Christopher Columbus High School

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

December 2019 / January 2020

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Happy New Year to the entire Christopher Columbus High School Community! We certainly ended 2019 on a high note and I am hopeful that we will continue to build on that momentum. This newsletter includes activity from both December and January.

The beginning of a new year is the perfect time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make in our lives. For our young men, I have a few suggestions:  s
trengthen your faith, strengthen your relationships, stop procrastinating, improve your academic performance, get more involved in your school and community, read more, eat healthier, get more sleep, be optimistic, confident, and happy, follow your passion, improve your skills, and represent your family and your school in a positive way. Remember, these four years will go fast, so make the most of your experiences and enjoy your time in high school!
Columbus Celebrates Catholic Schools and Vocations Week with Guest Speakers and Mass
The week of January 27th was National Catholic Schools Week as well as Vocations Week at Columbus. We came together as a school family on January 30th for a school-wide Mass that was celebrated by Fr. Matthew Gomez, St. John Neumann Parish Parochial Vicar. We appreciate all the speakers that took time to present to our students via their Theology classes during the week. They presented the themes of Married & Family Life, Priesthood, Religious Life, and The Impact the Marist Brothers and Lay Faculty and Staff Have Made in My Life. Thanks to the Campus Ministers and Theology Instructors, and to the speakers:  Jorge & Eva Gonzalez, Fr. Elvis Gonzalez, Fr. Matthew Gomez, Seminarians Gabriel Seiglie ('15) and George Castañeda (18), Br. Albert Rivera, Br. Brian Poulin, Br. George DiCarluccio, Br. John Healy, Br. Tom Long, Br. Michael Brady, Br. Marcos Longoria, and Daniel Rodriguez ('08).
Columbus Wins 1st Football State Championship in School History
Friday, the 13th of December 2019 was a historic day for Columbus football as the Explorers, led by head coach David Dunn, captured the FHSAA 8A State Championship, after defeating the Apopka Blue Darters at Daytona Stadium (21 – 20).   The Miami Herald called is a “miracle comeback” as they were trailing Apopka 20-7 with just 4:37 left in the game but were able to claim the victory on a two-point conversion in the final seconds of the game. The Explorers had made it to the state finals four times in the past, including just last year when they lost by two points to Jacksonville Mandarin. Voyage completed. History made.   VIEW CCNN LIVE GAME HIGHLIGHTS
Team Honored by Columbus Family and Community Leaders
A Celebration of Champions was held for the football team on December 19th. The entire student body, faculty & staff, Lourdes cheerleaders, and hundreds of alumni, parents, and their families attended. The team received proclamations from Danny Perez ’05 and Javier Fernandez ‘93 (members of the Florida Legislature representing the State’s 116th and 114th House Districts), Raul Martinez ‘92 (Deputy Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Donna Shalala), JB Aleman ’84 (on behalf of Ricky Arriola ’86 City of Miami Beach Commissioner). On January 22nd, the team was invited to the Miami-Dade County Commission Meeting to be honored by Mayor Carlos Gimenez ’72 and later that day U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Murcarsel-Powell stopped by the campus to speak to the team and present each member with a certificate of congressional recognition. 
Annual Columbus vs. Belen Football Game & Tailgate Event Comes to an End
