Nick Nicholas will serve until special election is held in November.

A familiar face officially returned to the Crookston School Board this week, as former longtime board member and onetime board chair Nick Nicholas was sworn in to serve for the next five months or so.

Nicholas was asked several weeks ago by Board Chair Frank Fee to step into the board seat vacated by board member Kari Miller, who resigned because her family is moving to Grand Forks. Nicholas agreed to do so, with the understanding that he would not run in a special election that will be held in November to determine who will fill Miller's seat for another year, until her term is set to expire in November 2020. Nicholas didn't want to fill a role beyond temporary in nature, and Superintendent Jeremy Olson didn't want anyone to be appointed now that planned to run in November because it might give that person an unfair advantage on any other board candidates that might run in the special election.

Fee had said previously that one of the main reasons he reached out to Nicholas was that he wouldn't need to spend much of the next five months getting trained in and up to speed on how the school board works, like an appointee entirely new to the board would. "We thank Nick for pitching in and helping the school district with his expertise," Fee said.

True to form, at his first meeting this week, after taking his oath of office, Nicholas was fully engaged and asked several questions of his fellow board members, Olson and Business Manager Laura Lyczewski, the latter of which he inquired on the 2019-20 preliminary district budget put to the board for approval.

Nicholas said that he told himself when he was appointed that he wouldn't put forth any motions to approve anything long-term in nature that extended beyond his five-month stint on the board. "But then I go and make the motion approving the preliminary budget," he said, with a chuckle. "But I have high confidence in the numbers and that this was done well. You have a healthy reserve, too."