Christopher Columbus High School

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

August 2020 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

A Shared Vision and Faith
Whether on-line in an eLearning environment or face to face, it is good to be back!  While there is still so much uncertainty in our lives, the one thing we can count on is that our Explorers remain steadfast and our Marist charism endures.  We are a strong, proud, and resilient community!  We worked hard this summer to ensure the safety and well-being of our entire school community while also upgrading our technology to provide a quality Marist-education with the academic rigor and personalized attention we have come to expect. The Return to School Plan was created to provide guidance and direction and was a true team effort.  I am honored to have worked on the project with so many of our dedicated professionals on the task force.    
The first two weeks have gone well, and we have achieved our goals. Next, we look forward to the day we can bring students back on campus. If the positivity rate remains low, we are confident in our ability to pivot from a full on-line platform to a hybrid platform. Rest assured that we enforce social distancing and promote a community of respect for the safety and well-being of one another. 

We can do this...responsibly, holding one another accountable and sacrificing for the greater good.  We can do this...with shared vision and faith! 
2020/21 School Year Starts Fully Online
On August 24th, Columbus started the 2020/21 school year with Fully Online eLearning and most faculty members teaching from their classrooms.  Although the Explorers were not physically on campus together, it was a special day, especially for the freshmen and new students who experienced “The Brotherhood” for the first time. 
The Live eLearning Classroom
With the commitment to create a new state-of-the art digitally enhanced eLearning platform, we heavily invested in technology with capabilities of producing a live and engaging educational experience.  With new cameras, microphones, and mobile monitors, teachers and students easily engage as if they were together in class.  The reliability of the school’s network speed and performance was also tremendoulsy enhanced.  VIEW MRS. AYCART’S CLASSROOM DEMO
Campus Safety Measures
In order to ensure that our students will be protected to the highest degree possible when they do return to school physically, many COVID-19-related safety measures have been added to the campus.  This includes the installation campus-wide of a UV-C Germicidal Lights Sterilization System to the Air Conditioning, Plexi-glass safety partitions, hand sanitizing dispensers and safety precautions signage.  All water fountains were converted to touchless water bottle filling stations and an abundant supply of face masks, gloves, disinfecting wipes and sprays have been purchased.   A new cleaning company was contracted, and additional cleaning procedures were incorporated.
Return to School Plan
If you haven’t already, be sure to thoroughly review our Return to School Plan.  The plan details our four learning settings.  We are currently operating in Scenario 1 (Fully Online eLearning) and we will be ready to pivot to the Hybrid Online/In Person and Brick-and-Mortar models when the time is right.   DOWNLOAD RETURN TO SCHOOL PLAN
Welcome New Marist Educators
We welcome the following new faculty members to the Columbus family:, Joseph Busatto, Adrian Campbell, Danny Casals, Gabriella Cruz, Gabriel De Tuya, Alex Garabedian, Alejandro Levy, Belkis Llontop, Rudy Pittaluga, William Turkel, Daniella Rodriguez and Chris Ventura (pictured left to right starting with top row)
Br. Peter Guadalupe Returns to Columbus as Campus Minister
Columbus is blessed to have Br. Peter Guadalupe back at Columbus working in the Campus Ministry Department with our seniors and providing spiritual direction to our educational community.  This is the third time that Br. Peter, who is celebrating 52 years as a Marist Brother, serves our school.  He started here as a teacher of Religion and Spanish from 1994 to 1996 and then returned as a guidance counselor from 2005 to 2016.  For the last four years, Br. Peter worked in New York teaching Spanish to the first-year Marist Brother candidates and served a new apostolate program for the Brothers’ province in Austin, Texas.  During his time as a Brother he has also ministered at Marist high schools in Chicago, Massachusetts, and  Texas. 
Mrs. Martinez Assumes Christian Service Coordinator Role  
Junior Guidance Counselor, Mrs. Debra Martinez, is the new Coordinator of Christian Service for the school, replacing Br. Tom Long who will be dedicated full-time to Campus Ministry.  It is important that all students regularly check their emails for information from regarding opportunities for service hours and any changes to policy for procedure.  It is a graduation requirement for all Columbus students to complete a minimum of 100 hours of qualified volunteer service.  We strongly encourage students to fulfill this requirement incrementally over their four-year CCHS career by performing at least 25 hours of service each year.

