Christopher Columbus High School

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

February 2018 Principals Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Hope Springs Eternal
Spring and hope are intertwined in life with the belief that things will get better and that we will persevere through difficult circumstances. It is an optimistic way of looking at life; it encourages us to overcome obstacles while attempting to achieve our own goals. This month has offered us healing and reassurance that our faith is strong and our prayers are answered. Let us go into the Easter holiday season with a sense of renewal. I hope we are all able to rest, reflect, and most importantly...return with the passion to finish this school year with great vigor.
The Season of Lent
Ash Wednesday is one of the most popular and important holy days in the liturgical calendar. Ash Wednesday opens Lent, a season of fasting and prayer. It signals the beginning of six weeks of self-examination and reflection.  Those who observe Lent typically make a commitment to give up something. Our Columbus community, including the entire student body, gathered in the gym on Ash Wednesday to receive our ashes and celebrate Mass.
Achievement Recognition Breakfast
Through the Achievement Recognition Breakfast we recognized our young men who achieved academic success.  We also recognized students that lead clubs, activities and service projects.  We are extremely proud of all the Explorers who were honored.  Congratulations! 
National English Honors Society Induction
Congratulations to all the inductees of the Panzer Chapter of the National English Honor Society: Manuel Alvarez, Sharif Amastha, Ryan Doll, Javier Figueroa, Anthony Graubard, Stefan Hengartner, Jorge Leonard, Jonathan Manrique, Ryan Montoto, Gregory Mesa, Michael Millan, Alexander Navarro, Christopher Pham, Diego Ramos, Alejandro Rodriguez, Charles Sacher, David Trueba, Gregory Valerius and Robert Wyszkowski.  Special thanks to Mr. Crossman.   

Science Fair Winners
Five Explorers were honored for their science projects at the South Florida Science and Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony at Miami-Dade College North Campus:  Jesus Capo: Superior Rating; United States Naval Academy Award for Excellence and Dedication in Pursuit of Science and Engineering Studies; Brian Houtenbrinck-Hoyo: Superior Rating; Michael Berry: Excellence Rating; Adolfo Anzola: Honorable Mention; Javier Lopez: Honorable Mention; 3D Chimera Engineering Consultants Award of Excellence.  Thank you to Science Dept. Chair Mrs. Alina Sanchez for helping to prepare these students for the competition.

STEM Club Celebrates Engineer’s Week
Engineers Week was designated in February to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world and to bring engineering to life for kids, educators, and parents. At Columbus Mr. Rodriguez and the STEM Club held video presentations during the lunch hours in the cafeteria and set up a display with computers, 3D printers, scanners, robots and simulators.

CCNN Live Wins Coveted Prizes at Bison Film Festival
CCNN Live won several coveted prizes at the Bison Film Festival and once again has made us proud.  Congratulations to the following students:  Grand Jury Award (Critics' choice)- Every Drop Counts (Christopher Ahrendt, Gonzalo Londoño, Antonio Castellanos, Javier Rodriguez, Alejandro Basalo); Best Documentary: Every Drop Counts (Christopher Ahrendt, Gonzalo Londoño, Antonio Castellanos, Javier Rodriguez, Alejandro Basalo); Best Animated Short- Unforgettable Nightmare (Daniel Hjelm); Best PSA- Men Don't Cry (David Caserta '17)
Earlier in the month the team won third place at the Value of Water PSA Contest. 

As always, a big thanks to moderators Ms. Insua and Mr. Delgado.  The team is getting ready for their national competition in Nashville, Tennessee later this month. 
Film Club Takes Best Black and White Film
The Film Club, led by Mr. Ulloa, was also able to compete in the Bison Film Festival and brought home an award for Best Black and White Film. Their film, Picture Show Romance, was produced by Christopher Ahrendt, Antonio Castellanos, Gonzalo Londoño; Brent Becerra, Sean Dawson and Kevin Reyes. Congratulations to these young film makers! View "Picture Show Romance”

