Christopher Columbus High School

A Catholic School for Young Men in the Marist Tradition since 1958

Mas Family Program

Our College Recognized, Signature Honors Program

The Mas Family Program serves as one of the most academically challenging and culturally enriching experiences in South Florida. Comparable to the International Baccalaureate Diploma, this unique program is designed for the academically gifted and highly motivated student. A balance of rigorous interdisciplinary coursework, enrichment activities, guest lectures, internships, and independent research projects prepare these students for post-secondary success.

Program Expansion
Due to the Mas Family Program’s success and popularity, we are happy to announce that Christopher Columbus High School expanded the program to allow 20% of incoming freshmen classes join the MFP.

The program now has a two-tier structure. Under the Mas Family Program umbrella are the “Mas Scholars” and the “Mas Honors” students. The purpose of our program’s expansion is to offer a rigid curriculum to a larger group of competitive students. Beyond the classroom we offer a plethora of academic and cultural enrichment experiences to all students in the Mas Family Program.

Selection Process
Based on performance in the ninth grade, some students in the Mas Family Program will be invited to become a “Mas Scholar” and begin the College Board’s AP Capstone curriculum sophomore year. Others may choose to remain in the Mas Family Program as a “Mas Honors” student while continuing to partake in the most stringent courses available to them and follow a more flexible set of requirements. See drop down menus for curriculum requirements, respectively.
This new expansion of the program enables a greater fluidity for students to join the Mas Family Program throughout their career at Columbus. This expansion will allow every student striving for academic rigor the opportunity to always have the option to join this signature honors program.


List of 4 members.

  • Photo of Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta

    Mrs. Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta 

    Mas Family Program Director
    ext. 2243
  • Photo of Adriana Amador

    Mrs. Adriana Amador 

    Mas Honors Coordinator
    ext. 2645
  • Photo of Arlene Clute

    Mrs. Arlene Clute 

    Mas Family Program Administrative Assistant
    ext. 2501
  • Photo of Robert Lewis

    Mr. Robert Lewis 

    Mas Family Program Counselor
    ext. 2505
    CCHS Class of 2016

List of 1 items.

  • Mas Family Program | Scholars

    Mrs. Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta -
     *1 AP Freshman Year (World)
    *2 AP Sophomore (Euro and AP Seminar for capstone)
    * 3 AP Junior Year (AP Lang, AP Research for capstone)
    * 3+ AP Senior Year (macro/micro)
      All remainder of courses will be Honors level for core classes
    ***Core subject areas: English, Math, Science and Social Studies.
    GPA Requirement:
    3.6 unweighted GPA
    *Must initiate one service project that directly impacts community either immediate or global
    *Must graduate with at least 80 externship hours (2 weeks)

    The distinction of Mas Scholar is the most distinguished title under the Mas umbrella. All young men graduating Mas Scholar will have completed the most rigorous course load available at Christopher Columbus high school and will have been given the opportunity to receive the AP Capstone Diploma, in addition to his high school diploma. Students that fall under this distinction will also have completed at least 80 hours of externship experience and would have initiated an original service project that directly impacts their community.    

    If Students do not directly test into Mas Scholar, then they are given another chance during subject selection of their Sophomore year, for promotion into AP Capstone completion Junior and Senior year. All Mas Scholars must have a consistent 3.5 unweighted GPA and no “C”s as final grades.                                                            
    Read More

List of 1 items.

  • Mas Family Program | Honors

    Mrs. Adriana Amador -

    GPA Requirement:
    3.4 unweighted GPA

    Course Requirements:  
    9th Grade:
    -1 Optional AP course (AP World History) 
    -4 Honors courses (English, Math, Biology & Theology)

    10th Grade:
    -1 Optional AP course (AP European History)
    -3 Honors courses in core* subject areas 

    OR  (if not taking AP European History)
    -4 Honors courses in core* subject areas

    11th Grade:
    -3 AP courses in core* subject areas  
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and Theology 

    12th Grade:
    -3 AP courses in core* subject areas
    -3 Honors courses in remaining core* subject areas and Theology

    *Core subject areas: English, Math, Science and Social Studies.

