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EU Alumni Perspective: Dave Davis

Name: Dave Davis

Graduation Year: 1982

Major: Journalism Education

Current Position: Broadcast Journalism Teacher, Hillcrest High School (part-time/retired)

City and State: Springfield MO


Tell us about your career and what you do now.

I have been teaching since the fall of 1982. I spent one year at Pleasant View Junior High and have been teaching at Hillcrest High School since the fall of 1983. In 1988 I was fortunate to coach our Hillcrest baseball team to the state championship. I basically got out of the way because we had a lot of talented young men on that team. I coached from 1983-1994. In 1989 I started a broadcast journalism class, and began helping students produce “HTV Magazine,” which continues today. I retired from full-time teaching in 2012 but returned to Hillcrest that fall to continue teaching two broadcast journalism classes. I am still overseeing “HTV Magazine” and our podcast, “Bay 11.” It has been a wonderful experience. I am off every other day, so that has helped me feel sort of retired.

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

I think it was finding a few kindred spirits who loved journalism and enjoyed working on the newspaper together. Also, anytime we beat Southwest Baptist was fun.

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

I attended Evangel in two stints. Three years on a baseball scholarship, then after I took a break, I returned with a plan. I knew I wanted to teach, and to specifically teach journalism. I had considered becoming a journalist, but thanks to Dr. Doug Tarpley, who was a wonderful mentor and adviser, I knew I wanted to teach it. I wanted to try to light a spark in students just like my high school teacher Rich Williams, and later Dr. Tarpley, and then Shirley Shedd did for me at Evangel.

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

I was so prepared. While I had the usual first-year teacher challenges, especially because I was teaching English at the time, I eventually began teaching journalism and found my comfort zone right away. Lessons I learned at Evangel got me ready for that. I heard my college mentors’ words often. The catch of course was that I was teaching broadcast journalism, and we did not have broadcast in college. So, there was a learning curve there. But as I now teach video teachers who attend a workshop I started in the summer of 2000, having a print background gave me a tremendous leg up as I developed the broadcast journalism program. Those nights hammering out stories for the Lance certainly helped me guide and push my high school students later on. The writing component, even in broadcast, is one of the toughest to teach, but it’s crucial to the process.

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

Find your focus. Ask yourself a simple question: What do I want to get up and do every day? Evangel helped me do that. It can help you as well.

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

I would know going in these were candidates with a strong moral compass and a strong faith in God. So, I would ask about is specific experiences they had in college that make them better candidates for the position. I would also look for someone who can interact with people from all walks of life. And fair warning: These days, I would probably look at their social media.