A Northampton Area School District administrator will eventually take over the reigns at Towamensing Elementary.

Palmerton Area School Board on a 5-0 vote Tuesday appointed Christine Steigerwalt as principal of the school.

Directors Carl Bieling, Susan Debski, Stuart Henritzy, Clarence Myers and board President Barry Scherer approved the appointment. Directors Carol Dwyer, Darlene Yeakel, Michael Ballard and Tina Snyder were absent.

Steigerwalt, who resides in Northampton, was hired at a salary of $76,000 a year, prorated, effective at a date to be determined.

She will replace current Towamensing Principal Gary Bruch. In April, the board accepted the irrevocable retirement of Bruch, effective Oct. 4.

Chosen from a pool of 25 candidates, Steigerwalt has a master's degree from East Stroudsburg University, bachelor's degree from Slippery Rock University, and principal certification from Penn State.

With more than 22 years of experience as a teacher, head teacher, assistant to the principal, and assistant principal, Steigerwalt said Adequate Yearly Progress is at the top of her to do list.

"I need to learn what's already here, and slowly implement new initiatives," Steigerwalt said. "It's a new challenge, and I'm excited for the opportunity."

Also on Tuesday, the board approved a new four-year contract for business administrator Lisa Vignone.

As per the terms of the contract, Vignone will receive a 2.75-percent salary increase in 2010-11, 3-percent in 2011-12, 3.25-percent in 2012-13, and 3.5-percent in 2013-14.

Finally, the board, on a 3-2 vote, approved the transfer of Kimberly Ottinger to the position of confidential secretary to the director of human resources.

Scherer, Henritzy and Myers voted in favor of the move. Bieling and Debski were opposed.

In a related matter, the board, on a 3-2 vote, approved Ottinger's contract.

Scherer, Henritzy and Myers were in favor, with Bieling and Debski opposed.