Debate Qualified 19 Students to States (a school record)
The Columbus Debate Team qualified a school record of 19 students to the varsity Forensic League State Championship and brought home two championships at the District Tournament which was held at Ransom Everglades. Jesus Capo finished undefeated and claimed the district championship in Lincoln-Douglas debate. Each school is allowed six entries in each event, and the Explorers qualified all six spots making it a clean sweep for the LD squad. Albert Sanchez also went undefeated, finishing in 2nd place. The 3rd spot went to team captain Angel Toro, 4th to Javier Hernandez, 5th to Daniel de Izaguirre and 6th place to Andrew Castro. This is the second year in a row that Columbus sweeps the Lincoln Douglas division. In Policy Debate, Columbus was uncontested, qualifying four teams. The district champions were Marcos Ortega/Andres Perez, Sean Buchele/Carlos Gutierrez, Matthew Rockwell/Rafael Casanova, and Aiden Kennedy/Nicholas SosaKevin Cejas and Robert Diaz-Velasco qualified in International Extemporaneous Speaking and Christopher Aguiar, Jorge Picos, and Armando Hurtado qualified in Informative Speaking. We also recognize Cameron Hidalgo, Jorge Gutierrez, and Leonardo Cruz who made a strong effort to place in Student Congress. Thank you Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca.
Manuel Alvarez Donated Musical Instruments to Special Needs Children
Manuel Alvarez ’18, founded Serenaid, a music service project which involves him obtaining and conditioning musical instruments donated by the community and gifting them to children with special needs. He has already donated many instruments, including two electric bass guitars, 95 new recorder flutes, two keyboards, four acoustic guitars, one violin, electric organ, and mandolin to two academies that specialize in teaching students with special needs (Crystal Academy and Villa Lyan Academy). He personally delivers the instruments and shares time playing music for the students in addition to teaching them the basic principles on how the instruments are played. 
Guidance Department News:
February has been another busy month for the Guidance department. They began the month by having one on one meetings with the Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior parents to discuss PSAT and academic goals.  The Sophomore and Junior classes participated in an Elective’s Fair where they had the opportunity to speak to their peers regarding classes which are being offered to them. Course selection has begun with the Juniors and Sophomores and the Freshman class will begin their course selection the first week in March.  Thank you to Mrs. Vinson and the entire guidance department.
Seniors Attend Close-Up
Mr. Linfors and Dr. Burrus traveled to Washington D.C. with over 25 Seniors to attend Close Up  and receive the experience of a lifetime.  They are pictured with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen at our nation's Capitol. 

Business Club Stock Market Game Winners
Congratulations to seniors Alex Ordero and Nicholas Richards for winning the Business Club's Stock Market Game!

Baseball, Lacrosse, and Tennis Kick-Off Season With Impressive Wins
The Varsity Baseball Team is currently 5-1 and had an impressive win over district rival Felix Varela. The team plays Charles W. Flanagan tonight.

Lacrosse is 2-0
The Lacrosse team kicked off its season with a 21 - 6 victory over Miami Killian and a 16 – 3 victory over the Palmetto Panthers. 

Tennis is 4 -1
The Columbus tennis is currently 4 and 1 with impressive wins over Braddock, Killian, Coral Reef, and Reagan. 

Wrestling Finished 3rd at Regionals/Seven Wrestlers Headed to States
The varsity wrestling team finished as the 3rd best wrestling team in the Regional wrestling team state qualifying tournament held at Ronald Reagan H.S. representing 42 teams from Dade and Broward Counties.  Seven Explorers qualified to compete in the State Championship (Gavin Buck, Charles Huffman, Sebastian Melguizo, David Milton, Ryan Gonzalez, Henry Fernandez, and Dylan Perez).  The team had placed 2nd at District and GMAC Championships.
The JV Wrestling Team capped off an 8-1 season at the North Miami High School Tournament, an individual based tournament in which 7 Explorer wrestlers placed in the final rounds (Armando Hurtado/Marcus Caligari-1st Place, Diego Romero/Max Borja/Ralphie Hueso/Francisco Fuertes-2nd Place, and Hector Cordero- 4th Place).

Track & Field Finish 2nd at Spartan Invitational
Track & Field finished second out of 25 teams at the Spartan Invitational at Southridge Park. The team was led by:
Tyler Harrell: 100M 2nd (10.59), 200M 2nd (21.44), 4X400 1st (3:18.87); Xzavier Henderson: 400M 3rd (48.48), 200M 6th (21.92), 4X400 1st; Deshay Fernandes: 800M 2nd (1:57.85), 4X800 (8:18); Donato Scarcello: 3200 5th (10:16.75); Clyde Dozier: 110HH 5th (15.28); Courtney Holmes: 4X400 1st; Cameron Daniel: 4X400 1st; Nicholas Aixala: 4X800 2nd; Malcolm Brown: 4X800 2nd; Alejandro Aguirre: 4X800 2nd; David Trueba: 4th Pole Vault; Robert Crockett: 2nd Long Jump (21'8 1/2"); Andre Merchan: 8th Triple Jump; Joey Hernandez: 7th Triple Jump; Tony Mills: 3rd Shot Put

