2012 Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll
Wyandotte High School, 1978
Community leader, hero, role model and athlete are just a few ways to describe Paul Jones. He has had a 26-year career with the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department, working his way up the ranks from firefighter to driver to captain. Today, he serves as battalion chief/fire investigator. For his courage and dedication to the safety of the community, he was named Firefighter of the Year in 1991. He likes helping others and being able to support his community.
Athletics was a big part of Jones’ life growing up. He excelled in track and made the varsity team as a sophomore at Wyandotte High School. His athleticism earned him a scholarship to Cloud County Community College where he continued to flourish in track and qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team. Unfortunately, the U.S. boycotted the games that year, and Jones’ dreams of being an Olympian were crushed. He was disappointed, but knew he could not let this setback define his life. He earned a scholarship to the University of Arkansas (UA) where he continued to run track. He was a member of two indoor and two outdoor NCAA championship teams at UA and qualified for two college world-record relay teams.
After earning his bachelor’s degree in education, he came back to KCK to teach. He thrived on the support he received from so many teachers and coaches while growing up in the district, and he wanted to give that same support to today’s students. Two years later, he began his career with the KCK Fire Department. But through the years, he has continued to serve as a substitute teacher in the KCK Public Schools.
In 2008, he was inducted into the Cloud County Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. He is also a recipient of the Black Men of Distinction Award from the Friends of Yates.