What's the Difference | Scholars vs. Honors

In an effort to elucidate the difference between the Mas Scholar pathway and the Mas Honors pathway, it is important to understand that, despite the pathways chosen for each student, the intended goal is to assure that each student is meeting his individualized academic goals and that the curriculum designated for that student will provide the most holistic and complete high school experience. While our aim is always to provide the highest level of rigor to both groups, the Mas Scholars will graduate with the superior distinction of the AP Capstone Diploma. Although both pathways will demand a service project initiation and externship hours, both groups have different GPA requirements. The Mas Scholars need to maintain a minimum unweighted GPA of 3.5 while the Mas Honors Students are required to maintain an unweighted GPA of 3.33. All students must sustain A and B level grades in their courses, as "C"s will result in probation and possibly cause the student to have to be demoted from his pathway, or be exited from the program all together. Constant counseling and grade monitoring is provided to all students in the program and the assurance of constant teacher, counselor and parent communication to try and maximize individual student success. Although the curriculum requirements do differ, both pathways demand that participants take courses at the honors and AP levels, the entire time they are under the Mas Family umbrella. 

Mas Scholars are expected to complete at least 80 externship hours prior to graduation, and Mas Honors students will have completed at least 40 hours.  All students under the Mas Family umbrella are promised the highest level of rigor and most culturally enriching experiences at our disposal. The pathways were designed to tailor to each student’s individual goals and academic needs.
In addition to the impressive coursework, the standardized test prep and the enrichment opportunities so unique to the Mas Family Program, all students under the Mas Family umbrella, and their families, will have an extremely individualized counseling experience.  From the initial programmatic acceptance letter until graduation, students are promised constant grade monitoring, parent and teacher communication, one on one meetings, individualized curriculum and an extremely personalized college application experience.
The Mas Family Program exemplifies Christopher Columbus High School’s tradition of brotherhood where students and counselors are able to solidify a truly personal relationship, making the Mas students and its team, a true family. Programmatically, ninth and tenth graders are exposed to a business etiquette program, an educationally enriching summer experience and an honors and AP course load in addition, underclassmen are given the opportunity to participate in boot camps and tutoring sessions to prepare for the PSAT.
Similarly, upperclassmen are given the opportunity to participate in various college-planning workshops throughout the year. Seniors also partake in a summer College Application Boot Camp, which help them to get a head start in the college application process. A concentrated focus on testing has been a tool in procuring unrivaled test prep for the PSAT/NMSQT, junior year, which in turn has engendered more National Merit Scholars and National Hispanic Scholars, than ever in school history. 

Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta (Mas Family Program Director) is recognized by Stanford University for her contribution to the education of high school students throughout Miami-Dade County. She is also a former International Baccalaureate Coordinator for nearly a decade and is well versed in advanced high school academics as both a member and active participant of NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling). Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta is also very familiar with current trends in college admissions and often travels the country visiting universities. She is also well known in the Miami area for her success with the Silver Knight Awards Foundation.

Adriana Garcia-Amador (Mas Honors Coordinator) has 19 years of experience in education. Having taught at the gifted and AP level in several states, Mrs. Amador brings in specializations in essay writing, English and Reading. She also worked for a private company that helped place students in higher level institutions of education all over the world. Like Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Amador is also an active participant of 
NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling).  

Cultural Enrichment


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Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Brotherhood, Faith, and Scholarship define the Marist Brothers Catholic education at Christopher Columbus High School.  By making Jesus Christ known and loved and creating an inspiring academic and extracurricular environment, we prepare young men for higher learning and a life-long commitment to leadership and service through Gospel and Marist values.

Columbus is fully accredited by Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.