Christopher Columbus High School

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

April 2018 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

It's hard to believe how much we have accomplished since returning from Easter break.   I am always so impressed by our teachers, moderators, and coaches for devoting so much of their time, energy, and passion to our young men and their activities.  There is a distinct correlation between their dedication to Christopher Columbus High School and the success of our programs.  

Our students continue to represent us at the highest level and we are certainly proud of their accomplishments.  Campus ministry, drama, debate, STEM, band, and our Silver Knight nominees continue to excel and lead within their respected communities.  Baseball, Track, Volleyball, and Lacrosse have all had strong seasons and for baseball and track, they have their sights set on a state championship.

We are thankful for all our teachers and look forward to celebrating them during National Teacher Appreciation Week next week.  
Columbus Received Re-accreditation With High Scores
This month we hosted a team of seven administrators from respected schools across the state of Florida. The purpose of their visit was to evaluate our school and ensure we are re-accredited for another five years through AdvancED.  Our entire school community began working on this process in August.  We had several training sessions, workshops, and informational meetings throughout the year. We are very happy to announce that Christopher Columbus High School not only received its re-accreditation, but our scores and ratings were very high and most impressive. Their comments were complimentary when specifically evaluating our family environment, brotherhood, alumni involvement, and academic achievements. 
We are now prepared to move forward as we continue on this journey. We must not become complacent, but rather assert focus on innovative leadership, continued academic excellence, and displayed compassionate service within our own academic community as well as having a positive impact on our local South Florida community.  I would like to thank everyone involved, especially Mr. Garcia-Casals, Dr. Vila, Mrs. Chomat, and Mrs. Call
We are extremely proud of our history and tradition....long may it continue!  
Congratulations Marist Achievement Award Winners
The annual Marist Achievement Awards recognizes and celebrates the success of our students in academics and extra-curricular activities. We thank all the Columbus family members that were in attendance at Parrot Jungle Island. Congratulations to all the award winners as well as to the newly inducted members of the Br. Edmund Sheehan Chapter of the National Honor Society. Special thanks to Ms. Rayneri, Mrs. Cofresi, Mrs. Acevedo, and Mrs. Gamundi for putting on an incredible event.
Spanish Honor Society Induction 
Congratulations are in order for the newly inducted members of the Spanish Honor Society:  Thomas Cano, Stjepan Cindrich, Rodolfo De Armas, Andy DelaCampa, Sebastian De la Torre, Carlos Delgado, Jaime Diez, David Florez, Daniel Gonzalez, Baise Hernandez, Maximus Hernandez, Jorge Lima, Federico Maranges, Andre Merchan, Daniel Moure, Lucas Musibay, Cesar Oñate, Rafael Rodriguez, Fernando Salinas, Guido Samanez, Nicolas Suarez, Emilio Valenzuela, Sebastian Valdes Denis, Diego Vega, and Jonathan Villalobos.  Special thanks to moderator Dr. Folch.   
French Honor Society Induction
Congratulations also to the newly inducted members of the French Honors Society: Stjepan Cindrich, Diego Touzon and Evan O’Leary. They were inducted by Club President Noah Defauwes and Vice President John Suarez. Special thanks to moderator Mrs. Estelle Pugh and to Mr. & Mrs Baboun, owners of Delices de France Bakery (14453 S. Dixie Hwy) who graciously donated French pastries for the induction ceremony.
STEM Club Placed 2nd at Kennedy Space Center's Innovation Challenge
In a competition that lasted six months against 700 teams from around the world, the Columbus team was selected as one of the 25 finalists and won the Power Pitch Award, the second highest honor in the Cyber-Technology & Security Challenge Category at the Conrad Challenge Innovation Summit.   Congratulations to Jesus Capo, Chris Perez and Alex Cordero and special thanks to moderator Mr. Rodriguez.
Physics Team Placed 2nd at Barry University Competition
Our Physics team, made up of David Perez, Jesus Capo, Micheal Ishak, Brian Houterbrink-Hoyo, Robert Lopez, and Julian Sonnier-Cardet placed 2nd in the Physics Laboratory competition at the 17th Annual Chemistry and Physics Tournament at Barry University. Fourteen South Florida high schools participated in all.  Special thanks to Mr. Sanchez.
Jazz Band Sweeps National Competition in San Francisco/Wins “Best Overall Band”
The Columbus Jazz Band played exceptionally well at the World Strides Heritage Festival which took place in San Francisco, CA. In a competition with over 15 bands from different states, they won in every category, received the highest ranking (gold), and received the “best overall band” trophy. Danny Collazo and Greg Joa received most outstanding soloist awards. You can catch the band at the Rock Sarcoma Out Youth Concert benefitting the Sebastian Strong/Manny Alvarez Foundations on Sunday, May 6th at 1:30pm. Congratulations to Mr. Cooper and all of our talented band members.
CCNN Wins State Championship For 3rd Year/Holds 5th Annual Media Excellence Awards
CCNN Live once again brought home top honors at the Florida Scholastic Press Association Convention.  They received four 1st place awards for “on the spot” contests (including the team state competition), one 2nd place, six Best of the Best, 30 All Florida awards, 26 Excellent ratings and 25 Honorable Mentions.  David Perez was chosen as an Emerging Young Journalist Finalist and Chris Ahrendt was chosen as a Broadcast Journalist of the Year Finalist.   CCNN Live received the All Florida, visual communication distinction.