After 15 years, the annual Columbus vs. Belen football game will no longer be played.  The game, which started out as a pre-season game at FIU Stadium and later moved to Tropical Park, was well known for attracting record numbers of spectators and alumni from both schools, as well as significant media attention.  Over the years, the pre-game alumni tailgate became one of our community’s most highly anticipated events of the school year.  The Columbus Explorers won all 15 games that were played.  We respect Belen’s decision not to play the annual game any longer.  Our administration is currently exploring new options for the Columbus family to celebrate the kick-off of the season and celebrate our first football state championship.      
SAC Collects Hundreds of Toys and Appears on NBC6
Members of the Student Activities Committee once again appeared on NBC6 to talk about the Columbus Toy Drive. The toys went to the NBC Caravan of Joy as well as to the Miami-Dade Police Department to be distributed to needy children. Special thanks to Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell. VIEW NBC6 VIDEO INTERVIEW  
South Miami Christmas Parade
SAC was also on hand representing Columbus at the South Miami Parade of Elves.  It was the first time that Columbus participated in this Christmas event for the community.  Mr. Cooper and the band were the hit of the parade with their Christmas music.  Special thanks to parents Mr. Marc Rodriguez and Dr. Collazo for all their help.  
Patriot Club Helped Veterans at Christmas Time
Dr. Burrus and the Patriot Club collected household\ goods for needy veterans in The Keys and delivered them personally to the Veteran’s Association.
Alejandro Morles Distributed Winter Clothing to Needy Families in New York
Alejandro Morles '20 traveled to The Bronx, New York to distribute the clothes that were collected through his service project Warm Ears, Warm Hearts. Due to his hard work, approximately 90 families were given some much needed winter gear for the holidays.
Freshmen and Sophomore Recognition
The Freshmen and Sophomore assembly recognized the 2nd Quarter Honor Role Students (Principal’s list, 1st honors, and 2nd honors and "Most Improved”). Congratulations to all! Special thanks to Dr. Vila and Ms. Da Silva.
Announcing the 2020 Silver Knight Award Nominees
We are proud to announce our 2020 nominees for the Miami Herald Silver Knight Award, one of the nation's most highly regarded awards programs that recognizes high school students who excel academically and who are dedicated to service: Patrick Valerius (Art), Patrick Silva (Athletics), Adolfo Anzola (Business), Lukas Guerra (Digital & Interactive Media), Ryan Yglesias (English & Literature), Jared Coleman (General Scholarship), David Perez (Journalism), Alejandro Morles (Mathematics), Daniel Collazo (Music & Dance), Jesus-Javier Rodriguez Olmedo (Science), Marcel van Hemert (Social Science), Albert Sanchez (Speech), Daniel Hernandez (Vocational Technical), and Joaquin Real (Vocational Technical).
Sophomore Class Trip – Islands of Adventure
Our Sophomores, 131 in all, enjoyed their trip to Islands of Adventure. Special thanks to our SAC moderators and all the chaperones who helped make the day a safe and memorable one.
Congratulations to the Newly Inducted Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame Members
At our annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, we honored members of the Columbus family for their outstanding achievements and steadfast dedication to our school.  Our 2019 Hall of Fame Class was inducted in December and included our own Principal David Pugh and Assistant Principal Pedro Garcia-Casals as well as Rogelio “Roger” Cuevas ’62, Douglas “Doug” Yount ‘67 and Lee Evans (Alumni Parent).

