CANTON — The Cherokee County Educational Foundation presented its annual Alumni of the Year awards and honored other educators at the annual “Celebration of Education” Gala on Saturday.

Two Cherokee County residents were recognized as Alumni of the Year, Dr. Angela Falany of Falany & Hulse Women’s Center and Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood. Both spoke with pride of being products of the county and Cherokee County School District as they accepted their awards from former Cherokee Tribune Managing Editor Rebecca Johnston and CCSD Chief of Staff Mike McGowan.

The foundation, which supports Cherokee County School District, raised more than $100,000 at the gala through a silent auction, games and hundreds of ticket sales. Proceeds will go toward grants for schools, teachers and staff as well as specific district initiatives. The black-tie event also featured performances from each of the district’s six traditional high schools in the “CCSD’s Got Talent” student talent show and student speakers who shared their experiences in CCSD schools.

Falany, a Cherokee High School and Reinhardt College graduate, received an associates degree and continued her education at Wesleyan College and then onto Mercer University to obtain her medical degree. She completed a Clinical Faculty Internship at Mercer University and an OB/GYN Resident Education Program at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. In 1997, Falany and her husband Dr. Mike Hulse opened a private practice in Fort Payne Alabama. Falany returned to Canton in 1999 and joined Cherokee Women’s OB/GYN until 2004. Falany and her husband opened Falany and Hulse Women’s Center in Ellijay in 2004. About five years ago, Northside Hospital acquired the practice and renamed it North Georgia OBGYN Specialists. The practice currently has offices in Woodstock, Ellijay and Blue Ridge. Falany has served on several committees during her career, such as, chairwoman for the Perinatal Committee at Northside Hospital Cherokee, chairwoman for the OB Department at Northside Hospital Cherokee and secretary/treasurer/vice chairwoman for the Medical Executive Committee at Northside Hospital Cherokee. Falany is a member of the American Medical Association, Society of Laparoscopic Surgeons, Medical Association of Georgia and Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Falany has delivered thousands of babies and performed countless surgeries in Cherokee County.

Falany and her husband have one son and two daughters. They live in Waleska and attend Canton First United Methodist Church where they are heavily involved. Falany enjoys spending time on her farm with her family and her animals. Falany has a passion for helping women through their pregnancies and deliveries as well as their overall health.

Hobgood, a lifelong Cherokee County resident, attended Cherokee High School and Reinhardt College, and went on to graduate from West Georgia College. After college, he returned to teach biology and chemistry at Cherokee High School, as well as evening programs at Kennesaw State and Reinhardt.

The mayor, who retires at the end of the year, entered politics at a young age serving eight years as tax commissioner. In the 1980s Hobgood served eight years as the sole county commissioner. During his time in office, he oversaw the approvals of the sprawling Towne Lake and BridgeMill developments, and the landscape of Cherokee County began its transition from a rural community to a growing suburb. In his 12 years as mayor, some of the projects he has influenced in Canton include the construction of Etowah River Park, connecting trails along the Etowah River to existing parks, partnering with the Cherokee County School District to preserve the Canton Grammar School and Canton Textile Mill Office while providing land for a new District Administrative Complex, purchase and move of City Hall to the former Canton High School, restoration of the Jones Building, consolidation of fire services with Cherokee County, construction of playgrounds and recreational amenities, providing the lowest tax rate in Cherokee County, and reducing debt by over 50 percent.

Hobgood has been a little league baseball coach, was a charter member of the Canton Optimist Club, served as PTA president, graduated Leadership Georgia, serves on the Atlanta Regional Commission, and is member of the Cherokee County Development Authority Board. Gene and Elly Hobgood have two children and five grandchildren.

Shannon is a reporter covering education, city governments, crime, features, religion and other local news. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and currently lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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