CCNN Live also hosted their 5th Annual Media Excellence Awards this month which counted on the attendance of close to 20 media professionals.  Luis Santeiro ’65, 20 time Emmy award winning writer for Sesame Street and the original Que Pasa USA? Series was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event.  Special thanks to Ms. Insua and Mr. Delgado.
ISSF STAR Students
Our ISSF Star students Giovanni Aprigliano, Javier Figueroa and Adrian Arredondo were honored for their outstanding academic achievements and dedication to student activities at the 26th Annual ISSF Awards Luncheon.  Pictured is Giovanni at the awards banquet.  Thank you to Mrs. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez for attending the banquet.
Clyde Dozier & Xavier Caso Present Business Plan at “Innovate South Florida”
Clyde Dozier and Xavier Caso represented Columbus at the Innovate South Florida Business Competition. This competition benefitted The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship which supports bringing entrepreneurial curriculums into inner city schools. The boys presented an outstanding business plan of creating a wake board park in Miami.  Special thanks to Mr. Corazon.  
Block C Athletic Awards
Congratulations to all the students who received awards at the Block C Athletic Awards Banquet.   The three major award recipients were: Sharif Amastha (Scholar-Athlete), Tyler Harrell (Athlete of the Year), and Deshay Fernandez (Champagnat Award). Special thanks to Mrs. Vinson and her committee for their hard work in creating this special night for our student-athletes and their families.
Track Team Wins District Championship/Qualified 14 to States
The Track Team won the District 15-4A District Championship with 222 points and went on to place third at the Regional 4A Championship. The following fourteen athletes qualified for the state championship which will take place at the University of North Florida: Tyler Harrell (100m, 200m, 4x100m, 4x400m), Xzavier Henderson (400m, 4x400m, High Jump), Cameron Daniel (400m, 4x400m, 4x100m), Deshay Fernandes (4x800m, 800m, 1600m), Clyde Dozier (110mHH), Courtney Holmes (4x100m, 4x400m), Robert Crockett (4x100m), Henry Parrish (4x100m), Kevin Kergean (4x800m), Nickolas Aixala (4x800m), Malcolm Brown (4x800m), Branden Coleman (High Jump), Gary Cooper (Shot Put), Tony Mills (Shot Put)
Baseball Wins District Championship
The varsity baseball team won the District 15-9A Championship yesterday against Southwest with a score of 12-0.  The team will host Coral Reef on May 8th at 6:30pm for the Region 4-9A Quarterfinal.  Congratulations to Coach Weber and the entire team!
Tennis Placed 2nd at District Championship
The Tennis Team, led by Mr. Green, came in second at the district tennis championship. The team advanced by defeating two seed Ferguson 4-3. The highlight of the tournament was an 8-6 win by the Doubles team of seniors Felipe Gomez and Quino Cuervo.
Waterpolo Placed Third at Districts
The Columbus Water Polo Team had many improvements this season.  The team defeated rival Coral Gables to qualify for the GMAC tournament and placed third in the toughest district in all of Florida. Thank you Mr. Machado.
Six Seniors Signed Athletic Scholarships
Six seniors signed national letters of intent to play their sport in college in April: De Shay Fernandez (University of Florida-Cross Country/ Track & Field), Roberto Nieves (University of Delaware-Golf), Jonathan O’Neil (University of Montevallo-Lacrosse), Alex Básalo (Loyola University-Swimming), Chris Mederos (University of Maine-Baseball), Sam Hernandez (Richland College-Baseball). Congratulations! 
Sports Physicals Given to 220 Underclassmen
Columbus once again partnered with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and a number of local doctors to provide the mandatory comprehensive physical exams, including EKGs, to its student athletes. Over 200 freshmen and sophomores took advantage of the service on exam day. Many thanks to Head Athletic Trainer, Br. Herb.
Debating in Washington D.C.
The Columbus Debate Team had the unique opportunity to debate gun control in the House Judiciary Committee in Washington D.C. They were joined by 74 other students from 20 schools spanning 10 states.  Andrew Castro and Javier Hernandez opened the public debate section of the program, by engaging in a debate about arming school teachers. Marcel Van Hemert and Kevin Cejas gave floor speeches about American exceptionalism in our current gun policy.  It was incredible experience for these students to debate within the walls of the federal government. Thank you Mr. Martinez.
Students Visit the Holocaust Documentation Center & Museum
Twelve students traveled to the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center Museum in Dania Beach to view the Power of Persuasion exhibit on loan from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.  They viewed the anchor exhibit, the Sherman tank and authenticated railcar.  They also had an opportunity to meet with Armin Kraussa, a Holocaust survivor, who graciously shared his experience.  Thank you Ms. McCullagh.
Pre-Law Club Toured the University of Miami’s Law School
The Columbus Pre-Law Club toured the University of Miami’s Law School and attended a mock class by a UM professor.  Thank you to moderator Br. John and Dr. Burrus for accompanying the students on the trip. 
Mas Scholars Attend eMerge Americas
The Mas Scholars went on their annual field trip to eMerge Americas, the premier technology event that connects Latin America, North America and Europe. While there, they were able to meet up with the newly formed Columbus Innovation Board which is made up of alumni. Thank you Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta.
Guidance Department News:
Negative Effects of Vaping 

Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors attended a presentation on the negative effects of vaping.  The presentation was given by fireman and Columbus parent, Mr. Boyd.  According to Mr. Boyd, our country is dealing with an epidemic right now in regards to the teen use of e-cigarettes, also known as "vaping" or "juuling."   See ABC News Video.    

Excessive absences may have a negative effect on your son's grades, activities, and college acceptances.  He may be required to attend summer school and/or make up days after the school year. 
Students Attended a Listening Session with Archbishop Wenski
Columbus students and representatives from other Catholic high schools met with Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski at the Pastoral Center for a listening session organized by the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry along with the Office of Schools of the Archdiocese of Miami.  The students spoke about their thoughts regarding what the Church could do better to assist young people to be more engaged and active Catholics. The students that participated were Carlos Gutierrez, George Castañeda, Jose Acosta, Diego de Atienza, Justin Valdes, Alejandro Morles, Tiago de Almeida Graff, and Julian Rodriguez. Thank you Mr. González for accompanying the students. View Archdiocese Article.
Business Club Receives Visit from Marketing Consultant Brian Corey ’03
Brian Corey ’03, founder of Corey Enterprises, came to speak to the Business Club concerning the various careers available in marketing and the overall changes in the field of advertising as it relates to the Internet and social media.  Thank you to Business teacher Mr. Corazon
Students Attend Hispanicize 2018
Several students had the opportunity to attend Hispanicize 2018, the largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in digital content creation, journalism, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship.   Thank you to Mrs. Khan-Roberts for taking our Explorers to the JW Marriott Marquis for this unique event that counted on the participation of over 2,000 of the nation’s most influential Latino professionals.  
2nd Annual Gear Up for Autism
The 2nd Annual Gear-Up for Autism event was held at Columbus with 90 children participating. The event, founded by Diego Ramos and Sebastian Ortiz, provides a day of fun for children living with autism where they have an opportunity to play a large array of sports and take home a bag of equipment for their favorite sport. Over the last two years this event has raised over $30,000 for Faith’s Place which provides scholarships for children living with autism to receive the therapies and interventions needed. Diego says he plans to continue with this event in the future in memory of of his co-founder Sebastian.
Columbus Receives Tree Cultivated From the World’s Oldest Bald Cypress
In conjunction with Arbor Day (tree-planting day in the U.S.), a tree planting ceremony took place at Marist Circle with the help of alumnus Albert Gomez ’91 (board member of the Ancient Tree Archive) and his wife Dr. Allison Thompson. The tree, named “Marist Mary Tree” came from seeds of the oldest Bald Cypress (2,700 years old) in the world named Lady Liberty which is located in Longwood, Florida. The Marist Mary Tree was one of four trees to be propagated and cultivated from Lady Liberty. One other tree will be planted at Florida International University.
Good Luck to our Silver Knight Award Nominees
Good luck to our 15 Miami Herald Silver Knight Award  nominees: Giovanni Aprigliano, Diego Ramos, Louis Hatem, Antonio Castellanos, Gonzalo Londoño, Bobby Wyszkowski, Javier Figueroa, Christopher Ahrendt, Lucas Rodriguez, Manny Alvarez, Gregory Mesa, Michael Millan, Daniel De Izaguirre, John Suarez, Angel Perez-Castaneda. They had their interviews with the Silver Knight Award Committee judges in April. The winners will be announced at a special ceremony on May 17th.
