Nicole Hayes, a long-time volunteer for the Anoka-Hennepin school district, has been appointed to the school board to fill the remainder of the term of Scott Wenzel who died unexpectedly in November.

“I’m honored and I’m humbled,”Hayes said of her appointment. “And while I’m excited, I’m also aware and understand the tragic circumstances that led to this appointment.”

Until her appointment earlier this week, Hayes was the volunteer services coordinator at Coon Rapids High School, but resigned her post to assume the seat on the board. Before that, she held the same post at the River Trail Learning Center for four years.

She also spent a number of years as the chairperson of the Riverview Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, and has spent a number of years volunteering at various Anoka-Hennepin schools and booster clubs.

Both of her children attend Champlin Park High School.

“As a parent, you come into this large school district, and you can be skeptical — how can a district this size serve my children? But it’s been fantastic, all the way through,” she said. “The schools and community — they’re fabulous.”

Hayes will serve out the duration of Wenzel’s term on the school board, which goes through the end of the year and said she intends to run for re-election in November. Wenzel, who was a teacher at J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School in St. Paul, had served on the school board since 1996, serving as vice chair and clerk during his tenure.