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Pair of teachers get married by a colleague in Moreno Valley

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Pair of teachers get married by a colleague in Moreno Valley

Picture of Dan Lee
The Press-Enterprise
Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When Roberto Gomez and Juana Arriaga got engaged last year, they decided to ask fellow teacher Arnoldo Carrasco to perform the ceremony.

And so it was that two teachers from Armada Elementary School in Moreno Valley got married by a third.

"We figured, why get a stranger when we can get someone we've known for a long time?" Gomez said last week.

Although teacher romances aren't unusual, having a fellow teacher perform the March 21 ceremony was, especially because Carrasco wasn't a minister.

Carrasco, who teaches fifth grade, obtained a one-day license from Riverside County as a deputy commissioner of civil marriage.

"I've got to have a profession when I retire," Carrasco, 57, joked.

The role surprised some of his acquaintances.

"They said, 'We didn't know you were a pastor.' I said, 'There's a lot of things you don't know about me,' " Carrasco said, chuckling.

The wedding was the culmination of a romance that began several years ago. Gomez, now 32, was a third-grade teacher, while Arriaga, 35, was a bilingual office clerk who had become a kindergarten teacher.

"He's got a very good heart. He doesn't see the bad in anything," Arriaga said, describing the qualities that attracted her to her husband.

"Juana is very sweet and kind," Gomez said.

The happy couple took a short trip to the San Diego area after the wedding and is planning for a more extended honeymoon to Costa Rica or Hawaii at some future date. Today, they live in Menifee, carpool to work together and are hoping to start a family soon.

Meanwhile, the schoolchildren are still adjusting to the idea of the two teachers being married.

"I have kindergartners. I don't think they understand," Arriaga said.

Some of Carrasco's students had both Gomez and Arriaga as teachers and were stunned at the news.

"They said, 'No! You're kidding, Mr. C!' " Carrasco recalled.