Christopher Columbus High School

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

August 2017 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

This is a very exciting time to be an Explorer!  This year, we welcome over 1600 young men and their families into the Christopher Columbus High School Marist community.  We celebrate a new beginning, a new schedule, and a new school calendar.  I am so proud of what we have accomplished over the years (National Merits, Silver Knights, and State and National Championships), but now we must look forward to new challenges that lie ahead.

For the past three years, Columbus along with other Marist schools, has celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Marist Brothers, focusing on the foundations of our Marist charism.  This year, as we enter the third century of the Marist Institute, we are called to recognize the significance of the Gier River which is located near the Brothers’ first house in France.  Just as the Gier is a channel of water that flows to the world’s oceans, we as educators serve as important channels for our students by encouraging them to live out the Marist mission and be a vital force for good in their communities.
School Year Started With School-wide Mass
We celebrated Mass together this week, unified as one in prayer.  It was an incredible experience as Marist Brothers, Marist lay faculty and staff, and students participated.
Where there is hatred and divisiveness in the world, let Columbus be the place to develop brotherhood and camaraderie among our students where we respect one another and promote compassion for those less fortunate.
Welcome New Faculty & Staff
We welcome the following new faculty and staff members to the Columbus family:

Nadia Khan-Roberts, Mercy Aycart, Carolina Ramirez, Jaqueline Raful, Marissa De Silva, Yadira Reynaldo, Jacob Grant, Richard Amador '94, Javier Hermida '03, Rodolfo Sanchez, Jason Hill '03, Andres Gonzalez '12, Kevin Klosowski, Armando Rodriguez, Gabriel Mendoza, Kevin Davis and Alfonso "Flash" Fernandez '84.

Throw Up The “C” Campaign
Thank you to all the Columbus students, alumni, and families who submitted pictures from your summer vacation for our social media “Throw Up the C” campaign. 
Here is Jose-Manuel Adrian '17  throwing up the C while snorkeling at Rock Springs State Park.  #CPride
Gear Up For Autism Event – A Huge Success
Thank you Diego Ramos
Since their freshman year, Diego Ramos ’18 and his classmate Sebastian Ortiz shared the desire to positively impact the lives of children living with autism.  Together, they came up with the idea for Gear Up For Autism, a day in the park for children with autism to enjoy playing sports and to be given the gear of their favorite sport.  They wanted the event to take place during the summer of 2017 but soon after they started the planning, Sebastian was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and 14 months later, in December 2016, passed away.  We are so proud of Diego who finished what he and Sebastian had started and went on to work tirelessly and with great love to put on the event, in honor of Sebastian.  The event took place, as originally planned, during this past summer on July 21st and benefitted 55 children living with autism. Diego was able to raise close to $20,000 and all of the proceeds of the event benefitted Faith’s Place Autism Outreach, an organization which funds the education needs of children living with autism whose families have a financial need.  The project was a joint effort with the SebastianStrong Foundation.   
CCNN Live’s Documentary on the Columbus Blue Mission Trip Aired on PBS
Over the summer, a group of Columbus students traveled to the Dominican Republic with Blue Missions,  an organization led by alumnus Daniel Rodriguez '08 which aims to combat the global water and sanitation crisis.  Our CCNN Live team traveled with the group to document their life-changing experience and how they brought running water to a remote village.  Part of their documentary was aired on PBS’s NewsHour as part of the PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Lab program, a national journalism initiative to connect high school students with public media stations to produce original, youth-focused news reports.  As a PBS school, CCNN Live will have opportunities throughout the year to create content for the national NewsHour site and the nightly broadcast, which reaches over one million viewers each night.

New Parents Reception
It was great meeting all the 9th grade and transfer student families at the New Parents Reception.   For those that are new to the school – welcome to our family!  
Beach Bash
Our Beach Bash school dance, which always signals the end of the first week and the beginning of the new school year, took place on August 25th with many of our Explorers and young ladies from neighboring schools. 
Thank you to SAC moderators Mrs. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez, and the entire SAC board for providing such a fun event for our young men.  

Cross Country Team/Deshay Fernandes Win St. Thomas University’s Twilight Kickoff
We would like to especially recognize our Varsity Cross Country Team for winning the season opener at the “Under the Lights/Twilight Kickoff” at St. Thomas University with a margin of 33 points (17:45.19 avg). 
Individually Deshay Fernandes led the way for the majority of the 5k and finished with a solid 16:51, winning by an 18 second margin (16:51.93). 
Best of luck to Coach Pino and the entire team this season.

Football Opens Season With Win
Congratulations to the varsity football team for opening the season by defeating Mater Academy 45-7.
We wish the Explorers good luck as they square off against Northwestern tonight at 7:00pm at Traz Powell Stadium.
GOOD LUCK TO ALL OUR FALL SPORTS (Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Golf,  and Swimming)!
Coding Club Participates in HackMiami
The coding club kicked off their first competition of the school year at a  HackMiami event at Florida International University which counted on the attendance of 150 hackers.  
Justin Parrondo (Sophomore) and David Perez (Junior) represented the Explorers in the beginner category, finishing in 5th place.
Thank you to Mr. Larrubia, Coding Club Moderator. 
Mr. Martinez Speaks at Speech & Debate Conference
We are proud that our debate team moderator, Mr. Randall Martinez, was selected to speak at the 1st Annual Elevating Speech & Debate Conference in Denver. He discussed Spanish Language Debate as a tool for Latin Empowerment. 
We look forward to hearing about more accomplishments from Mr. Martinez and our successful debate team this year.  
Mrs. McCullagh Travelled to South Korea with Korean War Veterans
Columbus history teacher, Mrs. McCullagh, had the extraordinary opportunity to travel through South Korea this summer with the Korean War Legacy Foundation.  She along with other committed educators were able to tour landmarks while honoring Korean War Veterans (more information).
Help Columbus’ Texas Relief Effort
Junior, Charles Trent has organized a Texas Relief Effort and is calling for the Columbus family to donate  clothing, diapers, bottled water, and canned food. 
The donations will be accepted through Friday, September 8th and should be delivered to the box in front of Brother Tom’s office (first floor – 87th Ave. end of the B Building).
All donations will be given to the Miami office of Teens Exercising Extraordinary Successthey will deliver them to Houston and their Houston branch will distribute them to those in need.  Through our care and compassion, let’s demonstrate that the Columbus family is truly extraordinary.  
Interested in Hosting a French Student?
Columbus is collaborating with Inspired Gateways in a Cultural Exchange Program.  If your family is interested in becoming a cultural exchange host family for a French student this school year, please contact our French teacher Mrs. Estelle Pugh at or our Admissions Director, Mr. Michael Marinelli at  The French exchange students will live in Miami and attend Columbus for a shortened period of time. The host family will most likely have the student living with them for approximately one month.  We would love to see as many families as possible participate in this cultural enrichment experience opportunity. 

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.