Arun Puracken attended Prince George’s County Public Schools from K-12. He attended Bladensburg Elementary, Kettering Elementary, Kettering Middle, and graduating from Largo High School in 2007.
Arun was most notable as anchor for Good Morning Kettering, a television broadcast in Elementary and Middle School which made him very popular amongst his classmates. Arun also participated in the Civil Air Patrol (official auxiliary of the US Air Force), rising to the rank of Cadet Master Sergeant
Throughout his schooling at Largo High School, Arun was very active participating in many in school and extracurricular activities as well as excelling as a leader among his peers. Arun served as President of his Junior Class as well as Wing Commander for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC) in his senior year. In addition, Arun served as Youth President/ CEO of Global Developmental Services for Youth, Inc., a non-profit youth development organization based in Seat Pleasant, MD. He was also a scholar-athlete playing Varsity Baseball all four years in high school.
Arun was an active youth member on the Prince George’s County political scene volunteering for various campaigns at polling precincts. He was able to build relationships in this capacity and gained employment opportunities with the Prince George’s County Youth Initiative working in the Office of Community Relations at the County Administration Building and the Largo Memorial Library. In addition, Arun was selected to participate in the Prince George’s County Youth Commission discussing current state of affairs in the county from a youth’s perspective and presenting in front of leaders and legislators across the county.
Arun received several awards during his high school career including Principal’s Honor Roll and Ulysses Curry Senator Award for outstanding academic/ extracurricular/ service achievement. He also received a scholarship from Delegate Aisha Braveboy for outstanding academic achievement and leadership qualities.
Arun attended the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. While at UMBC, Arun participated in the Student Government Association and UMBC B.R.O.T.H.E.R.S, a mentoring organization for Baltimore area middle school students. Arun obtained an internship with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office in the Department of Victims/Witness Services providing administrative help but also sitting in on cases and provide document assistance. Arun also interned with the United Way of Central Maryland Baltimore Office providing information on local services for families in need.
Arun worked for the National Labor Relations Board Office of Appeals interpreting and scanning official appeals into a case tracking system. He also gained employment with the UMBC Classic Upward Bound program teaching and providing tutoring/counseling services during the academic year and summer component. Arun still works with Upward Bound currently on Saturday’s at UMBC.
After graduating from UMBC, Arun completed an Americorp year with the University’s Choice Program providing community based monitoring and job training for adjudicated youth in Baltimore City. He also serves as the community coordinator and member of the Board of Directors for Global Developmental Services for Youth, Inc.
Arun started teaching 7th/8th Grade Social Studies at Accokeek Academy in 2014/2015 school year and has remained in that role. In his second year, he became the Social Studies Department Chair and National History Day coordinator. Under his leadership, nine student projects have earned 1st or 2nd place in their category. Arun has served as Student Government Association sponsor as well as served as Assistant Coach for Elementary Boys Basketball team in the PGCPS D.E.A.L League. Additionally, Arun sits on the Board of Directors for the Accokeek Academy PTSA serving as the Teacher Representative.
Arun has also participated actively in the Prince George’s County Educators Association (educators union), serving as a building representative and Faculty Advisory Council Chair at Accokeek Academy. Also in the union, Arun was selected to serve in the Early Career Leadership Fellowship for educators with under five years experience who have demonstrated great leadership in their buildings and express desire to learn about our union. He has traveled across the country advocating and learning about union work. Within the PGCEA, Arun serves on the Community Schools, Restorative Practices, Government Relations, and Future Educators Committee.
Arun has received several accolades during his tenure as a teacher. He was featured in a National Education Association article stemming from a speech he gave at the Minorities, Women, and Leadership conference in Tampa, Florida. The title stated that Arun gave hope to the future of public education in the country. Arun was also awarded the Forty Under 40 award for his work in the field of education. Forty Under 40 celebrates innovators in a myriad of fields including business, economics, public service, and education. Additionally, Arun was selected as a National Education Association’s Thirty Under 30 for his work inside the classroom and activism outside the classroom.
Arun is a proud member of the Prince George’s County Resident Teacher program which provided him an alternative pathway to education certification. While in Resident Teacher, Arun also received Special Education training to meet the needs of students with increased learning disabilities. Arun has also continued his education and is pursuing a Masters in Educational Leadership with the Notre Dame of Maryland University.
School/ Community Activist:
Arun Puracken has remained involved in Board of Education (BOE) politics since 2012 when he volunteered for David Murray’s BOE campaign in 2012. Since then, Arun Puracken has volunteered for Raaheela Ahmed’s BOE campaign in 2016, and served as Chief of Staff for Edward Burroughs BOE campaign in 2016. Arun also served Campaign Manager Eugene W. Grant running for reelection as Mayor of Seat Pleasant, Md.
Most recently, Arun has championed causes which impacted Accokeek Academy. He was apart of a movement which mobilized school/ community stakeholders to prevent the removal of the Talented and Gifted Center leading to the decision being tabled. Arun has been very vocal as it relates to ineffective decision making and problem solving in public schools, especially District 9.
Arun has also spoken publicly at County Council and Board of Education meetings disapproving the installment of cell towers in PGCPS and standing with the community at District Heights Elementary School during the mold infestation issues. Additionally, Arun has mobilized activists denouncing the treatment of high school students at Oxon Hill High School graduation when their microphones were shut off.
In addition, Arun serves as a member of the Community Schools Coalition with the PGCEA advocating for the creation of community schools in our county.