In acknowledgement of her work and career in education, Redlands teacher and Board of Education Trustee Cristina Puraci was recognized by Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga) and Senate colleagues at the capitol during a recent session of the State Senate.
Puraci spent her childhood in communist Romania, where she and her family were persecuted for their Christian faith. At the age of 12, she survived the disaster at Chernobyl. Fleeing communism when she was 18, Puraci came to the U.S. on a fiancée visa to be with her future husband, Adrian, who had moved to the U.S. as a political refugee in 1983.
Committed to molding young minds, Puraci earned her bachelor’s degree to become a teacher, all the while juggling the responsibilities of being both a full-time mom and a full-time student. By 2004, Puraci began teaching elementary school and later pursued her master’s degree in education.
She became involved locally, serving as Vice President of the Association of Colton Educators. In 2016, she was elected as a school board trustee in the Redlands Unified School District and was recently honored with a WHO Award from the California Teachers Association for her professional and civic leadership.
For the Puracis, education is a family affair. Husband Adrian, as well as their son, Sebastian, both teach at area schools. Sebastian’s wife, Simina, is also going to school to become a teacher.
“From humble beginnings, Cristina came here with admiration and respect for our Constitution, wanting to embrace the freedoms and opportunities that can only be found here in America,” said Morrell. “It was an honor to acknowledge her and the contributions she and her family have made to our community.”
PHOTO FOR PUBLICATION
CAPTION: Teacher and Redlands Unified School District Board of Education Trustee Cristina Puraci is recognized at the State Senate. Pictured at left is Cristina with her husband, Adrian. At center is Senator Mike Morrell (R-Rancho Cucamonga). To the right are Cristina’s son, Sebastian, and his wife, Simina.