Palmerton Area School District hopes to have a vacant elementary principal position filled by next month.

The district will accept applications for the principal position at Towmansing Elementary until May 21, said Debra Demyanovich, director of human resources.

Demyanovich made the announcement at the school board's Curriculum, Athletics, Personnel and Policy Committee meeting on Tuesday.

The first batch of candidates will be interviewed around May 26, Demyanovich said. The second level of interviews will be held June 2, she said.

Demyanovich said she hopes to have a recommendation to hire a new principal in time for the board's meeting on June 15.

Last month, the board accepted the irrevocable retirement of Principal Gary Bruch, effective Oct. 4, 2010.

Prior to the board's vote, several members of the audience urged them to refrain from a vote on the matter, and, instead, encouraged them to meet with Bruch so that he may potentially reconsider his stance.

But, board President Barry Scherer said at that time that Bruch's retirement letter had two dates on it; Oct. 4, 2010, and June 30, 2011.

Superintendent Carol Boyce said at that time the Oct. 4, 2010 date was in accordance with the district's Act 93 contract, while the June 30, 2011 date was not.

Scherer said the decision to retire was solely made by Bruch, who could have stayed as long as he wanted.

Contacted by the TIMES NEWS the morning after that meeting, Bruch declined to comment.