Congratulations to the CyberPatriot Coach and Mentor of the Year

August 24, 2023

AFA is excited to announce the selection of the CyberPatriot XV Coach of the Year, David Kim, and the Mentor of the Year, George Hughey.

Coach of the Year: David Kim of Troy High School, Fullerton, Calif.

David Kim is the hidden force behind all of Troy Cyber. A guide and mentor for his CyberPatriot students for 10 years, Kim shares his expertise and experience to increase cybersecurity awareness among high schoolers and the Troy High community.

Kim spends countless hours planning practices, handling myriad teenager personalities and conflicts, and getting the very best from his student teachers, high school competitors, and middle school competitors. He goes above and beyond, always looking for ways to be more effective—his plans for CyberPatriot XVI started at midnight after the awards banquet for CyberPatriot XV.

“CyberPatriot is an amazing program that provides opportunities for students to learn and apply their cybersecurity knowledge in real-world scenarios in a fun and competitive environment,” Kim said. “As a coach, it is incredibly rewarding to see the students discover their passion for cybersecurity and watch them develop their skills and teamwork over time. Not only are students preparing themselves for a future career in cybersecurity, but they are also creating lasting connections that extend far beyond the competition itself. With the continued support of our coaches, mentors, and staff, I look forward to guiding these bright minds towards a future filled with possibilities and success.”

Mentor of the Year: George Hughey of Liberty High School, Renton, Wash.

George Hughey was a CyberPatriot Competitor from 2013-2015. Today, his knowledge and effectiveness as a CyberPatriot Mentor have made lessons fun and boosted his team from the silver tier to the platinum-tier, qualifying for the semifinals in less than a year. Hughey’s combination of his own lessons, workshops, games, and more have helped every team meeting become enjoyable and educational.

Hughey formats his content and knowledge in a way that is easy to follow and build upon, leading to exponential growth in knowledge during the competition season. Hughey provides his team with custom CyberPatriot-esque virtual machines, student led-discussions, guest speakers, and even programs he wrote to run his very own in-house attack-defense competition. His unique and diverse methods of mentorship always excite Liberty’s competitors for their next meeting.

Hughey’s students know he’s receptive to questions and always provides effective, concise mentorship. His professional background in STEM makes him an excellent resource for students looking for career and education opportunities in cybersecurity and STEM. He’s always supportive of anyone with interest in the field, and he advises with his own knowledge while always providing words of encouragement.

“CyberPatriot is what kick-started my passion for cybersecurity,” Hughey said. “My CyberPatriot mentor was a huge inspiration to me, and I hope I can provide some small amount of what I felt to the students of Liberty High School’s CyberPatriot team. It has been an honor watching them grow both technically, and in their leadership and communication skills. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store.”