Christopher Columbus High School

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

April 2020 Principals Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

I want to thank the entire school community once again for all the prayers, and tremendous amount of support I received since testing positive for COVID-19.  I am still progressing in isolation at home, feeling better every day. I am looking forward to returning soon, but thanks to our technology, I have been able to meet daily with our Administration as we continue to make preparations for the 2020-2021 school year. 

All things are being considered, and all decisions will be made in the best interest of our entire school community. I am confident that our decisions will reflect the information we have received from other school districts, healthcare professionals, local government leaders, as well as national recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. One thing is certain, there will be an emphasis on education, communication, and expectations. Our situation remains fluid and is always subject to change, so it will be important to remain flexible, with the understanding that we may need to transition from one platform to the next at any given time. 
We look forward to sharing this information with you in early August. Until then, continue to explore our website and social media outlets throughout the month of July.  Enjoy the summer break, practice the guidelines provided by the CDC and respect the health and safety of others. We will do this, but we must work together, and we have to remain disciplined in our actions! 
Class of 2020 Appreciation Day
Seniors Were Welcomed Back to Campus for a Drive-Through Gift Distribution
On April 24th, amidst a cheering group of faculty and staff members wearing masks and holding inspirational signs, our class of 2020 was given the opportunity to drive through campus for a special gift distribution. Each senior received a congratulatory Class of 2020 Yard Sign and Columbus socks but what many of the students appreciated most was the support from our teachers and the school’s administration.  VIEW VIDEO    COMMUNITY PAPERS ARTICLE
Congratulations to the Valedictorian and Salutatorian
Special congratulations to the Class of 2020 Valedictorian, Jared Coleman,  and Salutatorian Michael Berry. READ ABOUT THESE OUTSTANDING EXPLORERS.  
Reminder: Get Your Adelante Yearbook
Nothing captures the energy and excitement at Columbus like the Adelante yearbook, filled with photographs and achievements. To order the 2019-20 Adelante yearbook, visit and enter school code 17297. 
Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 - 10)
Next week is National Teacher Appreciation Week! Never has the work of our teachers been so appreciated than during these times of the COVID-19 pandemic when the education profession changed "virtually" overnight. Our teachers immediately embraced challenges, changed their lesson plans to work for distance learning, and adapted methods to keep their students engaged. And, they did it all with compassion and understanding for their students. Let's remind our Explorers to thank their teachers and let them know that they are appreciated and admired.  
Three Explorers Signed NFL Contracts in the 2020 Draft
The 2020 NFL Draft was a record breaking event for Columbus with three alumni signing contracts, more than any other high school in Miami-Dade County.  Included was the #9 first-round pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars  – Chris "CJ" Henderson '17 (University of Florida), the second highest NFL draft pick in Columbus history after Alonzo Highsmith (#3 pick in 1987).  Josh Uche ‘16 (University of Michigan) was drafted by the New England Patriots in the 2nd round, as the 60th pick overall.   Trajan Bandy '17 (University of Miami) signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  We wish these Explorers good luck in their new professional careers. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PLAYERS HERE 

Manny Gaunard & Christian Guzman Earn Miami Herald Winter Sport Honors
The Miami Herald recognized two Explorers with 1st Team All County Honors: Manny Gaunard (Soccer) Christian Guzman (Wrestling). Congratulations!
CCNN Live Wins 13 STN Awards; Best in Nation for Monthly Show and Animated Film
CCNN Live won a total of 13 awards in the Student Television Network's Spring National Contest. More than 3,000 students competed in different journalistic categories. CLICK HERE TO VIEW AWARDS. STN also named CCNN's The Voyage, the best monthly show in the nation and their animated film, Nasib, best animated film in the nation. Unfortunately, the crew could not accept these awards in person at the STN convention in Washington D.C., but they did have a virtual Zoom party. Another record for CCNN Live - the program earned 17 Emmy nominations from the Suncoast Chapter of the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences! The Columbus family is so proud of the team for their continued extraordinary accomplishments. Thank you Mr. Delgado, Mrs. Insua, and Mr. Diaz.

Debate Society Competes in 1st Online Spanish Language Scrimmage with College Students
The Columbus Debate Society hosted and competed in the first ever online Spanish language debate scrimmage and were the only high school students in attendance. They competed against college debaters from Cornell, Universidad de Central Venezuela, University of North Georgia, Cal Poly, Cape Cod Community College, and Willamette University. Not only did our students hold their own, they actually won a round, received a top speaker award, and finished in 2nd place overall!  Congratulations to sophomores Jan Andretta, Marcelo Andreu, and Hans Bendixen.  Marcelo Andreu was recognized as the top speaker of the tournament. Thank you Mr. Martinez for helping Columbus students break new ground in debate's digital frontier.  
Watch Jan's 2nd Round
Watch Hans' 2nd Round
Congratulations ISSF STAR Students
Each year, the Independent Schools of South Florida (ISSF), recognizes outstanding students from its member schools. This year, Alfredo Ribas, Daniel Hernandez, and Alejandro Quevedo were named ISSF Star Award winners.
D'Angelo Chavez Helps Community Through Food Drive
D'Angelo Chavez ’23, along with his family, volunteered and distributed food and flowers at a food drive which helped the Doral community. 
Geography Club Creates Info Series on the 50 States
In order to increase geographic literacy among young people, senior Marcel van Hemert and the Explorers Geography Club have started developing an info-series on all 50 states - Learn More  
Anglers Club Placed 3rd in the FWC High School Fishing Program Conservation Project
The Anglers Club placed 3rd in the FWC High School Fishing Program Conservation Project which had a participation of an estimated 30 schools across Florida. The goal of the conservation project is to teach students about ethical angling, conservation, Florida fisheries habitats, basic fishing gear and general fishing concepts to help create confident and responsible anglers. Thank you Coach Dukes!
Good Friday Blood Drive
On Good Friday, Columbus hosted a blood drive on campus with the help of Mrs. Cofresi and the OneBlood Organization. In total, 24 pints of blood was collected on the very hot day.

