Christopher Columbus High School

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

April 2019 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Easter Time Brings New Beginnings
I hope everyone had a blessed Easter holiday break. Easter is always a very special time of year, not only because of its great significance in the Christian faith, but because it also represents a time of hope and renewal. Some may even say that it’s a time for new beginnings. New beginnings can be exciting, but they can also lead to uncertainty. For us to create new beginnings, we must embrace change. As you know, change is part of life and affects us all. Last year, with some challenges, we changed our schedule for our students to graduate with additional credits. We also changed our “C” logo and added new school marks as part of our first-ever rebrand which helped improve our image locally and nationally. Next year, we will welcome a new President and with his presence will come additional change.
It is an exciting time to be a Columbus Explorer. Let us embrace change and celebrate our new beginnings!
Meet Columbus’ New President - Thomas Kruczek
Following an extensive nationwide search, the Board of Trustees of Christopher Columbus High School announced on April 16th that Thomas Kruczek will become the school’s second president, effective July 1, 2019. Mr. Kruczek is currently the President of Notre Dame College, a Catholic liberal arts college in South Euclid, Ohio. Br. Kevin Handibode, current Columbus President, will assume a new role at Columbus.   Mr. Kruczek has a thirty-plus year career that has successfully encompassed higher education and the business world, and he is a proven leader and mentor.
Welcome to the Columbus family President Kruczek!
Some Things Never Change – CCNN Live is “Best of the Best” in Competition
CCNN Live had another great showing at the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s state convention, winning 31 All Florida awards. Of 17 Best of the Best nominations, they earned nine Best of the Best wins. Freshmen and Sophomores won one Honorable Mention, two 3rd Places, three 2nd places, and three 1st places in the On the Spot contests. Their publication received the new Sunshine Standout Award for broadcast journalism and Steven Lee won the Broadcast Journalist of the Year. In the Student Television Network’s competition, CCNN placed first in both the news and sports segments and placed third in film.  Congratulations to all the participating students and to Mr. Delgado and Ms. Insua.
Marist Achievement Awards
Congratulations to all the students who were recognized at the Marist Achievement Awards. This annual awards ceremony celebrates the success of our students in academics and extra-curricular activities. Thank you to all the Columbus family members that were in attendance. Special thanks to Ms. Rayneri and her team who helped organize the successful event.

