Sean's Open Road
Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts
I saw my door of opportunity closing, but a teacher put his hand out and held it open for me. So to know that I could spend my life doing that for other kids became my highest calling.
- Awarded "National Teacher of the Year" in 2014; at age 30, he was one of the youngest winners ever.
- Grew up with an alcoholic mother; says his home life started to affect his self-esteem, his desire to learn.
- In eleventh grade, he had an AP English teacher who was "on fire for literature," made him want to start excelling again.
- Suddenly, Sean was staying up late, working his hardest to impress this teacher; says that by making him feel valued, his teacher turned his life around.
- Found he had a "gnawing discontent" with the lack of opportunities afforded to students; decided he could be the person to change that.
- Saw kids who had a ton of potential and just needed someone to push them, so he became that person.
- Says the teachers who left an impression on him were unique and authentic, so he puts forth an effort to be honest and open in the classroom.
- Believes you need to find something that makes you come alive, or find something that bothers you and work to change it.