Two UCF alumni were recognized this week by Seminole County Public Schools as Rookie Teachers of the Year for their outstanding contributions as classroom teachers.

Ryan Garrett, a 2011 social science education graduate, and Derek Jensen, a 2010 science education alum, were awarded the middle and high school honors, respectively. Rookie teachers were recommended by their principals and colleagues for their dedication, hard work and goals set for student success.

Garrett is a civics teacher at Jackson Heights Middle School in Oviedo, where he interned prior to completing his studies at UCF. Garrett said outstanding teachers embrace changes in education and evolve their skills to do what’s best for their students.

Jensen is a biology teacher at Crooms Academy of Information Technology in Sanford. Jensen leads his classroom digitally: His class is paperless, and students complete and submit assignments on their laptops, tablets and smart phones.