National Honor Society Induction
We also congratulate the newly inducted members of the Br. Edmund Sheehan Chapter of the National Honor Society. They were inducted at the Marist Achievement Awards: Juniors: Alejandro Acevedo. Matias Assis, Diego Austin, Ricardo Avila, John Ballard, Liam Bascuas, Christian Calispa, Lance Campos, Andrew Castro, Angel Colina, Konstantino Dimitrakis, Carlos Garcia, Jordan  Garcia, Waquel Jones, Andrew Langer, Alejandro Lopez, Matthew Peredo, Adam Perez, Jacob Suarez, Ethan Trueba, Ryan Yglesias, Sophomores: Mariano Aguirre, John Aleman, Frans Alvarez, Ryan Amador, Samuel Anderson, Daniel Armesto, Darrick Baboun, Michael Bendixen, Lukas Bleichner, Lucas Caporale, Gabriel  Coleman, Alexander Coronel, Lucas Cruz, Christopher de la Viesca, Nicholas Debs, Robert Diaz, Andrew Duran, Diego Espinosa, Ryan Etten, Victor Fuentes, Patrick Garcia, Adrian Gonzalez, Matthew Greenwood, Emilio Heinert, Hansel Heres, Javier Hidalgo-Gato, Christopher Jose, Javier Logreira, Alexander Lopes, Ray Lozano, Alvaro Luis, Pablo Martinez, Manny Modrono, Daniel Montoto, Gilbert Navarro, Marco Navarro, Adrian Noy, Patrick Othon, Sebastian Paz, Juan Pelaez, Raphael Perez, Emilio Pineda Guerrero, William Rodriguez, Diego Rodriguez, Alejandro Rodriguez, Aidan Romero, Kenneth Romeu, Michael Saco, Alexander Sardinas, Noah Sastoque, Donato Scarcello, Caden Serrato, Victor Suarez, Nickolas Suarez, William Trueba, John Paul Umbach, Daniel Valdes, Andres Valdes, Christopher Valdes, Gabriel Valladares, Daniel Van Arman, Rodrigo Velazco, Ryan Williams, Andrew Zurfluh. Special thanks to Mrs. Cofresi, Mrs. Chomat, Mr. Crossman, Mrs. Pita, Mrs. Alegret, Mrs. Pugh, Ms. Romero, Ms. Aycart, and Ms. Rayneri. 
Achievement Breakfast
Congratulations to all the students recognized at the recent Achievement Breakfast. They were honored for both their academic and extra-curricular activity success. Special thanks to Dr. Vila, Mr. Garcia-Casals and Ms. Da Silva for organizing the breakfast for the students and their families.    
ISSF Star Students
Seniors Ethan Gaunaurd, Alexander Anderson, and Nick Aixala were honored at the 2019 Independent Schools of South Florida Star Student Luncheon. The event recognizes outstanding students who set an example for others to follow, whether in the home, school, or community. Thank you to Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez for accompanying our students.
Gear Up For Autism
The 3rd Annual Gear Up for Autism event on campus was an inspiring day which celebrated children living with autism in our community. It was wonderful to see our Explorers bringing joy to these children.  Hundreds of volunteers and children gathered for a day of sports, music, and fun which culminated with a heart-warming ceremony where each child received a bag with their favorite sports gear. Included was a pair of New Balance sneakers honoring Explorer Sebastian Ortiz (event co-founder), who passed away of cancer in 2016.   Special thanks to Diego Ramos ’18, Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cofresi, Mrs. Amador, Mr. Staiano, and Br. Eladio.
Track & Field Won Regional Championship
The Columbus Track & Field team won the Region 4-4A Championship with 70.5 points, ahead of 2nd place Piper (70 points) and 3rd place Miramar (63 points). Cameron Daniels and Xzavier Henderson led the way in the 200m and 4x400m, Kevin Kergean in the 1600m and Courtney Holmes and Sebastien Cantave in the 4x400m to bring home the championship. Congratulations to Coach Foyo and all the competitors.
Lacrosse Won District Championship
Some of the highlights from the Lacrosse season were beating the number 13 team in the state, beating Belen for the first time in 5 years and winning an overtime thriller to Gulliver. The team went on to continued success in district playoffs by beating Miami Country Day in the first round and then winning the district by beating Belen in double overtime. Congratulations to Coach Morrissey, Coach O'Neil and the entire team.
Volleyball Won GMAC Championship
The Varsity Volleyball Team, led by Brian Clark, Luis Gutierrez, Nick Suarez, Ishaan Melwani, and Sean Salazar, defeated the top ranked seed, South West High School, for the first place victory, winning the GMAC Championship.  Congratulations to Coach Bluhm and all the players.
Physics Team Placed First at Barry University
Members of the Columbus Physics Team finished first at the Physics Lab Activity Competition hosted by Barry University. Congratulations to John Ballard, Michael Berry, David Flores, Javier Fernandez, Daniel Luna, and Justin Parrondo. Jared Coleman competed individually at the competition and finished 9th in the Chemistry Written Competition presentation. Special thanks to Mr. Sanchez and Mr. Baez.
Pre-Law Club Visited UM’s School of Law
Br. John and the Pre-Law Club took a field trip to the University of Miami’s School of Law. It was a productive and informative day learning about the different fields of the law profession.
Anglers Club’s 3rd Annual Bass Fishing Tournament
The Columbus Anglers Club 3rd Annual Bass Fishing Tournament was a great success. Congratulations to the winners: Largemouth Student Division: Sebastian Iglesias (1st Place), Christian Toussaint (2nd Place), Ryan Cano (3rd Place); Peacock Student Division: Emilio Lerma (1st Place), Ryan Can (2nd/3rd place). In the Student Snook Division, Luis Sanchez won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. The fathers who placed in the tournament were Mr. Iglesias (1st place largemouth), and Mr. Reyes (1st place Peacock). Thank you Mr. Dukes.
Columbus is Top Donor in Blood Drive (for 7th consecutive year)
For the 7th year in a row, the OneBlood Organization recognized Columbus as the top blood donor for private schools in Miami Dade County. Due to this achievement over the years, Columbus earned nearly $25,000 in OneBlood scholarships. We thank all the students, faculty, and staff who made this life-saving achievement possible. Special thanks to Mrs. Cofresi and the NHS officers. 
Explorers Participate in International Climate Conference
A group of 22 Explorers participated in the 2nd International Conference on Climate, Nature, and Society hosted by St. Thomas University. Thank you to Mr. Marti for taking the students and allowing them to partake in this enriching and eye-opening experience.
Several Students Represented Columbus at the Archbishop's Chrism Mass
Several students represented Columbus at the Chrism Mass celebrated by Archbishop Wenski at the Cathedral of St. Mary.  The Chrism Mass is a public celebration and display of the unity of the Archbishop/Bishop to the priests of the diocese.  It is one of the most holy and solemn Masses celebrated all year because, in addition to the priests renewing their vows, three oils are blessed during the Mass which play an important role in the sacraments and  life of the Church.
Explorers in Europe
During Easter vacation, a group of Explorers traveled to Europe with Mrs. Alegret, Br. John and Br. Eladio.  Their trip included the cities of London, Paris and Amsterdam.  They were able to experience, new foods, different languages and visit landmarks like the London Eye, Eiffel Tower, Anne Frank's house, Rembrandt Exhibit and the Johan Cruijff Arena.  Next year’s Europe trip is already being planned and will include Germany and Austria.
12 Explorers Inducted into the International Thespian Honor Society
Congratulations to the 12 newly inducted members of the International Thespian Honor Society: Christian Wilson, Adrian Sanchez, Alexander La Roz, Alexander Buonocore, Luca Buonocore, Kevin Cordero, Andres Cabral, Paul Signori, Miguel Ramirez, Tobias Reyes, David Figueredo, Justyn Rubio. Special thanks to Mrs. McGrath. Thank you for your dedication to the Columbus theater program.
Battle of the Bands Benefited Castaways Against Cancer
On April 11th several Columbus bands performed for a benefit concert in the Columbus Cafe.  Popular bands 5800, Tongue Tied, and Pear participated and over $1,000 was raised for the Castaways Against Cancer's No Surrender 20th Annual Tour. Each band played a set of five songs and the crowd voted for the winner.  Congratulations to Pear who won the battle and to senior Nick Sosa who gave a stellar singing performance of Frank Sinatra's “My Way.”  Thank you to event organizers and Explorer Castaways Mr. Kumer, Mr. Pino, Mr. O’Brien, Mr. Mendoza, Mr. Scholer, and Mr. Pelegrin and all the talented musicians who participated.

