LEE -- A search is underway for a new principal at Lee Middle and High School.

Lee Public Schools interim Superintendent Alfred Skocki said the search committee he recently appointed will meet for the first time today to start reviewing the 11 applications -- some from Berkshire County -- for the position being vacated by Joseph Turmel.

As superintendent, Skrocki is charged with hiring Turmel's replacement, a decision he hopes to make, with plenty of guidance from the committee, by July 1.

"Usually administrative searches begin in April, but we have 11 applicants so we're off to a good start," he said.

Turmel currently earns a $92,000 annual salary, but Skrocki noted that will be negotiable with new principal.

Turmel submitted his resignation April 28 and it was accepted by the Lee School Committee, May 20. The West Springfield resident resigned effective June 30 to become principal at the Southwick-Tolland-Granvile Regional High School. The husband and father of five children says it's an opportunity to work closer to home, but will miss Lee Middle and High School where he held his first educational administrative position. Turmel was originally hired as vice principal of the grade 7 through 12 secondary school in 2006 by former principal Kerry Burke, who her replaced in 2012.

"I very much enjoyed my time here," he said. "I had very good mentors in [Jason "Jake" McCandless] and Kerry Burke."

Turmel previously taught at St. Mary's High School in Westfield, before coming to Lee. The educator says he looks forward to the new challenge as Southwick-Tolland-Granville Regional High School is currently undergoing a renovation/expansion project expected to be completed in January.

To reach Dick Lindsay:

rlindsay@berkshireeagle.com,

or (413) 496-6233