Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2016 Classroom Teacher Ambassador Fellow
English Teacher, Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts
Bio/Overview: Sean McComb teaches students English at Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore, MD, where he has spent his entire 10-year teaching career. Turning to school for support as a student, young McComb found refuge and inspiration in his extraordinary teachers. During his time at Patapsco, McComb has coached track and tennis, chaperoned students to China, and developed and coordinated their site of the AVID College-readiness program, which has supported over 98% of students to admission to four-year colleges for the last 5 years. Now a successful and sought-after speaker, McComb has worked with and presented to education stakeholder groups at all levels and across four continents. McComb has given back to the teaching profession as an adjunct instructor at Towson University and publicly opening his classroom practice as Teacher Laureate at Teaching Channel. McComb is a husband and father, an Ultimate Frisbee enthusiast, a long-suffering Philadelphia sports fan, and the 2014 Maryland and National Teacher of the Year.
Educational Values/Philosophy: McComb’s personal motto as an educator is “kids before content, and love before all” which has been reinforced by his experiences as a learner and teacher and push him to constantly improve his practice. “Love before all” speaks to the preeminent importance of relationships and a safe and supportive environment in the classroom to support learning and academic risk-taking. Putting “kids before content” speaks to the effort to make instruction responsive to the demonstrated needs of students as well as personalized to their interests and identities, while moving students to mastery of standards. McComb not only publicly models this philosophy through his work with Teaching Channel, he serves in a hybrid role in Baltimore County Public Schools to support the system’s transformation of teaching and learning in this direction as well. McComb believes public education serves at the nexus of American principles of individual opportunity and collective responsibility. As we collectively support children through our schools, opportunities become possible for all. The effort to educate all children to high levels is the most noble and powerful undertaking of American society and deserves commensurate support, respect, and value.
Achievements: Sean McComb is the 2014 National Teacher of the Year and Maryland State Teacher of the Year. He has been named to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Maryland State Department of Education Teacher Leadership Council. McComb has received the James D. Mosmon Award from the National Council on Teacher Retirement, the Capital One Community Champion Award, and the Student Leadership Award during his time as a student at the University of Pittsburgh. He was also one of the team of three teachers to launch the #LoveTeaching campaign in February to celebrate the positives of the profession.
Leadership Experience: In addition to his work in the classroom, where teachers lead every day, McComb serves as a Resource Teacher in Organizational Development for BCPS. In this role he facilitates professional learning for the system’s instructional coaches and administrators, as well designing and leading summer workshops on instruction for teachers. During his time as an AVID Coordinator, McComb lead the operations of the 12-person Site Team to implement the college-readiness program. As a member of Patapsco’s Instructional Leadership Team and an Instructional Coach, McComb coached teachers, led the ILT through training in teacher evaluation, and designed and implemented a personalized professional learning system for teachers. For five years, McComb composed AVID and English curriculum, as well as serving as a Chinese Cultural Exchange Chaperon for an eight-week residential program in China with twenty-seven students. As a teacher ambassador and speaker, McComb has been a general session speaker at the annual forums of the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National Education Association, the Education Commission of the States, and the National School Boards Association. He has delivered over one hundred keynote presentations across the world. McComb is a Teacher Laureate at the Teaching Channel and an active instructional blogger in the large online community of educators. He has been a member of numerous small group sessions with policy-makers such as the White House Listening Session with State Teachers of the Year, the National Teacher of the Year Finalists Panel with former Secretary Duncan, and committee work with the Maryland State Department of Education on the distribution of high-quality teachers.
Affiliations: National Network of State Teachers of the Year, National Council of Teachers of English, Learning Forward, Maryland Education Coalition, Maryland Parent Teachers Association, Maryland Writing Project, Teachers Association for Baltimore County, Maryland State Education Association.
Education: Sean McComb graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of the Arts in English Literature and a Masters of Education in English Education from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a Certificate in School Improvement Leadership from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.
Areas of Interest:
- Educational Equity
- Student-centered Learning
- Teacher Leadership and Effectiveness
- Educational Technology
- Community and School Partnerships