Send Your Prayer Requests to Campus Ministry
We are in this TOGETHER! The Campus Ministry Council meets regularly to serve the Columbus community. If you have any special prayer requests, please make sure to reach out to Mr. Gonzalez.
Guidance Department News:
The guidance department has been meeting with students both one-on-one and through classes on Zoom sessions. They have been contacting parents to discuss grades, AP Exam preparedness, and give organizational advice. At the recommendation of Mrs. Martinez, Mr. Hill, Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and Mrs. Amador, 120 juniors took advantage of a mock ACT and SAT which was offered by Revolution Prep. SENIORS, please remember to update Naviance with your college selection!
Virtual Spirit Week
The week of April 27th was Columbus Virtual Spirit Week which involved Columbus students and teachers posting pictures on social media. The themes included, Man's Best Friend Monday, Tourist Tuesday, Way Back Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, and Fan Club Friday. Going virtual has not stopped our C-Pride! Thank you Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell.
Heroes Campaign - Honoring Columbus Front-Line Workers
We started a social media campaign in support of all the Columbus heroes on the front line of the health crisis. Several Columbus alumni and parents that are doctors, nurses, EMS, police, fire and other front line workers have been featured. Thank you for your service. You make the Columbus family so proud! Pictures can be submitted to
Alejandro Quevedo Selected as Inaugural Helmsman Award Recipient
We are proud to announce that Alejandro Quevedo has been selected as the recipient of the inaugural CCHS Helmsman Award, given to the senior whose leadership, experiences and personality best exemplify the heart and soul of the Class of 2020.  Well-respected by his peers, teammates and teachers, "Q," as he is affectionately known, will have the opportunity to address his fellow seniors at graduation.
Kevin Reyes Named Best Director by STN
Senior Kevin Reyes was named Best Director by the Student Television Network for his film, SPOTTERS. 
Columbus Band Got Together for an Uplifting Recording
Listen to this Zoom recording of the Columbus band recording the song "Use This Gospel."
Together in Prayer: Marist May Novena (May 2 - 10)
Br. Patrick McNamara, Marist Brothers USA Provincial, is again inviting our Marist family to unite in prayer for a Marist Novena, this Saturday, May 2nd and finishing on Mother's Day, May 10th.
Columbus Connects Virtual Town Hall Meeting: Financial Planning (May 7th @ 7:30pm)
Although Columbus events have been canceled, we are still connecting the Columbus family together through the Columbus Connects Virtual Town Hall Meetings via our YouTube Channel. In April, we held Coronavirus: Boots on the Ground with doctors Rosendo Collazo '78, Lorraine Dowdy Collazo, Jerry Capote '98, Fernando Mendoza '87, and Vincenzo Novora who shared their knowledge and answered questions.  On May 7th we will host a Town Hall Meeting on Financial Planning with industry experts Marcus Lemonis '91 [CNBC's "The Profit"], Luis de la Aguilera '77 [President & CEO, US Century Bank], Adrian Alfonso '98 [Principal, CPA Kaufman Rossin], Carlos Saladrigas '90 [President & CEO, Regis HR Group] and Danny Brea '95 [Certified Financial Planner (TM)]. 
CCNN Live'S Summer Institute Camp Goes Virtual and National
CCNN Live's popular Summer Camp for girls and boys in middle and high school will be offered online this summer to students across the nation. It will run weekdays for two weeks starting June 8th from 12pm - 3pm and feature guest speakers PBS' Pam Giganti, Former CBS Morning News Anchor Maggie Fernandez and Miami Heat's Jason Jackson. To register, visit For more information, email  
CPride Ball Catch Video Goes Viral / Makes CBS4 Newscast
Brings Columbus Family Together During Social Distancing
Following the video trend started by a few colleges, Columbus family members got together virtually to make the popular "ball catch" video. What's especially great about the Columbus video is that it not only includes students, coaches, and faculty, but also some prominent alumni sports and community figures like MLB World Series Champion Jon Jay, Detroit Tigers' Brian Garcia, CBS4 News Anchor Mike Cugno, and MasTec President Jose Mas, to name a few. Watch the Columbus brotherhood play some ball together while showing their C-Pride! The video was picked up by Jim Berry at CBS4 Miami who included it in his sports report.   WATCH CPRIDE BALL CATCH VIDEO
Facebook Frames
Share your #CPride and support for the Class of 2020 on Facebook by adding this branded frame to your profile photo.
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.