WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – A long time Williamson County educator who served as a principal and teacher is now facing dozens of sex crimes against children.
Maury County Deputies arrested Jonathan Ullrich on Monday after a Maury County Grand Jury indicted the 50-year-old educator on a 27-count indictment involving multiple sex crimes against two children under the age of 13.
Sources confirm to News 2 those children are related to Ullrich.
Neither investigators nor school officials believe Ullrich harmed any school children. Ullrich spent the last seven years as a first grade teacher at Fairview Elementary School.
Sheila Staggs’ daughter is now 11 years old and attends Fairview Middle School.
Staggs says she moved to Fairview so that her child could be a part of the Williamson County School System.
“Fairview schools are all she has ever known. She went Kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and fifth [grades] at Fairview Elementary.”
Ullrich did not teach Stagg’s daughter, but the mother of one says she met him on many school functions.
“He seemed like a nice gentlemen. He had a great reputation. He was actually teacher of the year last year, and he had a great rapport with the students.”
According to Williamson County School officials, Ullrich was an 18-year veteran of the system who has served the district in multiple capacities that include school principal, assistant principal and elementary school teacher.
District Officials confirm that Ullrich was the Teacher of the Year at Fairview Elementary School in 2019-2020, but was not Teacher of the Year at the District Level.
Staggs says news of the arrest and allegations was horrifying.
“I was very shocked. I was upset,” she said.
On Monday, the school system suspended Ullrich without pay after his arrest on 27 counts that include aggravated sexual battery and rape involving two children under the age of 13.
According to the court documents, the alleged assaults began as early as 2016 and continued through November of 2021.
“It is shocking to hear. And you start questioning yourself, all the different interactions you had with him. He has been in that school system for over seven years with my daughter and her friends, and all these other children, you wonder what situations they have been put in, what he told them. Did he take pictures of them? You have no idea. Then you start questioning everything that has happened,” Staggs said.
On Tuesday, Williamson County school officials issued this statement:
“The charges filed against Mr. Ullrich in Maury County are horrific. The district has no indication that any of the charges out of Maury County are related to his work in WCS. However, families who may have information to share with local law enforcement are encouraged to contact the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office.
“If parents are in need of support in talking with their child, counselors are available to guide them through that process, and they should call the school office. If a child needs support at school, parents should reach out to their child’s teacher.”
“I don’t have any reason to believe he did anything to any children at Fairview Elementary,” Staggs says. “I would say Monday was not the first time [Ullrich] had any knowledge of this. This should have been something he disclosed to superiors and removed himself from the situation. He shouldn’t have been teaching up to Monday and arrested Monday night.”
Staggs made it clear that she views Fairview Elementary as a wonderful learning environment.
“Our administrators and teachers are working under difficult situations and I support them totally in this is horrific situation.”
News 2 tried to get a comment from Ullrich at the Maury County Jail, but sources confirm he is currently being evaluated psychologically.
News 2 has confirmed that Ullrich’s world began to unravel from a law enforcement standpoint last week. According to a source, while deputies were serving warrants on Ullrich for other civil matters unrelated to the sex charges, Ullrich ran into the woods and there was a brief standoff where the suspect forced deputies to coax him out of the woods after many hours.
Once again, school officials say there is no evidence that any children at Williamson County Schools were ever harmed, but school officials encourage parents to talk to their children and contact law enforcement officials if needed.