Second superintendent’s candidate interviewed

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On Tuesday evening when sounds of thunder filled the Striplin Performing Arts Center, Les Bivens became the second candidate to be interviewed in hopes of becoming the next superintendent for the Selma City Schools.

Bivens has eight years of experience as a superintendent, including four years in Limestone County.

He currently serves in the same position in Taliaferro County in Georgia.

Bivens expressed his interest in the Selma position to the board and the audience.

“I was impressed that [the board] did a national search,” said Bivens. “And three of the four candidates not being from Alabama surprised me.”

Bivens said this position seems to fit where his strengths are best, and he would like the opportunity to move to a larger school district.

“My vision for this district is quality in everything we do. It’s an overall thing we look to do is improvement for the district,” said Bivens.

Bivens said the board-superintendent relationship is one in which the board should make decisions about the end results, and the superintendent should make decisions on how to get there.

“You have to know where you are to know where you’re going,” said Bivens.

Bivens, who prides himself on being a strong leader, said that leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do with the same people wanting to do it.

He outlined directing, guiding, participation, and delegation as the four leadership styles.

“The secret to successful leadership is to choose the right one depending on the task at hand,” said Bivens.

Bivens is the father of four and he understands that every parent wants a better life for his or her child.

He also feels he is best qualified due to his administration strengths, strong leadership, and knowledge of school law.

After his research on Selma, Bivens concluded that “this district has a disconnect with the school board.”

His desire to bridge that disconnect through information, relationships, and trust was applauded by audience members.

The board ended the interview by stating issues they believe have to be dealt with in the next five years, including academic progress, finding well-qualified staff members, and having an independent leader who is able to build a team.