Two UCF education graduates were recognized last week for their work in Brevard County at the Applauding Brevard’s Champions Awards Gala in Melbourne.

Matthew Yount, who earned both his bachelor’s in exceptional student education and master’s in elementary education from UCF, was named Brevard Public Schools Teacher of the Year. Yount, a fifth- and sixth-grade math teacher at Atlantis Elementary in Port St. John, has been teaching in Brevard for six years. County administrators say Yount is “an inspiration to students, parents, colleagues, and administrators alike.”

Joseph Loffek, who earned his bachelor’s in elementary education in 1990, was declared the 2013 Principal of the Year. Loffek, who is in his fifth year serving as principal at Gemini Elementary in Melbourne Beach, previously served as principal for 10 years at Port Malabar Elementary in Palm Bay. In 1988, Loffek coached youth baseball, which motivated him to return to school and pursue a teaching degree at UCF.

“The Brevard Schools Foundation has created a truly gala event to recognize and appreciate champions in our schools and in our community who give so much for the children we serve,” said Superintendent Brian Binggeli. “We are so proud of the staff, teachers, administrators, volunteers and organizations honored during this program, and we thank them for their exemplary service.”