New superintendent sets goals

Dr. Charles A. Prijatelj preparing to be interviewed by a group of curious students

Dr. Charles A. Prijatelj preparing to be interviewed by a group of curious students

The title “superintendent” might sound intimidating to some students since it is the highest position in a school district. What people should know about Dr. Charles A. Prijatelj; however, is that he is a former educator and band director who cares about making a difference in the lives of the students and community.

“Coming to Altoona is an excellent opportunity to make an impact on students; the school district also has a good heritage, so I felt that through the interview process I would be a strong fit,” Prijatelj said.

Prior to accepting a position at Altoona, Prijatelj served in education for 34 years. He earned his principal’s certificate from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his bachelor’s degree from Duquesne. His also directed the Mars marching band for 21 years.

“My most memorable teaching moment was when my band program made it to the semifinals during Nationals in 1999, and we placed fourth in the country,” he said.

Prijatelj decided to become a superintendent because of his passion for improving educational systems.

“I like the challenge of building strong programs and positively impacting the lives of children,” Prijatelj said.

Prijatelj specifically plans to focus on English, math and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

“I plan on taking a good, strong look at the curriculum and improving students’ reading and writing skills,” he said. “Also, I plan on improving math, but not just improving addition and subtraction, but applying them into the real world with the building project.”

He plans to develop STEM by building an incubator and to improve computer programs with graphic design.
Overall, Prijatelj’s main aim is to enhance students’ 21st Century learning experiences. He says he plans to “make students’ dreams come true.”