Wichita East High School’s new athletic coordinator, Fredrick “Jay” Crayton, II, has been named an Excellence in Public Service Award recipient. The award, now in its 33rd year, celebrates workers from the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County, and Wichita Public Schools who demonstrate high service levels on the job and through volunteer work.
Crayton, 36, was caught off guard in the East High gymnasium when representatives from USD 259 presented him with the $2,500 award check.
“I submitted my application in March, April, and that was like the last I heard of it, so I had no clue; I thought someone else got it. So, you know, the day I got the award, I was in complete shock. It feels good to get recognition,” said Crayton.
Crayton, a Wichita native, credits his family with giving him the passion for working in the community and the desire to be selfless. He is known for being someone who will stop what he is doing to help someone in need.
“I’ve seen my grandparents, my uncle’s and aunts, especially my mom, dad, be givers of not only themselves but resources, and so they just always inspire me to give back, you know, whether it be time or the resources just always lend a helping hand,” said Crayton.
Crayton has been a teacher at Wichita Public Schools for 14 years. He was Gordon Parks Academy’s athletics coordinator, head track and field coach, and PE coach until accepting the position at East High in April.
By taking this position, Crayton became the first black full-time athletic director in USD 259 history.
During his time at Parks Academy, He created an athlete of the month program which celebrated student success both on the field and in the classroom and secured funding to get new uniforms for the boys and girls basketball teams.
“I love helping kids and being around sports, and I love the gym. The gym is like a second home to me, man; I find peace in it, you know, I call it organized chaos,” said Crayton. “To come from a small middle school and be blessed with the opportunity to be at one of the largest high schools in Kansas is surreal.”
As a former athlete, Crayton provides personal experience to the Blue Aces staff. He achieved All-City basketball honors his senior year and attended Cowley College in Ark City on a basketball scholarship, where he pursued a degree in education.
Crayton holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Wichita State and interned with the Shocker’s Athletic Department in their Athletic Scholarship Organization/Development Department. Crayton calls himself a “Die-Hard Shocker Fan.”
Crayton is an active member of the Greater Pentecostal Church of God in Christ; whereas youth pastor, he’s helped coordinate book bag drives, toy drives, and meal drives for the homeless.
Although he is adjusting to his new role at East High, Crayton has a goal of becoming an athletics director for an HBCU in hopes of one day being involved in professional sports.