Athletic Hall of Fame Honored Outstanding Athletes
At this year’s Athletic Hall of Fame Ceremony on January 18th, 13 of our most outstanding alumni athletes were inducted. A highlight of the night was when Head Football Coach Dave Dunn was surprised with the 1st annual Dave Riley Excellence in Coaching Award. The inductees were: Football: Roberto Suarez '69, Billy Mendoza '84, Erik Lora '09, Jakhari Gore '10, Deon Bush '12; Baseball: Oscar Cartaya '95, Javi Salas '10, Bryan Garcia '13, Eddy Alvarez ’08 (also inducted for Speed Skating); Swimming: Craig Barry '92, Track & Field: Gary Bush '09, Wrestling: Nick Wethy '13; Football Coach: Alex Mirabal '88. Special thanks to Mr. Lynskey and Mrs. Branas for their hard work in putting on the event.
Guidance News
The guidance department held an Electives Fair where students were able to obtain important information to help them in their course selections for the next school year.  The department also met with the all students in the 9 – 11 grades to discuss PSAT scores and course selection.  They also took juniors on the second Florida College Trip of the Year.

Theater Program Placed in all Events in District Competition
The Columbus Theater Program placed in all events at Districts. Congratulations to the following students: Augustin Mendez/Christian Wilson/Luca Buonocore/David Figueredo/Kevin Cordero/Alex Buonocore/Marc Rudnick/ Aidan Pasantes (Superior in Dramatic Group Pantomime), Luis Vergara (Superior in Solo Pantomime),  Alex La Roz, Gabriel Perez, Mikel Barbeite, Tobias Reyes, Michael Remy, Jake Trout, Nick Sutton, Chris Ramos (Excellent in Comedic Group Pantomime), Justyn Rubio (Excellent in Student Directed & Monologue A), Kevin Cordero (Excellent in Monologue B), Alex Buonocore (Excellent in Monologue C). Special thanks to Mrs. McGrath.
Five Explorers Represented Columbus at the Marist Encounter, Esopus, NY
Gabriel Aragon, Justin Valdes ('19), Alejandro Barrios, William Rivera, and Nicholas Molina represented Columbus at the Marist Encounter in Esopus, NY. The Marist Encounter is a wonderful opportunity for young people from different Marist schools to come together and strengthen their relationship with Christ. The cornerstone of the Encounter Program is to get across a message of empowerment to young people.  Special thanks to Ms. Raynieri for accompanying the young men on the trip.
Seniors Attend Encounter Retreat at Morningstar Renewal Center
Juniors and Seniors experienced the Encounter at Morningstar Renewal Center. Matt Fallon, director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry for the Province served with Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Romero, Mr. Fernandez, and the Campus Ministry leaders.
Explorers Attended Student Awareness Day and Met with Holocaust Survivors
Several Explorers participated in the Holocaust Documentation Center’s Student Awareness Day at FIU’s Biscayne Campus where they were able to listen to the testimony of survivors, all in their 90s, in small group settings. The experience left them with a strong lesson regarding the importance of standing up to injustice. They were extremely grateful to have had the opportunity Special thanks to Mrs. McCullagh and Mr. Marti.  
More Holocaust Learning at NSU
Mr. Harriman
took Explorers to the Craig and Barbara Weiner Holocaust Reflection and Resource Center at Nova Southeaster University’s Library where they spent the day learning about the horrendous acts that resulted from intolerance and hate. They heard an incredibly moving story from Irene Zisblattd, a survivor of Josef Mengele's experiments at Auschwitz. 
2nd Annual Bass on the Fly-Fishing Tournament
The winners of the Angler’s Club 2nd Annual Bass on the Fly-Fishing Tournament were: Nicholas Cruz 1st Place (Large Mouth); Sebastian Iglesias (Large Mouth 2nd Place); George Alexander (Peacock Division 1st Place); Giovanni Adrian (Peacock Division 2nd Place); Armondo Rubio (Peacock Division 3rd Place); Kenneth Romeu (Largemouth Spinning Reel Divison); George Alexander (Peacock Spinning Reel Category). The winners attended a trip to Nautilus Fly Reels where they received a factory tour and built their own custom fly reel. Thank you, Coach Dukes.
Advent Reflection Held for Parents
Campus Ministry hosted an Advent Reflection for Parents where Richard González '82 and his wife Rondi and Carlos Oramas '89 and his wife Graysy served as guest speakers.  Special thanks to Br. Michael Brady. 
Sacrament of Penance
Several priests from our local parishes came to our gym to celebrate the Sacrament of Penance during the Advent season. Thanks to Campus Ministry and the Theology Department.
Squires Deliver Toys to St. John the Baptist Center
Br. Eladio and The Squires Club went on their annual Christmas toy delivery at St. John the Baptist, bringing joy to over 120 children. Special thanks to the Knights of Columbus, the Cuban Marist Alumni, Br. Brady, Ms. McCullagh, Mr. Panzer, SAC, Mr. Machado, Mr. Staiano, and Br. Steve.
Super Kids-Super Sharing Helps Needy Children During Super Bowl Season
Columbus teamed up with the NFL, the Miami Dolphins, the Super Bowl Host Committee, Verizon and St. Thomas University for a community initiative that benefits local children in need. Our Super Kids at Columbus collected over 500 items that will be distributed to local schools and youth programs that serve children in need. Thank you SAC!
Winter Arts Festival
Our drama students presented some of their award-winning district and state pieces at the Winter Arts Festival.  The students put in an amazing show. Thank you to everyone who came out in of support the theater program. Special thanks to Mrs. McGrath.  
