Prof. named Teacher of the Year
When Sean McComb heard his name announced, he made his way to the stage to accept his award from Gov. Martin O’ Malley as the teacher of the year.
“Thank you all so very much,” McComb said. “I am so proud, honored and profoundly grateful to represent you over the next school year. I am honored to have worked alongside such an amazing group of educators and humbly served such a deserving community.”
McComb, a professor at Towson University, beat 24 other finalists from each county in the state.
McComb, 30, began teaching at 22 years old after graduating in 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in English. His love of teaching stemmed from the kindness that his middle school and high school teachers showed him during the most difficult time in his life, he explained.
“I had an English teacher named Mr. Schurtz in 11th grade that was phenomenal,” McComb said. “He just opened the world of literature up to me as a way to escape the challenges of my home life and showed me I had a voice and could contribute something to the world through writing.”
McComb was very open about his difficulty growing up with his alcoholic and verbally abusive mother after his parents divorced when he was in second grade.
“[It] gave me anxiety and an inability to concentrate in school,” McComb said.
While McComb had a difficult childhood, he said he has not let it hold him back. He made it his mission to be as supportive to his students as his teachers were to him, giving the $10,000 he won to an educational program of his choice. McComb said he wanted to help students that are the bottom of the student body, in order to give them a better chance to succeed that is usually only offered to honors students.
“I would like to have a program that could give them specific job skills that could help give them a better shot at landing a job after graduating,” McComb said.
While McComb said he is now planning this endeavor, his work at Towson University remains his top priority at the moment.
“What I really pride myself on is building relationships with students,” he said.
As McComb’s acceptance speech came to a close he acknowledged the opportunities that came with receiving the high honor and how it could not only affect his life, but also the lives of his future students.
“In our efforts to make the dreams of our students come true, I now have an opportunity beyond my wildest dreams,” McComb said.