Christopher Columbus High School

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

August 2021 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Fostering the Bonds of Brotherhood while Strengthening our Relationship with God 
Many great memories were made in the month of September. In just our second month back to school, the Columbus spirit is alive and well! We have been engaging our young men academically, spiritually, and physically through retreats, field days, and Mass. Holding true to our rich history and traditions, we are enjoying the festivities in support of our Walk-a-thon, now in its 28th year, and also celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.  Our young men have had fun participating in a variety of activities.
The entire school community has been cooperative as we continue to abide by our COVID guidelines. Our task force meets regularly and makes recommendations to help ensure that we are always up to date with protocol that mitigates the spread of the virus on campus. With a low positivity rate, we continue to achieve our goals, creating a safe environment and keeping our students in the classroom.   Adelante!
Commitment to the Year of St. Joseph
With excitement and anticipation, we look forward to celebrating a new year, one in which the Marist Provincial Council has appropriately named the “Year of St. Joseph.”  Pope Francis describes him as “a strong man of silence.” A man who lived a humble life, but one that was rich in faith and love. We also know that Joseph was a courageous and loyal man.  He was a tireless worker who provided an unfailing presence.  May his example continue to be an inspiration to us all and may we emulate his strong work ethic and ability to foster a family spirit as we continue to lead our young men forward.
New Marist Educators
We welcomed 16 Marist educators to the Columbus family this year, 10 of which are proud alumni.  They were all recognized during our Faculty and Staff Retreat on August 13th.  Back Row ( left to right):  Chris Cabrera ‘08 (English), Gabriel Gomez (Art), Daniel Areces ’16 (Soph. Counselor), Peter Lynch ’05 (Math), Steven Hernandez ’13 (sub), Steven Chica ’14 (Science), Gabriel Leon ’94 (English), Kameron Clark ’10 (P.E.),  Abraham Berch ’14 (Business); Front Row ( Left to Right ) Br. Al Rivera  (Dir. of Service Learning), Jorge Garrigo ’15 (sub), Krystal Alegret (English), Iris Martinez (Dir. of College & Career Counseling), Adrian Campbell ‘13 (Math), Leticia Frieder (English), Ignacio Soto (Computer & Engineering)
Students Must Bring Their Own Masks
Although masks can be purchased in the main office, we need students to always be prepared for the day by bringing their masks from home.
Orientation Days for Each Grade Level
During the week of August 16th, we welcomed each class individually in the gym to review protocol, establish expectations, and follow an abbreviated schedule. 
Class Pride During Orientation Days
The orientation sessions were not only assemblies for students to  reacquaint themselves with Columbus practices and procedures but they also provided opportunities for them to build comradery with their classmates.   
Promoting Healthy Decisions...Our Drug Testing Program has Begun
Our drug testing program will return with the start of the 21-22 academic year.  As in years past, ALL students will be tested at least once.  In addition to the substances regularly screened, we will be adding nicotine this year.  This is in response to the national issues stemming from vaping and other e-cigarette products.  If you have any further questions, please contact our drug testing coordinator, Josh Cantor
Football Kicked-Off Season With a Big Win in Savannah, GA
The Columbus Football Team travelled to Savannah, Georgia to play Benedictine Military, a Roman Catholic, all-boy, military high school.  It was a long, well-fought game but at the end Columbus came up on top (42 – 27).  Congrats to Coach Dunn and the entire team.   View CCNNLive Game Recap.

Golf Team Won the American Heritage School Invitational
For the first time in 21 years, a school other than American Heritage or Benjamin School won the annual American Heritage School Invitational. The Explorers fired an amazing 290 overall score, defeating Heritage by just one stroke. They were led by Freshman Victor Herrera (71, -1) and Junior Sebastian Kawas (71, -1) who tied for 2nd place individually. Congrats to Coach Marinelli and the entire team.
Cause Class on Global Citizenship – Earns 20 Student Service Hours
This virtual class teaches students about global citizenship through reflection, education, and action.  With videos, activities and case studies, students will learn about some of the world’s most pressing issues and how to become part of the solution.  Completion of Cause Class (presented by Blue Missions) will earn a student 20 service hours. 
CCNN Live Wins Society of Professional Journalists Awards
Our CCNN Live Team, run by Mrs. Insua and Mr. Delgado,  never ceases to amaze us!  In August, they won third place in the Political/Election Reporting Category at the Society of Professional Journalists Sunshine State Awards.  They were competing against professional networks and publications!  CCNN Live Student, Neo Gaitan, won the High School Journalist of the Year.  Earlier in the summer, they won 9 Suncoast Student Production Emmys, more than any other school in the southeast region of the U.S. Also, Columbus Films (run by Mr. Diaz and Ms. Rodriguez) won five awards.  Congratulations to all!
CCHS Gold Ties on Sale
Columbus gold ties are available every morning through the month of September at the main entrance for $20 or Venmo @sofiashope.  The Sofia’s Hope organization is committed to funding childhood cancer research as it relates to long term effects as well as prevention, detection and treatment.