Freshmen and Transfer Students Were on Campus for iPad Distribution
The week before classes started, freshmen and transfer students were on campus in full uniform for iPad distribution, yearbook pictures, and a short orientation.  It was a wonderful opportunity to meet our new students in person.  
New Center for Science & The Arts Named in Honor of Marcus Lemonis &  Mario Sueiras
On August 5th, we announced the naming of our new Center for Science and the Arts.   We are so grateful to alumni Marcus Lemonis  and Mario Sueiras from the class of 1991 for their extraordinary support. Their generosity will build a legacy for the future through this new center of learning that will serve as inspiration for generations of Explorers.  LEARN ABOUT THE MARCUS LEMONIS AND MARIO SUEIRAS CENTER FOR SCIENCE & THE ARTS 

Over 100 Students Participated in the MasTec Virtual Summer Externship
Over 100 students participated in the first-ever virtual externship with MasTec Inc.  The informative, interactive, and educational two-week experience focused on finance, engineering, infrastructure, technology, accounting and risk management. The students had the opportunity to attend Zoom sessions with MasTec President himself, Jose Mas '89, as well as eight other alumni who work at the company.  At the end, the students were given a quiz with prizes awarded to the winners.  Our Explorers were very fortunate to have had this extraordinary opportunity in the middle of a pandemic.  Special thanks to Mrs. Anderson (Director of Externships & Internships).  
SAC is Keeping Explorers Connected
The Student Activities Committee (SAC) has been busy coordinating digital efforts and videos to keep our Explorers feeling connected and welcomed during this start of school period.  The videos have included inspirational messages from students of each year level and a trivia contest. Pictured is Derrick Hart from his welcome video to the sophomore class.  SAC is currently working on the virtual club fair which will take place next week.  Thank you Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell.
Golf & Baseball Teams Collect School Supplies for Children with Cancer
The golf team, spearheaded by Sebastian Kawas '22, and the baseball team, spearheaded by Eddie Leon '21, joined forces to drop-off over 200 backpacks filled with school supplies for children that are currently fighting Cancer.  The project was made possible through the Fight Like a Kid Childhood Cancer Foundation. Special thanks to Mr. Marinelli and Mr. Bowman.
Webinars and Town Halls 
In addition to the Return to School Parent Orientation Sessions, we hosted a series of different Webinars and Virtual Town Hall Meetings in July and August.  These included a: Virtual Student Forum for Incoming Students, Digital Speaker Series Careers in Finance with Danny Brea ’95, Looking Back with Lynskey & Friends, and a College Application Bootcamp.  Many of them are available on our YouTube Channel. 
Get Your CCHS Branded Masks and Neck Gaiters (available at the online store)
At  COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP you’ll find 2-day shipping on the latest Columbus branded merchandise for men, women, and children including our masks and neck gaiters.  Be sure to check out the store and wear what Explorers wear!  All proceeds from mask and neck gaiters sales will go towards families in need as a result of unexpected financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. VISIT THE ONLINE STORE
Thank You For Your Summer Pictures!
Special thanks to all the Columbus families who provided us with their summer pictures for our social media. As many of us were in quarantine, it was nice to view and share the joyful images.
Upcoming  October Dates to Remember:

10/7:                  Digital Speaker Series with State Rep. Daniel Perez ‘05
10/12:                Columbus Day Holiday (No School)
10/14:                PSAT/NMSQT (Juniors Only)
10/28:                Online Parent/Teacher Meetings (by appointment)
10/29:                PSAT/NMSQT Exam (Sophomores Only)
*Marist Youth takes place every Tuesday at 7:00pm (in cafeteria & virtually)  
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.