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James Wood High School Principal to Retire After Thirty Years in Education

James Wood High School Principal Sam Gross announced today that he will retire, effective September 1. Gross will continue as the school's principal for the remainder of the school year. Frederick County Public Schools will immediately begin searching for the best candidate to lead the school starting with the 2024-25 school year.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to serve the last seven years as your principal at James Wood High School," Gross told his school community. "Each day has been a privilege, filled with moments of joy, challenge, and growth. Together, we've navigated through triumphs and tribulations, celebrated victories, and learned invaluable lessons along the way."

Mr. Sam Gross has served as the principal of James Wood High School for the past seven years and has spent twenty-one of his thirty-year career as a school administrator. Gross began his career as a math teacher at Sherando High School in 1994. He then took a position in Loudoun County Public Schools, teaching math and later serving as an assistant principal. In 2017, he returned to Frederick County Public Schools as the leader of the James Wood Colonels.

"Frederick County Public Schools is extremely grateful for Mr. Gross' contributions to making James Wood High School the amazing school it is today," Superintendent Dr. George Hummer said. "Mr. Gross has been a fierce advocate for all staff and a champion for all students. Please join me in recognizing all he has done for the students, staff and the community."

Looking back on his tenure as principal of JWHS, Gross finds satisfaction in the school's continued full accreditation and the emergence of numerous school leaders during his tenure. He expresses gratitude for the opportunity to build upon the groundwork laid by his predecessor, Joe Salyer. With a humble demeanor and a wide grin, Gross compares his role to being entrusted with the keys to a Ferrari and returning it safe and sound.

After thirty years and a rewarding career, Gross decided the time had come to move on. He is looking forward to his next chapter, which will involve spending time with extended family.

"I want to express my profound appreciation to each and every one of you," Gross said to his school community. "Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your lives, for teaching me invaluable lessons, and for making James Wood High School and Frederick County Public Schools a place I am proud to
call home."