FBLA Wins Record Number of First Place Medals in Districts
The Future Business Leaders of America Club (FBLA) had 46 members win medals at the District Competition and they were awarded with more first place medals than ever before. Congratulations to Mr. Corazon and all the winners. They will be competing in state competitions in March.
Soccer is in 2nd Place  – Heading to District Tournament
The Soccer Team is currently ranked 2nd in their district with a record of 11-2-3. They beat Southwest High School in the Senior Game on campus which recognized the senior players and their parents in a special way. The team was selected to compete in the GMAC Tournament. Good luck to Coach Stewart and the team as they get ready to compete in the district tournament next week.    
Basketball is in 3rd Place – Heading to GMAC Quarter Finals
The Basketball Team is currently in 3rd place in their district with an 13-9 record. They finished in 3rd place in the Adidas Holiday Slam at Florida Christian High School and for the 3rd year in a row defeated their crosstown rival Belen Jesuit at UM’s Watsco Center (66-48). The Explorers are playing their best basketball of the season at the right time with the playoffs coming up. Good luck to Coach Moran, Coach Landera and the entire team as they prepare to play the South Miami Cobras at South Miami on Monday night in the GMAC quarter finals.
Wrestling Achieved a Record of 29 Wins
The Wrestling Team is having an impressive dual meet season with a record of 29 wins and 6 losses. They look forward to competing in the GMAC/District competition in February. We wish Coach Husk, Coach Grant and all the wrestlers good luck.  
Students Experience Art Basel
There were 87 students who went on the enrichment field trip to the Miami Beach Convention Center to experience Art Basel, the leading global platform that connects collectors, galleries, and artists.  Thank you to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mr. Isenberg, Ms. Romero, Mrs. Koepp, Mr. Larrubia, Mr. Martinez, Mr. Crossman and Br. Eladio for serving as chaperone.
Car Show Held in Memory of Kori Santiago
The Columbus family held a car show in memory of one of its biggest fans, Kori Santiago ‘19.  Members of the SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) Club was on hand. Thank you Mrs. Gonzalez for organizing our spectacular car shows.
Ozzie Delgado (COO of Cleveland Clinic Florida) Visits Columbus
Mr. Corazon’s Leadership Techniques Class received a visit from alumnus Ozzie Delgado ‘92 who is the Chief Operating Officer at Cleveland Clinic Florida.
Inspirational Guest Speaker: Coach Hector Penate
We thank Coach Hector Penate (Coach HP) for giving an inspirational speech to our freshmen and sophomores during our recent assemblies. Coach HP travels the country speaking to youth on what it takes to not only make it sports but in life. 
Congratulations Mr. Foyo for Being Named Coach of the Year
Long-time Columbus teacher and track coach Fred Foyo '75 was recently named the 2018-19 Boys Track & Field Coach of the Year for the entire state of Florida. Coach Foyo and the Explorers have won back-to-back Class 4A State Championships.
Henry Parrish Wins Inaugural CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy & Florida Dairy Farmers Player of the Year
Congratulations to star running back Henry Parrish '20 for winning the first ever CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy.   He was presented with the award live on CBS4 news by CBS4’s Jim Berry. Henry beat out Norland offensive lineman Issiah Walker, St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Derek Wingo and Belen running back Donald Chaney Jr. in December for the award. In January, he won the prestigious Florida Dairy Farmers Player of the Year Award. This award is known by many as the Florida high school version of the Heisman Trophy and many of its recipients have gone on to star at the collegiate and professional levels.  
Courtney Holmes Wins FHSAA Roger Dearing Spirit of Sport Award
Two-time Track & Field State Champion (4x400 meter) and a member of the 2019 8A Football Championship team, Courtney Holmes, won the second annual Roger Dearing Spirit of Sport Award for  exemplifying sportsmanship, surpassing standard expectations, and having excelled through various adversities.  He will receive a $1,500 scholarship on behalf of the FHSAA.  
Family Picnic & Pig Roast – Feb. 8th
Be sure to sign-up for the annual Columbus Family Picnic & Pig Roast.  Ticket prices will increase at the door.  Come join the Columbus Family for a fun day of activities for the whole family and of course some of the best tasty roast pig. Purchase Tickets Here.
State Championship Shirts Still Available
If you haven’t already gotten your Football State Championship Shirt, they are still available online at There will be New State Championship merchandise (kids shirts, women's V-neck tops, hats, visors) on sale at the Pig Roast on Feb. 8
2/3:                       Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
2/8:                       Family Picnic & Pig Roast (12noon – 5:00pm, Field)
2/13:                    Mas Program Junior Parents Meeting (7:00pm – 9:00pm, LBC)
2/17:                    President’s Day Holiday (No School)
2/20:                    Junior Ring Ceremony (7:00pm, Gym/Café)
2/20 & 21            Sophomore Serve Retreat (Morningstar Renewal Center)
2/22:                    Freshman Class Trip (Universal Studios)

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.