A Northern Lehigh School District administrator has been tabbed to become Palmerton Area School District's next superintendent.

By a unanimous vote, the school board agreed on Tuesday to approve Scot Engler as acting superintendent, and approve his three-year contract beginning July 1, at the salary of $111,000.

Engler, 42, of Nazareth, currently serves as director of special education at Northern Lehigh, a position he has held since November of 2011. Previously, he had been director of special education in the Southern Lehigh School District starting in 2008. Prior to that, he served as director of student services in Palmerton.

After the vote, board President Tammy Recker welcomed Engler and said he would be "the pilot of the Blue Bombers. I'm sure we will soar."

In turn, Engler thanked the board, community, faculty and staff for his appointment, as well as those who sat in on the hiring process, which he said was very thorough and prepared him for his next challenge.

Under public participation, Christine Greenzweig, president of the Palmerton Area Educational Support Professionals Association, welcomed Engler to the district.

Brad Landis, president of the Palmerton Area Education Association, praised the board's decision to hire Engler.

"We believe the school board has made an excellent choice with Mr. Engler," Landis said. "As a former employee in the district and someone we know, the PAEA looks forward to a 'new beginning' and rekindling a trusting relationship with Mr. Engler."

Landis added "the PAEA believes he is the right person to move the Palmerton Area School District and the community of Palmerton in a positive direction, and are confident that he will unite us in bringing back that small, caring, community-oriented feeling that all of us have been craving for so long.

"In closing, we wish Mr. Engler much success, and congratulate him on his appointment as superintendent of schools," he said. "The association looks forward to working with you in the months and years ahead."

Deb Cook, president of the Football Parents Club, also welcomed Engler, and told him the organization is very thankful to have him as district superintendent.

A meet-and-greet was held after the meeting to introduce Engler to the audience.

Afterward, Engler said he looks forward to the challenge.

"I love Palmerton; I'm thrilled at the opportunity to return," Engler said. "It is a tremendously proud community, and I'm very happy to be a part of it again."

Engler said he's anxious to start July 1.

"They said they're looking for someone who can ignite that spirit again," he said. "That's my goal."

Engler added the scope of his position as director of special education at Northern Lehigh "encompassed everything within a school district."

"There's no aspects I haven't experienced," said Engler, who described himself as a "hands-on person."

"The responsibilities were much farther reaching than special education, and I believe I'm very well prepared."

Engler had nothing but kind words to say about Northern Lehigh.

"Northern Lehigh has been very supportive of this process," he said. "They've been very good to me."

Engler will replace Palmerton's current superintendent, Carol Boyce, whose contract ends on June 30.

In August, the board unanimously agreed to accept a letter from Boyce for nonrenewal of her appointment once her contract expires.

Also at that time, the board, in accordance with the superintendent's contract, unanimously agreed to notify Boyce that her contract would not be renewed.

Both the board, as well as Boyce, have stated that the decision to part ways was "mutual."

Boyce was hired by the district in July of 2008.

Prior to Engler's appointment, the board in November attempted to involve others in the search for a new superintendent through a survey that was available online.

That came after the board in October agreed to approve the services of the Pennsylvania School Board Association for the search, at an amount not to exceed $10,400.

The PSBA with over 20 years of experience to executive searches lead the district through all aspects of the search process, such as a comprehensive advertising campaign; stakeholder surveys and focus groups; and a customized candidate interview process.

The project was facilitated by a team of professionals at the association, with Dr. Britta Barrickman as the lead consultant.