Christopher Columbus High School

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

December Principals Newsletter 2017

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Tis the Season…from our Columbus family to yours, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

We are so proud of our 2017 accomplishments…our young men have represented us well in our South Florida community. We look forward to a very successful, gratifying, and rewarding 2018. 

Let us continue to place the needs of others first while providing care and compassion to those less fortunate.  I hope and pray that you have a safe and happy holiday season!  
Start of Advent is Celebrated With Prayer Service
Br. Eladio and the Squires commenced December by celebrating the beginning of Advent with a prayer service in our Genevieve Abraham Chapel.  The students ended the service by lighting up a beautiful Nativity. 

School-wide Mass Celebrated the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
On December 8th, the entire student body came together in the gymnasium to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception.  Thank you Campus Ministry!

SAC Collects over 600 Toys/Appears on Telemundo
SAC did an amazing job organizing our Christmas Toy Drive which raised over 600 toys for the Opa Locka Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, and NBC6/Telemundo's Caravan of Joy (VIEW VIDEO OF TELEMUNDO APPEARANCE).  Members also went to Robert B. Ingram Elementary school in Opa Locka to help distribute the toys to the children. 
Thank you to the Columbus family for your generosity and willingness to help those less fortunate.  Special Thanks to Mrs. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez.
3rd Annual Deck the Halls at His House
Dozens of students in the Mas Program, along with National Honor Society members, participated in the 3rd Annual “Deck the Halls” event at His House (the largest Christian foster home in South Florida).  The students decorated the largest cottage where 23 boys aged 12-17 live.  They brought decorations of all sorts, including a Christmas tree, and spent the entire day with the children, ending it with a group dinner.
Thank you to all of the students, parents, teachers and staff who helped the effort by helping to decorate, bringing supplies and food, serving, and playing games. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cofresi, Mrs. Mesa, Mrs. Samanez. Mrs. Cibran, Ms. Aycart, and Mr. Rodriguez.  
Squires Provides Toys for 55 Families at St. John Baptist Mission
Br. Eladio and the Squires were able to collect toys for 55 families  through the St. John Baptist Mission.  They made their yearly delivery to the mission where they were able to present the toys to each of the families.  Special thanks to:  the Knights of Columbus, Marist Cuban Alumni, SAC, Ms. McCullagh, Mrs. Sanchez, Mrs.  Meadows, Br. Steve and Br. John.  
Angler’s Club Visits Miami Dade Fire Rescue Marine Operations
Participates in All-or-Nothing Bass Fishing Tournament
The Anglers Club visited the Miami Dade Fire Rescue Marine Operations facility and took a boat ride aboard a 50' Air Vessel Fire Boat.   They learned what it takes to safely run a mission and how to become certified to work for the department (which currently employs 63 CCHS alumni). The visit was made possible by Lieutenant Miguel Rauseo ’96 and Mr. Dukes.  Special thanks to Robert MacKarvich '04, who gave them a tour of his Florida Fish and Wildlife Contender boat as he was patrolling the waterways.
Also, 38 club members participated in the 1st annual All-or-Nothing Bass Fishing Tournament. The winners were:  Mario Hernandez (freshmen, largest peacock bass), Kenneth Romeu (freshmen, largest largemouth bass), Luis Perez (sophomore, largest peacock bass), Luis Sanchez (junior, won both categories), Matthew Patterson (senior, largest peacock bass) and Andrew Alonso (senior largest largemouth bass).
Special thanks to Ignacio Borbolla ’80 who invited the Anglers to the Florida Wildlife Conservation Foundation for their Christmas lunch where they had the opportunity to engage with many FWC officers and learn about efforts to protect patrons within its parks and on the waterways. 
CCNN Hosted Movie Premieres
CCNN Live hosted a movie premiere for two student produced documentaries.  Every Drop Counts highlights the work of BLUE Missions and its founder, Columbus alumnus, Daniel Rodriguez.  Their other docmentary tackles the issue of the water levels rising in Miami.  Thank you Ms. Insua and Mr. Delgado.
Students Toured the Kennedy Space Center
Students from our STEM, Physics and Engineering programs toured the Kennedy Space Center and had the opportunity to have a Q&A session with former astronaut Thomas Jones.  Thank you to Mr. Rodriguez for coordinating the trip.
Debate Team Competed in New Orleans
The Columbus Debate Team competed in the 39th Annual Isidore Newman Debate Tournament in New Orleans with 71 schools from 13 states. Highlights include Carlos Gutierrez and Andrew Castro advancing to elimination rounds as the 6th and 7th seeds respectively in novice Lincoln-Douglas debate.  Carlos made debate history by winning two quarterfinal rounds in the same tournament, against the same opponent.  In Policy Debate, Andres Perez and Marcos Ortega finished in 7th place overall discussing education policy reform.  The Varsity Lincoln Douglas squad was led by Angel Toro who finished one win away from elimination rounds with a 3-3 record. Senior Daniel de Izaguirre was recognized as the 22nd speaker overall.   The varsity LD squad made up of Carlos Novo, Jesus Capo, and Albert Sanchez discussed whether wealthy nations have an obligation to provide developmental assistance to developing countries.  Jesus Capo won his final round through an experimental Nietzchean performance of silence. Thank you Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca.  
Soccer Going Strong
The varsity soccer team is currently 6-3-1 and had a great win against Miami Beach, the team that defeated the Explorers in regional competition last year.  The JV team is currently undefeated.  Best of luck to Coach Stewart, Coach G, and Coach Ruiz and the entire team as they continue in the season.   In January, both teams will be traveling to Texas to compete in the Dr. Pink Varsity Tournament and RL Turner JV Tournament. 
Class of 1997 Cross Country Team Honored at Basketball Game
Members of the Class of 1997 Cross Country State Championship Team were recognized at the varsity basketball game against South Miami on December 1st.  They were recognized in honor of the 20th anniversary of their state championship.   Current CCHS teachers Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Pino were part of that team.
In other basketball news, Columbus closed out 2017 with two district road wins.  The Explorers beat Coral Park 64-33 and Ferguson 64-40. Also Columbus hosted the 16th Annual A-Rod Basketball Classic where the Explorers finished in 4th place in a very competitive tournament.  Special thanks to Flash Fernandez for coordinating the event.
Drama Club Qualified to Compete at State Competition
The Drama Team concluded this year’s theater district competition with 11 Superiors, five Excellents, a Critic’s Choice Award, and four Improv team members.  They have qualified for state competition in March.  Congratulations to Mrs. McGrath and all the students who won awards in the district competitions (Andrew Alonso, Giovanni Aprigliano, Steven Hernandez, William Lamey, Justin Llanes, Andrew Llovet, Gonzalo Londono, Raul Mederos, Tomas Pereyra, Joseph Price, Gabriel Perez, Daniel Sanchez, Daniel Travieso, Luis Vergara, Rafael Vergara, Marcelo Villar-Ojito and Spencer Wood).
Explorers Helping Children with Special Needs
A group of our students volunteered at Great Heights Academy, a school for children with special needs. The boys really worked hard to provide a wonderful Christmas experience for the children and participated in arts & crafts, cookie decorating, and helping with a Santa visit.  Thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas, Mrs. Vinson, Ms. Raful and Mr. Hill (Santa for the day) for giving our students this opportunity.   