Anglers Club Held 2nd Annual Bass Fishing Tournament
It was a very productive month for the Anglers Club.  They held their 2nd Annual Bass Fishing Tournament with 32 anglers.  The winners in the peacock bass division were Tobias Castillo (1st), Luis Sanchez (2nd), Christopher Costa (3rd).  In the largemouth division, the winners were Dax Ramos (1st),  Sean Hodson (2nd), and Andrew Alonso (3rd).  Special thanks to the DJ Eric Jimenez ’15 and judge Ignacio Borbolla ’80.
The club also participated in the Miami Dade County Baynanza shoreline cleanup, toured the SeaHunter Boats, took a boat ride on behemoth sized boats to Boca Chica, and volunteered at the Saint Theresa School’s Earth Day Fishing Clinic.  Thank you Angler Club Moderator Mr. Dukes.
Korean War Vet Harey Tarshis Visits Columbus
Rho Kappa and the History Club as well as the Patriot Club welcomed Harvey Tarshis, Army Veteran of the Korean War, to the campus.  Mr. Tarshis was interviewed for a Korean War digital history project the students are working on.  CCNN members Andres Sordo-Martinez, Ralph Hueso, Alejandro Diaz-Herrera, and Marcus Callegari helped with the project.  The Rho Kappa/History Club members involved were:  Ryan Doll, Victor Dana Ted,  Manny Alvarez, Rodrigo De Armas and David Hjelm. Tarshsis and Mike Miskew of Honor Flight South Florida also met with the students.  Special thanks to Ms. McCullagh.
Marcel van Hemert Qualified for Geography Bee World Championship in Germany
Placed 1st at International Geography Among Florida Students
Marcel van Hemert competed in International Geography Bee National Championship held at the Marriott Crystal Gateway in Arlington, VA. He tore through his preliminary rounds, and advanced to become a national semifinalist and placed first among students from the State of Florida. He also qualified to compete at the International Geography Bee World Championships in Berlin, Germany this summer. Congratulations Marcel!
Volunteer Florida Recognized Two Explorers for Their Volunteerism
Mr. O’Brien Chosen For His Work with Castaways Against Cancer
Mr. Steve O’Brien ’72, long-time history teacher and founder of the Castaways Against Cancer was recognized by Volunteer Florida for his work through his organization in raising close to $1 million for the American Cancer Society.
Joseph Pozo Recognized for Heading the Pozo Brother Book Club
Student Joseph Pozo was also recognized by Volunteer Florida for heading the Pozo Brother Book Club which operates out of the South Miami Community Center and works to create a love of reading amongst elementary aged school children.
Gonzalo Londoño Awarded a NATAS $5,000 Scholarship
For a third straight year, a member of CCNN Live has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the Suncoast Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Congratulations to Gonzalo Londoño, this year’s scholarship recipient.
Mr. Delgado to Attend the PBS Newshour SRL Academy as a Mentor
CCNN Live Advisor and Educational Technology Specialist, Mr. Omar Delgado, has been asked to attend this summer's PBS NewsHour SRL Academy as a teacher and mentor to the student groups who will be working on a video project.
Rock Sarcoma Out Concert – May 6th
This Sunday, May 6th, the Columbus Jazz Band and other Explorer musicians in rock/jazz bands will come together to perform and create awareness for childhood cancer at the first annual Rock Sarcoma Out concert at Open Stage Club in Coral Gables. The event will benefit the SebastianStrong Foundation and the Manny Alvarez Foundation.
The concert tickets are $15 and can be purchased on Eventbrite (link to purchase tickets) or at the door, while tickets last.   Donations can also be made and are tax deductible.
Fishing Tournament is May 12 – Register Your Boat Today
The 17th Annual Cory Barreto & Tommy Hernandez Columbus Fishing Tournament is May 12. For more information and to register your boat – CLICK HERE.