Fred Foyo Memorialized with Plaque
A bronze plaque has been prominently displayed in the classroom which was used by Fred Foyo '75 who passed away in April.  This is just a small way to honor the longtime Columbus teacher, coach, and mentor who has touched countless lives.   
Baseball Field’s Blue Monster Wall is Refurbished
Baseball Head Coach Joe Weber '83 teamed up with artist Luis Valle '95 to increase the visual representation around his facility, focusing on brand, culture and mission.  As a result, the Blue Monster Wall received a new paint job that showcases the Columbus brand.  Special thanks to Mrs. Marti.
Externship Highlights:
This past summer, over 250 students participated in virtual externships while over 200 students completed in-person externships.  The fields included I.T., law, business, medicine, engineering, hospitality, banking, accounting, and marketing.  Thank you to Externship & Internship Director, Mrs. Anderson. The program is made possible due to the participation and support of our many dedicated alumni and parents.
Admission Visit from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point 
Mrs. Iris Martinez,
Director of College and Career Services, hosted an informational Admissions visit from the United States Military Academy at West Point. 

Explorers Take a USAF Training Flight
Vincent Keane ’25 and Giancarlo Forero ’22 had the opportunity to take a training flight on a Unites States Airforce Civil Air Patrol aircraft.
Darren McQueen Named Equity in Civics Youth Fellow
Senior Darren McQueen was chosen by iCivics, the nation’s premier non-profit civic education provider,  as an Equity in Civics Youth Fellow.  As a fellow in the Youth As Civics Experts Network, Darren will have the opportunity to attend media workshops and training, lead student teams and social media campaigns, and participate in virtual group discussions.  He will also be designing a personal project centering around his civic experiences.  Thank you Ms. McCullagh.     
Eddy Alvarez Made History at Tokyo Olympics
Eddy Alvarez ‘08 gave our Columbus family a lot to be proud of at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.  Not only did he become the 3rd American to medal at both Summer and Winter Olympics but he was also the first baseball player to ever be a flag bearer at an Olympic Opening Ceremony. The Team USA second baseman received a great amount of national media attention including an appearance on NBC's Today Show, Time Magazine, the cover of the New York Post, and stories in all of the country's major newspapers.  #CPride    
Lazaro Veliz Volunteered at the Ari Arteaga Foundation Fishing Tournament
Lazaro Veliz '25 volunteered at the Ari Arteaga Foundation Be The Light Fishing Tournament on August 21st, starting the year strong with some volunteer hours!
Bob Linfors Joins Administration as Dean of Students
Longtime Columbus English Teacher and moderator of The Log (student publication), Mr. Bob Linfors ’85, has joined the administration as Dean of Students. Bob has been a teacher, moderator, and coach throughout his 26 years at Christopher Columbus High School.
Br. Al Rivera Returns to Columbus as Director of Service Learning
Br. Al Rivera returned to Columbus as Director of Service Learning and a member of our World Languages department, teaching Spanish III.  Br. Al has been a Marist Brother for over 20 years and just completed six years in leadership with the Provincial Council.
Iris Martinez – New College & Career Services Director
After having spent the last seven years serving the Office of Undergraduate Admission at the University of Miami, Iris Martinez has joined Columbus as the Director of College and Career Services.   Mrs. Martinez holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Miami.
Stephen van Hemert  - New Facilities Director
Stephen van Hemert, alumnus from the class of 1972 and current parent, has started at Columbus as our new Director of Facilities Management. Stephen graduated from the University of South Florida, Tampa and went on to a career in hospitality that included over 15 years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and the last 10 years as the General Manager of several high-rise condominiums from Sunny Isles Beach to South Beach.  Stephen will manage the entire school facility and supervise the maintenance, care and upkeep of all buildings, grounds and equipment. He will also coordinate facilities space and event set-ups.

Carolina Vento – New Alumni Events Coordinator
Ms. Vento will be coordinating the many alumni events that are held each year and assisting Alumni Director, Mrs. Barbara Branas.  Ms. Vento served Columbus for the last two years by assisting in finance office and Br. Kevin’s Store.
TAD Temperature Alert Devices 
TAD temperature alert devices are available for sale at The device takes body temperature throughout the day and alerts someone if a fever is detected.  You can use the discount code:  TADEDU.
Check Out the New Columbus Connects Magazine
We are proud to present to you our school's alumni magazine (formerly entitled Adelante) under the new name--Columbus Connects Magazine. 
Upcoming September to Remember:
9/8 – 9/10:  Junior/Senior Encounter (Morning Star)
9/8:  Senior Parents Guidance Meeting (6:00pm, Cafe)
9/14:  Club Fair (1:45 – 3:00pm, Cafe)
9/15:  Junior Mass & Field Day (7:45am – 11:30am)
9/15:  Junior Parents Guidance Meeting (6:00pm, Cafe)
9/16 & 17: Sophomore Men for God Retreat (Morning Star)
9/22:  Senior Mass & Field Day (7:45 – 11:30am)
9/22:  Sophomore Parents Guidance Meeting (6:00 – 7:30pm, Cafe)
9/29:  Sophomore Mass & Field Day (7:45 – 11:30am)
9/29:  Freshman Parents Guidance Meeting (6:00pm – 7:30pm, Cafe) 

Marist Youth takes place every Tuesday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Chapel and 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.