SOUTH FORSYTH – A former math teacher from Lambert High School has been arrested for allegedly having a relationship with a 17-year-old female student.
John “David” Ubriaco, a 33-year-old from Dawsonville and an Iraq war veteran, was charged on Feb. 24 with two counts of felony sexual assault, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
He had resigned from his position at the school on Nichols Road on Tuesday, Feb. 21, according to Jennifer Caracciolo, spokeswoman for the school system. He was not a coach.
“He had worked at Lambert since August 2016 and did not teach prior in other [public] Forsyth County schools,” she said.
Caracciolo said the district is unable to comment further “since this is a personnel issue and a criminal investigation.”
The Forsyth County News featured a project Ubriaco led during Thanksgiving, where students wrote about 10,000 letters for soldiers overseas in partnership with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9143.
Ubriaco left the U.S. Army in 2011 with the rank of Captain.
He wrote in his resume that he served five years as a commissioned officer after four years as an enlisted member, with “overseas combat duties and diplomatic/training missions in Iraq, Kuwait, Uganda and Georgia.”
While Lambert was the only campus within the district he worked at, Ubriaco began his teaching career at Horizon Christian Academy, a private K-12 school with about 225 students located on Sawnee Drive, as a math, health and PE, biblical leadership and biblical hermeneutics teacher.
According to his resume, he taught “secondary mathematics subjects” and was the varsity men’s soccer head coach, an assistant football coach and a facilities manager for a weight training room.
He wrote in his resume that he had also preformed duties as an assistant coach for the boys’ and girls’ soccer and golf teams.
His resume says he worked at Horizon from January 2012 to March 2013 and from July 2008 to June 2009.
Steve Harmon, a spokesman for the school, confirmed his employment in 2012-13 but declined comment when asked about his time there in 2008.
He then spent one year each in Douglas County – at Lithonia Springs High School – in Rome City Schools – at Rome City High School – and most recently in Cobb County Schools, according to Forsyth County Schools records.
Gina Byars, human resources coordinator for Rome City Schools, confirmed his employment for the district.
“He just resigned,” she said. “I never heard of any problems.”
The sheriff’s office’s school resource officer unit and major crimes unit investigated the incident.
Deputy Rainwater said he has not been arrested before, especially in Forsyth County, “to our knowledge,” for implications of sexual assault.
According to John Grant, chief investigator of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission, receiving an educator’s certification and employment are two separate sets of standards, as districts can determine what they tolerate as moral turpitude.
Grant said Ubriaco is a certified educator with the agency, which has bestowed certification and investigated misconduct since its creation by the Georgia General Assembly in 1991. He said there have been no cases opened on him – which would have been done automatically if the agency received a complaint – and that his answers during his certification process gave no red flags.
Ubriaco posted a $44,220 bond from the Forsyth County Jail on Tuesday, Feb. 28, Rainwater said. He has a court date set for April 11.