Tuition Raffle – Enter for the Chance to Win FREE Tuition for One Year
The Fishing Tournament Committee is offering a tuition raffle, selling 200 tickets for a chance to win one year’s tuition at CCHS (not including fees). The raffle drawing will be held at Shake-a-Leg on May 12th, during the weigh-in. Tickets are $200 each and will grant entry for two to attend the after party at Shake-e-Leg. Raffle tickets are available for purchase on-line by CLICKING HERE and in the Mas Building while quantities last.
Summer Programs at Columbus – Camps, Enrichment Opportunities and Athletic Team Workouts
Columbus offers a wide array of summer programs both for our current students as well as for kids as young as third graders. From athletics to academics and the arts, the Explorers Summer experience is a wonderful way to introduce your children to Columbus. For details CLICK HERE.

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

August 16: Seniors Report to Purchase Parking Permits (9:00am – 12:00noon, Room A-12)
August 17: Orientation for Freshman (in Gym) and Transfer Students (in Café), 7:45am – 12noon
August 18: New Parents Reception (7:00 – 9:00pm, Cafe)
August 20: First Day of Classes - All students report (7:45am – 2:45pm, regular full day)
August 21: New Parents Meeting A-L (6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 22: Picture Day for all students
August 22: New Parents Meeting M-Z (6:30 – 8:30pm, Cafeteria)
August 24: Beach Bash, school dance (7:00pm – 11:00pm)
August 28: Back to School Night (9th & 10th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 29: Back to School Night (11th & 12th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 30: 60th Anniversary Opening Mass with Archbishop (8:00 – 9:30am, Gym)
August 31: Freshman Field Day (7:45am – 2:45pm)
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Christopher Columbus High School is a private, Roman Catholic, college-preparatory high school, conducted by the Marist Brothers of the Schools. We aim to make Jesus Christ known and loved, as we prepare young men for higher education and for their continuous challenge of harmonizing faith, culture and life. We foster a family spirit among all who are committed to the success of the school and promote opportunities to work together as a community of learners. 

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.