Teachers of the Year
If it takes a village to help raise a child, that village must include great teachers. In honoring an outstanding educator each year, Baltimore County Public Schools celebrates all 8,850 teachers who make a positive difference in the lives of our students.

BCPS Teacher of the Year 2013-2014: Sean McComb

Teacher Honors
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Sean McComb, a seven-year educator who teaches English at Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts, was named Baltimore County's Teacher of the Year on May 6, 2013.

Baltimore County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. S. Dallas Dance named McComb the 2013-2014 Baltimore County Teacher of the Year during an afternoon ceremony at George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson.

"Sean McComb is a dynamic and creative educator who is an inspiration to both his students and his colleagues," Dr. Dance said. "He used his teachers and education to rescue him from a difficult childhood, and now helps his own students to, in his words, 'achieve, awaken and ascend.' We congratulate him and all of our 115 nominated teachers and finalists."  

As Baltimore County's newest Teacher of the Year, McComb becomes the most visible school-based teacher in the county and among the most prominent in Maryland. Representing more than 8,800 educators for the next year, he will compete for the honor of Maryland State Teacher of the Year and appear in dozens of venues to champion teaching and the school system.

In addition to teaching English, McComb has been AVID coordinator at Patapsco since 2007 and an adjunct instructor at Towson University's School of Education since 2009. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with both a bachelor's and master's degree, he has coached tennis and track at Patapsco and was captain of a men's elite Ultimate Frisbee club.

"The nobility of (teaching) remains its allure," McComb wrote in his application for Teacher of the Year. "(It) is a gallant calling. It is also a very personal calling – indeed, it was this call that brought into my life educators who saved me from the alcohol-controlled home of my youth. To meet the call, one must develop a relationship with students and design meaningful learning activities."

The Teacher of the Year receives a variety of awards and gifts from the school system and Baltimore County's business community, including:

  • A $1,000 gift for classroom supplies and technology from the Education Foundation of Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Weekend getaway accommodations at the Crowne Plaza Baltimore Hotel in Timonium
  • A Dell laptop computer from Data Networks
  • A yearlong family membership to Brick Bodies / Lynne Brick's health and fitness centers
  • The opportunity to participate in a national professional development conference of his choice during the next year
  • Tickets to a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert
  • Formal portrait photography from Lifetouch, Inc.
  • A gift bag and tickets to the National Aquarium in Baltimore
  • A gift certificate from the American Visionary Arts Museum
  • A gift certificate from the Manor Tavern
  • A specially-designated parking space at his school
Teacher Honors

BCPS Teacher of the Year Finalists 2013-2014
In addition to McComb, four finalists were honored during the May 6, 2013 Teacher of the Year ceremony. They are:

  • Andrea Bissell, a math teacher at Chesapeake High School in Essex who spends one weekend each month providing students with life experiences outside the classroom as a Girls Empowerment Mission (GEM) program leader;
  • Lynn Detter, a 4th grade teacher at Riderwood Elementary School in Towson who started a second career as a teacher after spending a decade as an accountant;
  • Cara Detwiler, a 4th grade teacher at—and alumna of—Johnnycake Elementary School in Woodlawn who returned to her alma mater to give back to students in the underserved community; and
  • Kay Soonfah-Senior, a Spanish teacher at Cockeysville Middle School in Cockeysville whose English-Chinese descent, coupled with a Caribbean upbringing, helps her bring a unique sense of diversity to her foreign language classes.

"These four finalists are a great representation of the strength of Baltimore County's teaching force," said Dr. Dance. "The experiences they bring to the classroom, their talents as educators, their commitment to being lifelong learners themselves, and their dedication to their students are the qualities we seek and expect in all of our teachers, and their example inspires all of us to the importance of our mission."

For more information on the BCPS and Maryland State Department of Education Teacher of the Year programs, please visit: www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs/recognition-partnerships.

<< For a list of BCPS Teachers of the Year since 1988, please click here >>

The Baltimore County Public Schools Office of Communications is always eager to hear about and promote good news about the system, schools, students, teachers, and staff. Please share achievements and good news by e-mailing communications@bcps.org. Every year, we celebrate BCPS achievements through Board of Education Recognition ceremonies (November, February, and April), Maryland State Department of Education School Achievement Celebration (January/February), Teacher of the Year (May), and the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce Awards for Excellence in Education (May).
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