Earlier in the month the team finished in a tie for 4th place out of 60 at the Louie Bing Invitational.
Roberto Nieves Wins Florida Junior Tour in Ocala
Senior golfer Roberto Nieves won the Florida Junior Tour event at Stone Creek Golf Club in Ocala. He shot 70-65, (-9) for the tournament. Congratulations! 
Eight Students Signed Letters of Intent to Play College Football
Congratulations to the eight students that signed letters of intent to play college football in February. We anticipate another six to sign later in the semester.
Tyler Harrell - University of Louisville; Robert Crockett - Dartmouth College; Zach Castano - Morgan State (Baltimore); Kevin Colls - Morgan State (Baltimore); Danny Perera - Morgan State (Baltimore); Alex Davide - Catholic University (DC); Rashard Jenkins - Bethel College (KS)

Student Athlete Leadership Summit
Through the Student ACES program, a Student Athlete Leadership Summit was held on campus where are Explorers had the opportunity to participate in team building activities. The program is designed to create pathways for young men to achieve the highest standards of leadership.
Squires Valentine’s Day Celebration at West Gables Nursing Home
Br. Eladio and the Squires spread some cheer to the patients at the West Gable Nursing Home on Valentine’s Day. 

Junior Ring Ceremony
The Junior Ring Ceremony was held on February 22nd.  This is a great tradition at Columbus that has become a rite of passage, celebrating the maturation process of the upperclassmen.  Thank you Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas  and Ms. Jacky Raful for your support.

Celebrating Father and Sons
We thank all of the fathers and their sons who participated in our annual Father and Son Mass and Breakfast. This blessed day was an opportunity for fathers and sons to celebrate their love and relationship in a special way. Thank you to Campus Ministry and Ms. Tellechea for making the day possible.
Jazz Band Performed at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School
In celebration of Black History Month, our award winning Jazz Band performed at the Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School.  I share with you that their Head of School sent us a thank you letter that same day stating  how impressed their school community was at how extremely talented, well-mannered and professional our boys were. Thank you to our band students and Mr. Cooper for representing Columbus in an exceptional way!   

Business Law Class Visits Courthouse
Ms. Raynieri’s Business Law Class visited the Criminal Courthouse and had the opportunity to meet with Circuit Court Judge Alberto Milian. They visited his chambers, entered a holding cell where inmates are kept while waiting to appear in Court, and listened to several motions set-forth in the Judge’s calendar.  It was a valuable experience.

Marine Biology Class Participated in the Bay Drift at Black Point Marina
Students in Ms. Valdes’ Marine Biology Class participated in the DEEP Foundation’s Deep Bay Drift Project at Black Point Marina. The students also cleaned the shores of Black Point Marina that day.

Field Trips to Universal Studios, Orlando
Our Freshman and Sophomore classes went on their annual trips to Universal Studios, Orlando.  These trips are always a lot of fun for the students and for the faculty that accompany them.  Thank you to our SAC moderators (Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez) for coordinating the trips. Pictured are the Freshmen at Universal Studios.   

Sophomores at Islands of Adventure
Over 200 Freshmen and 200 Sophomores went on the trips. The young ladies from our sister school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, also visited Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure the same day as our Sophomores.
Anglers Club Attend Miami International Boat Show
Coach Dukes and the Columbus Anglers Club had a great time at the Miami International Boat Show and had the chance to meet Mike Anderson of Reel Animals Fishing Show. 
Congratulation to Br. Kevin – Named a Power Leader in Education
Our own school president, Br. Kevin, was named to the South Florida Business Journal's inaugural list of Power Leaders in Education. He is one of 24 educational leaders on the list that include several presidents of South Florida's major universities. Congratulations Br. Kevin!  View SFBJ Article (must be subscriber to view)

Br. Vincent B. Moriarty - RIP
We pray for the repose of the soul of Br. Vincent Moriarty and thank God for granting us the opportunity of his presence and friendship for many years at Columbus.  Br. Vincent worked at Columbus from roughly 2004 – 2015 in administrative capacities.  May he rest in peace.  

2nd Annual Columbus Family Picnic and Pig Roast Competition
Be sure not to miss the Columbus Family Picnic and Pig Roast Competition on Saturday, March 17th at Columbus.  Last year’s picnic was great fun for the entire Columbus family and featured over 20 teams who roasted pigs in “Caja Chinas.”   This year will be more of the same with plenty of food and fun for the entire family.  Purchase Tickets Here:

Dansez En Blanc (Spring Dance) is March 23rd
The first ever DANSEZ EN BLANC, a casual evening for 9th, 10th and 11th grades to spend with their special lady friends dancing the night away at the Miami Marriott Dadeland, will be on Friday, March 23rd. Attendees are to wear white.  Tickets can be purchased in the SAC office and are $150 per couple.

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.