education’s Professional Year Teacher Education program, earning a certificate of advanced study in 2006. He received a master’s degree from the School of Education in 2008.