CUW alumnus Jason Crayton enjoys time with students during an after-school art club.CUW alumnus Jason Crayton enjoys time with students during an after-school art club.

Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the fall 2016 issue of Concordian, the official magazine of Concordia University Wisconsin. View a PDF version of the magazine here.

Q: What is your fondest memory of CUW as a student?

A: I was an RA at Concordia for three years and loved it! I felt like I had a major influence on the culture and community within my hall. I still talk to residents of mine from Wittenberg and Coburg. My art classes are also fond memories. The classes were smaller, so I could easily connect with my peers and professors, and feed off of their energy in class.

Q: How did CUW equip you for your current vocation?

A: CUW taught me skills within the art curriculum that I now teach to my students, such as artistic approaches and techniques, or working with different mediums. But much more than that, CUW instilled in me a Christian worldview that I apply daily to my teaching. I want my students to have a solid foundation of faith that they can build on when they go to college. Hopefully that is to my alma mater, CUW! At Concordia, the relationship I had with professors allowed me to be a better artist because of their intentional feedback. I try to be a relational teacher like that, too. I started an art club after school, where students can make art and do things without the pressure of being graded. It gives me an opportunity to connect with them outside of class.

Q: Why did you want to become a Lutheran high school teacher?

A: Well, I was once a student here at Milwaukee Lutheran High School. I remember from experience that high school is a formative time, so having a focus on helping students grow in their faith and build a relationship with Christ is the most meaningful part of being a Lutheran high school teacher. Teaching is also a way to honor my brother. He was a student at Milwaukee Lutheran when he passed away, and he always wanted to be a teacher. Now I have been called to teach here. It’s really cool how God works.

Q: What inspires you most as you go into work each day?

A: Each of my students has different talents and gifts. They create art in new ways that allows them (and me) to see God’s creation from a unique perspective. Art is cool because God works through his creation, the students, to create more beautiful things. I hope that some of them are inspired to continue studying art at Concordia, like I did, and continue to glorify God through the art they create.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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