Meet Our Connections Faculty

Heather A. Rairigh

Heather A. Rairigh

FACS Teacher, Middle School Connections Department Chair

Heather Rairigh has spent the last 25 years teaching children of all ages! She received her bachelor's degree in Middle Grades Education from North Georgia College. Since then her experience has included teaching Pre-K, elementary, middle, alternativie, and high school classes in private and public school settings. The subjects she has taught have also been enriching and varied. She loves to teach and is dedicated to her students!

Andrew M. Harwood

Andrew M. Harwood

Director of Bands

Mr. Harwood has been a band director for over 20 years, 16 of which have been in Lumpkin County. He began his musical career as a Clarinetist with The U.S. Army Concert Band, "Pershing's Own" in Washington D.C.. As a member of this elite ensemble, he performed for U.S. Presidents, kings, queens and foreign heads of state as well as in concerts at Carnegie and Avery Fisher Halls in NYC. Additionally, he performed as a soloist on 8 occasions with Pershing's Own and performed a solo recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.. In 2018, Mr. Harwood was selected to present at the GMEA In Service Convention discussing Music Educator Resilience strategies and techniques. In 2016, he was selected as the Lumpkin County School System Teacher of the Year and in 2005 was the Teacher of the Year at Sandy Springs Middle School in Fulton County.

Mr. Brenton Ruark

Mr. Brenton Ruark

Middle School Strength & Conditioning Coach

Brenton Ruark is from Cornelia, Georgia and is in his 2nd year at Lumpkin County Middle School as the Strength and Conditioning Coach. Mr. Ruark coaches defensive backs for the the high school football team and coaches golf at the middle school. Ruark attained his bachelors degree from the University of North Georgia in Kinesiology and holds a Masters degree in Physical Education from Georgia State University. Today, Mr. Ruark is working on his Specialist degree in Coaching Pedagogy in Physical Education at Valdosta State University with an expected graduation date of 2022. Mr. Ruark currently resides in his hometown of Cornelia, Ga with his wife Lauren Ruark and is expected his first child in September.

Mrs. Mariam Brunner

Mrs. Mariam Brunner

Business, Finance and Computer Programming Teacher

When Mrs. Brunner was the age of the middle-schoolers she teaches, she spent PE time outside on ice skates and cross-country skis. Now she loves living in the South, where there is no snow to shovel. While she has numerous certifications and teaching qualifications, the most important is that she loves middle school students and finds joy in their learning and growth each day!

Mrs. Tori Jones

Mrs. Tori Jones

STEAM Connections Teacher

Mrs. Jones is a proud graduate of Clemson University, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-8) and a Master’s degree in Counseling & Guidance. She earned her Education Specialist degree in Curriculum & Development from Lincoln Memorial University, as well as endorsements in Gifted Education and Science from University of North Georgia. Mrs. Jones has been recognized as a Georgia STEM Scholar and Lumpkin County Teacher of the Year. She leads the Science Olympiad and FIRST LEGO League after school STEM clubs.

Mr. Sumner Sapough

Mr. Sumner Sapough

LCMS Agriculture Teacher and FFA Advisor

Mr. Sumner Sapough graduated from Piedmont college in 2015 with a Bachelors degree in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in Science and Social Studies. He moved to Lumpkin Co. in 2015 and initially started his career at Long Branch Elementary School. When he moved to Lumpkin County Middle School he started as an 8th grade science teacher and taught science for 3 years. He then moved to 6th grade and taught science there for less than a year when he moved to Agriculture education. He has been now teaching Ag. for 1 1/2 years.

Brooke M. Flakes

Brooke M. Flakes

Athletic Director, PE Teacher, and Coach

Coach Flakes began her teaching career in her hometown of Waynesboro, Georgia. She taught math for six years and PE for five years. She moved to Dahlonega with her family in the summer of 2014. She taught math for three years and she is in her fifth year of PE. Coach Flakes serves as the middle school's athletic director and has since 2015.

Julie Isaacs

Mrs. Julie Isaacs

Visual Arts Teacher

Julie Isaacs studied at North Georgia College and State University (now University of North Georgia) earning a Bachelor's Degree in Art Education. An avid creator from an early age, she knew art was a passion she wanted to share with others. This school year begins Mrs. Isaacs's 13th year at LCSS and 9th as the visual arts teacher at Lumpkin County Middle School.

Mrs. Stephanie Clenney

Stephanie Clenney

ACE Math Teacher

Stephanie Clenney graduated from Shiloh High School in 1995. She went on to acquire her bachelor's degree in secondary social science education from UGA! After moving to Dahlonega in 2000, she landed a teaching job at LCMS. She went on to earn her Master's degree from NGCSU in 2005 and her Specialist degree from Piedmont College in 2011. This is Mrs. Clenney's 23rd year of teaching at LCMS, 21 of those years were spent in 7th grade. She is now teaching the ACE(Academic Connections Enrichment) math class to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.

Hayden Grizzle

Hayden Grizzle

Physical Education Teacher

Coach Hayden Grizzle: Bachelors Degree from the University of North Georgia. Teaching at LCMS for 8 years and Coaching in Lumpkin County for over a decade.

Cole Martin

Mr. G. Cole Martin

Chorus Director

Cole Martin is a graduate from Piedmont University where he holds a Bachelor's degree in French Horn performance and a Master's degree in Music Education. Mr. Martin is an avid musician who performs in concerts throughout the state with various vocal and instrumental ensembles. When away from his classroom at LCMS, he enjoys spending time with his kids, bass fishing, and a good game of chess.

Staci Head

Staci Head

ACE Reading Teacher

Mrs. Head is a native to Dahlonega and Lumpkin County Schools. She lives with her husband and two amazing children. She graduated from the University of North Georgia (formerly North Georgia College). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. Mrs. Head went on to be certified in Special Education and Middle Grades English. She serves as the ACE (Academic Connections Enrichment) Reading teacher.

Ron Thomaswick

Ron Thomaswick

Physical Education Teacher

Coach Thomaswick began teaching and coaching at Lumpkin County Middle School in the fall of 2002. He received his bachelor’s degree in Community Health from Slippery Rock University and his master’s degree in Health and Physical Education from Valdosta State University. He is currently teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th grade physical education and is the head middle school volleyball coach.