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Winning teachers go to Belgium

The annual Teacher of the Year award in Pinellas County will expand this year, offering the 10 finalists all-expense trips to Brussels, Belgium.

Previously, the Teacher of the Year received $2,000 and a computer. The other finalists received $1,000. The winner still will receive a computer.

Finalists are announced in December, and the winner in February.

Don Pemberton, president of the coordinating Pinellas County Education Foundation, said the finalists will participate in a "study tour" of Brussels under the guidance of the University of South Florida.

The participants will receive college credit. Pemberton said sponsors will cover the $35,000 cost. CIGNA has donated $25,000 for the project.

"We're showing our teachers that we're committed to them and we care about them," Pemberton said.