Good Luck to our Silver Knight Award Nominees - You are all Winners!
The Columbus family wishes good luck to our 13 Silver Knight Award Nominees. They had their interview with the selection committee on April 10th and will attend the Awards Ceremony on May 16th where the winner in each category will be announced. Our nominees are Daniel Gonzalez (Athletics), Kenneth Debs (Business), Victor Arechavaleta (Digital & Interactive Media), Joseph Pozo (English & Literature), Lucas Musibay (General Scholarship), Nicolas Suarez (Mathematics), Nicolas Jacobi (Music & Dance), Jesus Capo (Science), Caden Whelpley (Social Science), Charles Gannon (Speech), Sebastian de la Torre (Vocational Technical), Noah Defauwes (World Languages). Special thanks to Silver Knight Award Coordinator Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and all the faculty members who helped the students prepare for the interviews (Mrs. Cibran, Mrs. Chomat, Mrs. Call, Mrs. Corazon, Mr. Martinez, Mrs. Gonzalez and Mrs. Amador).
Liceo Guatemala Students Visit Columbus
Students from the Marist Brothers school Liceo Guatemala were able to visit Columbus during their Miami visit. They were in town for a robotics convention and made it a point to stop by and learn about not only the Columbus Robotics Club but our many award winning programs.
Best Buddies Club Celebrates Easter with the Students of Great Heights Academy
Members of the Columbus Best Buddies Club and students from the Communication Methodology Class volunteered at Great Heights Academy with children with special needs.  The students of GHA were treated to an Easter Egg Hunt, a kickball game, and Easter related art activities. It is always a great time when our Explorers get to spend time with the Eagles!   Thank you Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas and Mrs. Martinez!
CCNN Students Receive Suncoast Emmy Scholarships
CCNN Live students Victor Arechavaleta, Steven Lee and Joseph Fernandez were each named Suncoast Emmy Scholarship Award Winners and will receive scholarship money, renewable each year. They all plan to study some form of multi-media in college. 

