Each year, the Rotary Club of east Cobb select four members of the east Cobb community — an educator, member of law enforcement, firefighter and member of the military — to honor their motto “Service Above Self.”
The Educator of the Year Award goes to Deputy Superintendent of Cobb Schools Cheryl Hungerford.
After more than 30 years as an educator, most of it in the Cobb system, Hungerford is retiring this year to spend more time with family and friends.
The Firefighter recipient is David Dwyer. Dwyer is a multi-talented member of the Cobb Fire Department.
He is trained and experienced in multiple disciplines including firefighting, EMT/Paramedic, and technical services — one of very few in the department with such diverse capabilities. He spends much of his time now teaching and instructing his colleagues, as well as leading a CFD youth mentoring program.
The Law Enforcement award goes to Detective Richard Goodman. His tireless efforts across several major investigations this past year have interrupted major gang activity not only in the Cobb community, but across the multi-county metropolitan Atlanta area.
The Rotary Club also honored Cpl. John Paul Alvarez. Corporal Alvarez grew up in east Cobb, graduating from Walton High School in 2004. In 2005, he enlisted in the Marines, and after finishing at the top of his class in machine gunner school, he joined the 3rd Battalion 8th Marines and was deployed in March of 2006 to Iraq.
While there, he received an injury in combat. He was awarded two purple hearts and the Navy Commendation Medal with Valor. It has been a long road, physically and mentally, but Alvarez is now in his fourth year at Kennesaw State pursuing a degree in criminal justice.