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Pinellas County Math Teacher Finalist For Teacher Of The Year

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A math teacher from a Pinellas County middle school is among five finalists vying to be Florida's next Teacher of the Year.

Vanessa Ko teaches at Palm Harbor Middle School.

The winner will be announced Thursday during an annual award gala at Universal Studios Orlando.

The other finalists are Katelyn Fiori from Vero Beach Elementary School; mathematics teacher Tammy Jerkins from Leesburg High School; exceptional education teacher Diego Fuentes from Hillcrest School in Marion County; and Michael Miller from Kissimmee Elementary School.

The Teacher of the Year winner will receive $25,000 from the Florida Department of Education and Macy's, as well as an all-expense-paid trip for four to New York City to attend the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Macy's also is providing the winner with a $1,000 clothing allowance.

Each finalist's school also will receive $1,000 from Macy's.

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