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Md. 'Teacher Of The Year' Funnels $10,000 Prize Back Into The Classroom

DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) -- The big payoff for Maryland's "Teacher of the Year." A Patapsco High teacher receives a check from McDonald's restaurant for winning the coveted title.

As Gigi Barnett explains, the cash is going back into the classroom.

The robotics program at Patapsco High School is $10,000 richer this week. It was money given to the Baltimore County and Maryland "Teacher of the Year" Sean McComb.

He teaches college prep courses at the school, but decided to give his reward money away.

"I saw them absolutely light up with this program. They didn't have this practice field that we see behind us, this is something that the money is going toward. They only had one robot at the time. So now, they can truly practice the competition," McComb said.

Judges selected McComb from a slew of qualified teachers. He instructs a college readiness course that puts some of the school's disadvantaged students on track to a university.

"This program has been very successful in taking some of the students from this community who might not otherwise go to college and it gets them there with overwhelming success," said Craig Reed, Patapsco High principal.

McComb says he may never know why the judges picked his application, but since then, he's visited the White House. And now there's dollars from McDonald's restaurant.

"The money should be the students. It should be to pay back and give to the students so they can grow programs and they can have richer experiences at school," McComb said.

"I would probably go to Hawaii," said Patapsco High student Miguel Nazario.

He would have spent the money elsewhere, but he's not surprised that his teacher is giving the cash away.

"He's really selfless in his work and he really shows that," said Nazario.

If winning the Baltimore County and the Maryland "Teacher of the Year" awards is not enough, McComb has also been selected as one of the four national "Teacher of the Year" finalists. The White House will announce the winner next month.

McComb is in the national competition with other "Teachers of the Year" from Florida, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

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