By Logan Riddles, Lauren Garvin, and David Roberts (VHS Journalism Class)
January 13--Former Vidalia High School student James Davis (1999) has recently been named as the Communications Director of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Prior to accepting his new position, Mr. Davis worked for a corporate public relations firm in Washington, D.C. When asked about his job description, Mr. Davis stated that his job was to make sure he builds a team to dominate the media in August for the Republican National Convention. His team is supposed to give the candidate a platform to help nominate our next President.
When asked about his earlier jobs and experiences, Mr. Davis shared that he started in the Pentagon after meeting someone while waiting tables in Milledgeville. It was an elderly gentleman and his wife, and they asked Mr. Davis some questions. He told them that he was working on a research paper, and they asked him to send them a copy. This man turned out to be the assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs. Mr. Davis went on to work in the Public Affairs office for Secretary Rumsfeld. After Rumsfeld’s departure, Mr. Davis continued working for Secretary Gates. Davis managed a great deal of communications going on in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time. After leaving the Pentagon, he handled the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
We also asked Mr. Davis about his educational background. He was a VHS graduate of the class of 1999. He left Vidalia and went to MacMurray College in Illinois on a partial wrestling scholarship. Later, he transferred closer to home to Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville and got an undergraduate degree in history and began his master’s in public administration.
We also asked Mr. Davis how VHS influenced his life. He said he had great mentors, including Chet Proctor (who was his teacher as well as wrestling coach) and other administrators. He was also on the golf team for Denis Watkins. Davis said he learned to organize and express his thoughts under VHS English teacher Mrs. Betty Seabolt (now Mrs. Betty Fulton) and that the bulk of his workload requires a great deal of writing. Mr. Davis said, “I really want to give Chet Proctor, Coach Proctor, a lot of credit. My father was not at home, but Coach Proctor kind of filled the void for myself as well as many other athletes on the wrestling team. He taught me that I could always dig down a little deeper and pull out a little more.” We asked Coach Proctor about Davis, and he spoke of how everyone should be proud of him. He stated, “If you find something you’re passionate about, you’re going to be successful and fortunately James has accomplished that”.