By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Bryan County Schools announces new principals at BCMHS, RHMS
Bryan County Schools

Bryan County Schools announced new principals for the 2023-2024 school year at Bryan County Middle High School and Richmond Hill Middle School.

Russ Winter will replace Elizabeth Raeburn at Bryan County Middle High School while Jonathan Lea will replace Dr. Elizabeth Bennett.

Raeburn will be director of grades 6-12 curriculum while Bennett has been named assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for Bryan County Schools.

Winter currently serves as the assistant principal at Bryan County Middle High School, where he has served for the last 3 academic years. Prior to working at Bryan County Middle High School, Mr. Winter served 7 years as a High School Math teacher in Columbia and Bulloch County. While teaching, he also was an assistant and head baseball coach.

Winter and his wife Miranda have been married since 2016 and they enjoy spending time outdoors, at Georgia Southern football games, and at live music venues.

“Mr. Winter will be ELITE at building on and sustaining the good work that has played an essential role in creating BCMHS over the last several years. The school’s vision of opportunities and experiences for all scholars on our 6th- 12th grade school campus will continue to thrive under his leadership!” stated Ms. Elizabeth Raeburn, current Principal, Bryan County Middle High School.

Lea has worked at Richmond Hill High School for the past 14 years beginning as a math teacher and men’s assistant soccer coach. Jonathan also served as the assistant coach for women’s basketball from 2013 to 2016. In 2015, Mr. Lea became Department Chair for Mathematics prior to becoming an Assistant Principal in 2016. Mr. Lea served as an Assistant Principal at Richmond Hill High School for the past 7 years. Mr. Lea attended Armstrong State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree with a minor in Spanish. Mr. Lea continued his education career at Strayer University earning his master’s degree in Instructional Technology and his educational specialist degree in Educational Leadership through Valdosta State University.

Lea and his wife Kristin, a graduate of Richmond Hill High School, just celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary and enjoy traveling, spending time with friends and family, and playing sports.

Bivins Miller, principal at Richmond Hill High School, stated “One thing is for sure – you cannot spell Leadership without Lea! While this is a mere play on words, Mr. Lea has truly exemplified the qualities of a great educator and leader during his tenure as both teacher and Assistant Principal at Richmond Hill High School. When I learned of Mr. Lea obtaining his new opportunity as Principal of Richmond Hill Middle School, I was both excited for him but saddened for us. Mr. Lea is an extraordinary Assistant Principal who leads with passion, patience, and purpose all the while supporting all students and staff alike. With a keen eye for detail and always a thoughtful approach, Mr. Lea skillfully managed class scheduling, promoted academic achievement, fostered positive relationships, and handled discipline with fairness and consistency. Under Mr. Lea’s leadership, Richmond Hill Middle School will prosper as his impact will continue to inspire and shape the lives of the countless students, staff, and stakeholders he supports! I am glad to have had the opportunity to lead alongside a fellow colleague, friend and advocate for students that truly understands the importance of education!” 

Sign up for our E-Newsletters