Marcel van Hemert Chosen as Semifinalist in International Geography Bee
Marcel van Hemert competed at the National Finals for the International Geography Bee for the third year in a row. After a long, hard fought three rounds, he won a tiebreaker that put him through to the semifinals. In the end, he placed 11th in the Nation and topped the state of Florida for the second year in a row.   Congratulations!
Mrs. Cofresi Named Best Blood Drive Coordinator
Our own English teacher and National Honor Society Moderator, Mrs. Lourdes Cofresi, was named Best Blood Drive Coordinator for the 2018-2019 school year by the OneBlood organization.

CCNN’s Mr. Delgado and Ms. Insua are Presented with the FSPA Golden Key
CCNN Live moderators Mr. Omar Delgado and Mrs. Christina Insua were honored with the Florida Scholastic Press Association’s Golden Key Award, marking 10 years of successful advising publications. Congratulations!
The Miami Marlins to Host Br. Kevin Recognition Day at Game vs. Mets on May 18
The Miami Marlins invite the Christopher Columbus High School family to Br. Kevin Recognition Night when the Marlins host the New York Mets. Br. Kevin is scheduled to throw out the first pitch!  All tickets are $26 and can be purchased online by CLICKING HERE.. If you have additional questions regarding ticket purchases, please contact Alfonso “Flash” Fernandez via email at
Wear What Explorers Wear – Shop the Online Store
At  COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP you’ll find 2-day shipping on the latest Columbus branded merchandise for men, women, and children. Be sure to check out the store and wear what Explorers wear!
Summer Camps & Programs at Columbus
Columbus offers a wide array of camps and programs over the summer for both our current students and young children. These include the CCNN Live Summer Institute (Broadcast Journalism), Web Ball Baseball Camp, Press On Running Camp, Athletic Team Workouts and our 45th annual Basketball Camp (the longest running basketball camp in Miami-Dade County). View our Summer Camps and Enrichment Programs Web Page to learn about the different opportunities.
Upcoming Dates To Remember:

June 10:                Summer School Registration
June 11:                Summer School Begins
July 1:                    Summer School Ends
July 4th:                July 4th Holiday (School Closed)
Aug. 15:                Seniors May Purchase Parking Permits (9:00am in A12)
Aug. 16:                Freshmen/Transfer Students Report for Orientation/iPad distribution at 7:40am
Aug. 17:                New Parents Reception (7:00 – 9:00pm)
Aug. 19:                All Students Report to Homeroom at 7:40am for full day of school
Aug. 20:                New Parents Meeting (last name starts with A – L) 6:30pm in cafeteria
Aug. 21:                Picture Day for all students
Aug. 21:                New Parents Meeting (last name starts with M – Z) 6:30pm in cafeteria
Aug. 23:                Annual CCHS vs. Belen Football Game
Aug. 27:                Back to School Night Freshmen and Sophomore Parents (6:00pm)
Aug. 28:                Back to School Night Junior and Senior Parents (6:00pm)
Aug. 30:                Freshman Field Day & Beach Bash
Sep. 12:                Labor Day Holiday (No School)  

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.