Obama honors 2014 National Teacher of the Year
May 1st, 2014
05:16 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama honors 2014 National Teacher of the Year

Washington (CNN) – President Obama honored a Maryland high school English teacher Thursday at this year’s National Teacher of the Year ceremony at the White House.

Sean McComb, 30, teaches at the Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts in Baltimore. He said he chose the teaching profession because of the influence of one of his high school teachers.

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“I became a teacher because I had incredible teachers who were able to shine a light of hope and possibility into a dark time in my life. Teaching is my calling to do that for others and an opportunity to spend my career living purposefully,” McComb said.

The ceremony, held in the East Room of the White House, honored top teachers from each of the 50 states and U.S. territories.

“What connects them is how they challenge their kids to reach their full potential; the creativity and passion that they bring to their work, instead of just going through the motions or teaching to the test. What separates them is the lasting impact that they have on their students’ lives,” Obama said.

McComb, who works with a college-readiness program called Advancement Via Individual Determination, or AVID, targets students who need extra motivation to reach their full potential. In his program, the last two graduating classes have had a 98% college acceptance rate.

The President, who has long said that investing in education is a key element in the country getting ahead in the global economy, said that being a teacher is a 24/7 job and one of the most important professions.

“Some people they meet write messages of love and support. Some leave messages of negativity and doubt. It's a teachers job to erase the negative messages and fill those boards with caring words and inspire confidence and straighten values,” the President said. “Some of today's students may not even know what a chalkboard is anymore but they do know what a teacher gives them stays with them for a lifetime because teachers matter.”

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Sniffit

    Something something liberal indoctrination something grumble grumble.

    May 1, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Silence DoGood

    I am happy to see that our President honors teachers. I have always felt education is a progressive value so this makes me happy.

    May 1, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  3. yolanda

    Congratulations. We need to refocus on our desperate need for better education and educators throughout the country.

    May 1, 2014 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. CryBabies

    Congrats Sean McComb....well deserved. Now Mr. President, if you are sincere about "investing in education", truly sincere, then step up and support charter schools. Forget about upsetting the Teachers Union and invest in the kids......all of the kids.

    May 1, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    -this nation needs Education–not looted by war veterans that are earring for free, charging 300o/ monthly for just going to Iraq, which is a needless war, did they bring Oil? No, did they win? No. Focus on RAISING MINIMUM WAGE TO 12/ hourly. Focus on infrastructure, tighten IMMIGRATION TOO. YES, HILLARY16.

    May 1, 2014 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  6. 2_indy1600

    Obama giving credit where credit is due: his rhetoric is appealing.

    May 1, 2014 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  7. Rusty Krus

    Congratulations. We need to refocus on our desperate need for better education and educators throughout the country.

    Really? Your party, the Republicans stick it to teachers every chance they get. Christie and Walker come to mind.

    May 1, 2014 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  8. Nameas nicka

    Education the key for succes.Congratulations to all the teachers who make the difference in students life!

    May 2, 2014 07:07 am at 7:07 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Being the mother of an educator I extend my congratulations to this young man,and I applaud our President's innovative efforts to focus attention on the importance of a good education and improving our education system in order to enable our children to compete globally.

    May 2, 2014 07:34 am at 7:34 am |