BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The newest member of the Buffalo School Board was officially sworn in Wednesday evening.

Dr. Catherine Flanagan-Priore will take over the Park District seat once held by Carl Paladino. Paladino was removed last month for sharing private information from an executive session of a school board meeting.

Dr. Priore was one of 16 people interviewed for the position.

“I was a bit surprised because I know that there were some previous board members who threw their names into the pot,” said Priore.

Priore is a pediatric psychologist at Women and Children’s Hospital where she works very closely with kids facing chronic illnesses.

“Her experience in working with children, particularly children who are vulnerable, I think is an asset that this board looked for,” said Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold, BPS board president.

Priore’s swearing in comes almost four weeks after the state removed Carl Paladino from the board. Paladino says the rest of the board should be replaced, calling it “dysfunctional.”

“This operation is pathetic. It’s gross silliness, I sat there for four years. I say to the person (Priore), be brave, don’t listen to the nonsense and do what’s right,” said Paladino.

“I’m here to offer a fresh perspective and continue to represent the Park District and I want to hear from the people who voted for him (Paladino) as much as the people who didn’t vote for him,” said Priore.

Board members acknowledged Priore coming in at a difficult time, but they say they hope to leave the Paladino controversy behind them.

“I’m certainly looking forward to some meetings where the board can get away from distractions that have taken us off the tasks that we really need to do that will push forward the education and achievement of the children of this district,” said Nevergold.

In the meantime, Paladino intends to appeal the state’s decision to remove him. The state requested that those court hearings be held in Albany.