Selma School Board selects finalists for superintendent’s post

Published 9:20 pm Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Interim Superintendent of Education Verdell Lett Dawson is among four finalists to lead Selma City Schools.

The Selma City School Board selected the finalists Tuesday evening out of a list of 11 who hailed from as nearby as Selma and as far away as New York.

School board members seemed pleased at the selection presented them by the search firm of McPherson and Jacobson LLC.

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“I think they did a thorough job,” said board President Barbara Stapp-Hiouas. “It’s always interesting to see how people answer the questions. It’s an exciting time for the schools.”

The four finalists will report to the district office 7:45 a.m. on their interview day. The itinerary includes a full day for each of the finalists from Monday through Thursday.

The board will decide on the superintendent Friday.

A review of the finalists, including Dawson:

Les Bivens, 9229 Fieldcrest Walk, Covington, Ga., is superintendent of Taliaferro County, Ga. schools with an enrollment of 278 students. Bivens also has served as assistant professor at Jacksonville State University and as superintendent of Limestone County Schools, which had an enrollment of 7,900 students. He has degrees from the University of Kentucky at Lexington, Butler University of Indianapolis and Indiana University in Bloomington. Bivens has eight years of experience as a superintendent.

Dawson has served as interim superintendent since March 2007. Prior to that she was administrative assistant to the superintendent in curriculum and instruction, coordinator of curriculum and instruction, supervisor of curriculum and instruction and principal of Payne Elementary School. She received her doctorate and specialist degrees from The University of Alabama; her professional diploma from Long Island University; a master’s from Hofstra University and a bachelor’s from Stillman College. Dawson stays current with education laws and stresses academic needs.

Annette D. Knox, 237 Cambridge Ave., Englewood, N.J., lists no work experience on her application information form. She is a doctoral candidate from Teachers College of Columbia University. She received her certification in supervision and administration and her master’s from City College of New York; her bachelor’s from St. Paul’s College in Lawrenceville, Va. Knox is a native of North Carolina.

Austin N. Obasohan, 1202 Tufton Place, NW, Concord, N.C. is a director for E-learning, according to representatives from the search firm of McPherson & Jacoson LLC. His application information form does not list a current position. He also has worked as a teacher and assistant principal in North Carolina, Virginia, New York and in the country of Nigeria. Obasohan received his doctorate from Appalachian State University, Boone, Va.; his specialist and master’s from Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va. and his bachelor’s from Sussex College of Technology in the United Kingdom.