Silver Knight Nominees Are Announced
We are proud to announce our 15 nominees for the 2017-18 Silver Knight Awards. This is the second year in row that Columbus has a nominee for each of the 15 total categories. This is a true testament to our faculty and the manner in which service is promoted throughout our entire school community. 

The nominees are:  Giovanni Aprigliano (Art), Diego Ramos (Athletics), Louis Hatem (Business), Antonio Castellanos (Digital Media), Gonzalo Londoño (Drama), Bobby Wyszkowski (English & Literature), Javier Figueroa (General Scholarship), Christopher Ahrendt (Journalism), Lucas Rodriguez (Mathematics), Manny Alvarez (Music & Dance), Gregory Mesa (Science), Michael Millan (Social Science), Daniel De Izaguirre (Speech), John Suarez (Vocational/Technical), Angel Perez-Castaneda (World Languages)
Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and her team have done a tremendous job preparing our students for this competition.  In the last four years alone, our school has had 12 students win Silver Knight awards and an additional seven win honorable mentions.  
Interested in Hosting a French Exchange Student?
If you would like to host a French Exchange Student through Inspired Gateways, please contact our admissions director Mr. Marinelli at or our French teacher Mrs. Pugh at The student that they are looking to place, Gaspard Susini, attends Saint Jean de Passy in Paris, the same school as our Fall Exchange Carl. Gaspard is 14 years old, enjoys sports (tennis/karate), and loves travelling. He hopes to improve his English through this program.
Salsa Night
Thank you SAC for organizing Salsa Night. Our students were able to take a Salsa dance lesson and practice their dancing.  Depending on interest, Columbus hopes to host future dancing events.

Congratulations to our Newly Inducted Hall of Fame Members
The six new members that were inducted to the Columbus Hall of Fame on December 12th were:  Brother Herb Baker (teacher/athletic trainer who has served CCHS for 35 years, William Herald ’71, James Lanier ’75, Mark Rodgers ’77, Alina Sanchez (science teacher for 29 years) and Achille “Butch” Staiano (teacher/assistant athletic director who has served Columbus for 37 years).  Thank you all for your years of service and continued support of Christopher Columbus High School.
Christmas Caroling (Chemistry Style)
Mrs. Chomat and her chemistry students went Christmas caroling around campus.  To view a video clip of their chemistry themed version of Jingle Bells which they wrote themselves - CLICK HERE. 

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.