Palmerton Area School District has received widespread interest in its quest to fill an elementary school principal position.

The district received 16 applications to fill the Towamensing Elementary principal position on Friday, said Debra Demyanovich, director of human resources.

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

She 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.

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.

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