MORTON — Shad Beaty is the new president of the Morton School Board.

What's perhaps bigger news is Tom Neeley is not the board president.

Neeley has been on the board for 30 years and served 11 terms as president, covering three decades: 1993-94, 1995-96, 2000-01, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Neeley didn't run for board president in 2019-2020 for a few reasons. He said he's recovering from surgery and there's lots on his plate in his role as vice president of the Illinois Association of School Boards.

"I have a busy year ahead as I recover and take on more responsibility with the IASB," Neeley said. "We have lots of talent on our board and we work well together for the good of our school district. Shad (Beaty) will do a good job. I'm happy he's willing to serve as president."

Serving the Morton School District is what Neeley has done since 1989. Beaty made note of that earlier this month during one of his first meetings as board president.

"If my math is correct, the rest of us on the board have a combined 14 years of board experience compared to Tom's 30 years," Beaty said.

Jeff Schmidgall was elected board vice president and Kevin Austin was elected board secretary.

Beaty, Schmidgall and Austin each was the lone person nominated for his position and was elected unanimously by fellow board members.

Morton High School will have a new principal July 1. Deidre Ripka has been promoted from assistant principal/dean of students and will replace Michael Gourley, who is leaving the high school after two years to become principal at Morris High School.

Sipka will be getting a raise. Her salary is $76,568 this school year. She'll make $110,000 next school year as principal.

Gourley's salary will remain the same next school year. He's earning $114,000 this school year and will make the same amount at Morris.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or stevestein21@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve.