New face of leadership

Jayden Burnside, Editor

After both the superintendent and assistant superintendent left the district in December 2021, Central York began its search for new guidance from the community. The role was quickly snatched up by Dr. Peter Aiken, who is thrilled to now be working with Central.

Aiken started his career as a sixth-grade reading teacher in Virginia Beach (despite working there full time, he only visited the beach three times total). Aiken loved to inspire adults and children alike. He also enjoys conversation and public speaking which helped him earn the job as a teacher.

“My older brother and I challenge each other to have a seven-minute conversation with people we meet. It helps build many speaking skills,” said Aiken.

Aiken later returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh to become a high school English teacher. Shortly after, he became a part of the administration team in a few different counties including Lancaster, Berks and Manheim before deciding on moving to Central York after hearing of a recent opening.

“I had plenty of opportunities to leave my position, but I knew I would only leave for Central,” said Aiken.




Dr. Peter Aiken, Central York’s newest superintendent is thrilled to finally be working and achieving goals within the district. Photo by the York Daily Record.

For Aiken, the key is connecting. By connecting students with teachers and vice versa, there can be more communication, leading to a better experience for everyone. Motivating teachers is a big part of that as when the teacher is motivated, students will be motivated too.

“I think, ‘how can we be bridgebuilders?’ A strong connection from school to home is most important. I want students to be wildly excited about going to school, and that excitement begins with the bridge between teachers and students,” said Aiken.

According to Aiken, Central is the perfect place for “bridgebuilding”. The atmosphere of Central promotes connection and is a healthy environment for all involved.

“Look at the team we have; it’s a really strong one. They are very supportive and open to new ideas,” Aiken said.

In the past five months, he has worked hard to achieve this goal of connecting students and teachers. Every Tuesday and Thursday, Aiken spends the majority of his day visiting the different schools within the district. In doing this, he can be updated on what is going on in each building, as well as get to know each and every student. 

“I pride myself in being an approachable person for students to talk to,” Aiken said.

To connect even further, Aiken also tries to attend as many events as possible. With this, he can cheer on and interact with students in a more casual and relaxed setting, while still showing his appreciation for what they do. Events he attends can range anywhere from a high school football game to an elementary band concert.

Outside of administration, Aiken spends most of his time with his wife and three children, and at home can be found deep in reading a good book or in the kitchen. He also is an early riser, waking up in the morning hours to run each and every day. As a family, they enjoy traveling. Getting to experience different cities and cultures, as well as grand landscapes, is a worthwhile activity for them. Trying new things is a staple in his family, and traveling allows them to achieve that.

“We live in such a great and vast world. I’d love to explore it all if I could, said Aiken.

Central York is Aiken’s sixth district he has worked for, and he is proud to be here. Ever since moving back to Pennsylvania, Aiken knew that his dream job would be at Central York. Being able to work with a large district from the administrative standpoint is everything he ever wanted. 

“There is a unique pride in Central. The people are very committed to giving a good experience,” said Aiken.

Overall, Aiken is a welcome addition to the Central York community. He has already influenced many staff and students alike in the short five months he has led the district.