Frederick County Public Schools Names New Principals for Bass-Hoover Elementary, FCMS and JWHS

For Immediate Release
June 9, 2017
Contact:  Steve Edwards, Coordinator of Policy and Communications
540-662-3888 ext. 88235

Frederick County Schools Superintendent David Sovine has named the new principals for Bass-Hoover Elementary School, Frederick County Middle School and James Wood High School.  Amy Williams has been named the principal at Bass-Hoover Elementary School, Jerry Putt has been selected as the new principal at Frederick County Middle School and Sam Gross has been named the new principal at James Wood High School. Williams, Putt and Gross will assume their new positions on July 1.  

Williams, who has served as the assistant principal at Bass-Hoover Elementary School for the past three years, will succeed Joe Strong.  Strong is succeeding Angie White as principal at Redbud Run Elementary School.  White is leaving her current position to serve as the coordinator of the school division’s pilot preschool program that will be launched in August.  Putt, who currently serves as the principal of Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, will succeed Susan Brinkmeier who has been named the school division’s supervisor of operations.  Gross, who is an assistant principal at Loudoun Valley High School in Loudoun County, will succeed Joe Salyer.  Salyer is retiring following a 40 year career with Frederick County Public Schools, including 14 years as principal at James Wood High School.  

Sovine says, “We were very pleased with the pool of candidates for each of the principal positions we were seeking to fill.  Mrs. Williams, Mr. Putt and Mr. Gross separated themselves from the other highly-qualified candidates and are each outstanding instructional leaders who recognize the importance of engaging students in the learning process and developing relationships with families, school staff, businesses and others within their respective school communities in order to help students reach their full potential.”  

Sovine adds, “We utilized a slightly different process to help determine who would be the best leader for each school in which we had a vacancy.  In addition to soliciting feedback on the characteristics desired in a new principal from all staff members at Bass-Hoover, Frederick County Middle and James Wood High School, we included a few teachers from each school on the respective interview teams.  Initial interviews are typically conducted by leaders within our instruction department, but we found great value in engaging teachers in the interview process as well.  After the interview teams completed their initial interviews, they selected two to three finalists for each vacancy as well as a preferred finalist.  That information proved to be very valuable to me as final interviews were conducted and I decided on which candidates to forward to the School Board for final approval.”

Williams has spent her entire career as an educator with Frederick County Public Schools.  She served as a substitute teacher from 2008-2010 and then taught fourth grade at Indian Hollow Elementary School from 2010-2012 and fifth grade at Middletown Elementary School from 2012-2014.  In July 2014, she was named the assistant principal at Bass-Hoover Elementary School.  

Williams says, “Since I started teaching full-time seven years ago, my long-term goal has been to become a principal in Frederick County Public Schools.  I love engaging and inspiring young learners and am looking forward to continuing to work with the students, families and staff members at Bass-Hoover as the school’s principal.”  

Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in sociology from Indiana University.  She also received a master’s degree in social work from California State University.  In addition, Williams received a post master’s certificate in educational leadership and administration from The George Washington University.  

Putt has spent the majority of his career with Winchester City Schools.  He served as a physics teacher at John Handley High School from 1998-2001 before moving to teach at Loudoun Valley High School for three years.  In 2004, Putt returned to Handley High School and served as the science department chair for six years before being named a lead teacher in 2010.  From 2011-2014, Putt served as an assistant principal at Handley and was named the principal at Daniel Morgan Middle School in July 2014.  

Putt says, “I am excited, honored and humbled to join the team at Frederick County Middle School.  I’m looking forward to working with everyone to make the learning experiences in this outstanding building both meaningful and purposeful for each and every student.”

Putt received a bachelor’s degree in physics with minors in math and secondary education from Lebanon Valley College.  He also has a master’s degree in educational leadership and supervision from George Mason University.  

Gross began his career as an in-school exclusion teacher at Sherando High School in 1994.  From 1995-1998, he taught math and physical education at Sherando and then served as the chair of the school’s math department from 1998-2000.  Over the next three years, Gross taught math in Loudoun County at Farmwell Station Middle School (2000-2001) and at Loudoun Valley High School (2001-2003).  In 2003, Gross was named an assistant principal at Loudoun Valley High School and has served in that position for the past 14 years.  

Gross says, “I proudly began my career in Frederick County in 1993 when I did my student teaching at James Wood High School and where I also served as a baseball coach.  My time at James Wood gave me insight into the aspects that make it a special place to work.  I’m excited to return and succeed Mr. Salyer as principal.  The interactions I’ve had with students, parents, staff and members of the James Wood High School community have been rewarding and have taught me the value of trust and collaboration in the education profession.”  

Gross has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from Shepherd University and a master’s degree in education leadership from George Mason University.