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2019 Summer School

For Parents

Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer

CALEXICO — Calexico High School students met an alumnus Monday whose talents have taken him all the way to the White House.

Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar is a 1990 graduate of Calexico High School, and his work in law, public policy and political science has led him to serve in both the Obama and Clinton administrations.

Cuéllar has been a member of the Stanford Law School faculty since 2001. 

Between early 2009 and mid-2010, he served as special assistant to the president for justice and regulatory policy at the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Calexico High senior Joshua Hurtado was inspired by Cuéllar’s visit.

“He gave me a lot of motivation to try and strive to go to a well-known college such as MIT,” he said.

Cuéllar hadn’t been back to the area for more than a decade but was speaking at the University of California, San Diego, nearby and wanted to visit, he said.

Alternating between English and Spanish, he discussed the importance of connecting one’s future to the past as well as the importance of investing in one’s education. 

He underscored that money shouldn’t be a barrier to higher education, urging students to seek out scholarships.

Cuéllar earned his Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from Harvard University, his law degree fromYale Law School and a doctorate in political science from Stanford University.

He advised Calexico High School students to be aware of world events, realize their action impact others and to talk and listen with people that are different before hosting his own question and answer session with the students.

In July, Obama appointed Cuéllar to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and in early 2011, Education Secretary Arne Duncan appointed him to the National Commission on Educational Equity and Excellence.

Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or