Christopher Columbus High School

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

February 2019 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

There has always been a unique family spirit at Columbus, a feeling of togetherness and brotherhood that is built on faith, trust, compassion, and respect for one another. We are a diverse community that honors and observes our cultural differences through education. We celebrated African-American Heritage month by inviting several speakers on campus to visit with our young men. I would like to thank Mr. Trujillo and Mrs. Khan-Roberts for introducing the new "Exploring Black History & Leadership Lecture Series” at Christopher Columbus High School.

Our 60th Anniversary Gala at the JW Marriott Marquis is fast approaching on March 23rd. If you are able, I encourage you to reserve your seats as the tables are quickly filling up.   I hope to see many of you at this grand celebration in honor of our great school and of our expansive Columbus family.
Celebrating African-American Heritage Month with a New Lecture Series
Albert Dotson Jr. (Vice Chairman of 100 Black Men of America Inc.), Ernest Taylor (former Navy Commander), Major LaTessa Hall (Airforce Lieutenant and Certified Meeting Professional), and Brandon Rose (Attorney and Child Welfare Activist) are the four distinguished speakers that participated in our Exploring Black History & Leadership Lecture Series in February. A fifth speaker, Dr. Patrick Coggins (Stetson University Professor and Author), will be giving a lecture in March.   Developed by our Social Studies and Foreign Language Departments, the series features African-American leaders in our community who speak about their experiences in life, education, and the professional world.  
Danny Quesada ‘19 Graduates
The Columbus family was able to give senior Danny Quesada ’19 his own personal graduation ceremony on February 28th right before he left for North Carolina to wait for a double lung transplant. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium with his family, the senior class and many members of the faculty.  Danny has been a source of inspiration for our students and faculty. Let's keep him in our prayers. Danny, we hope to see you back in Miami soon!
2nd Quarter Honors
Congratulations to all the students who were honored for their academic success at the 2nd Quarter Principal’s Breakfast.   
Stem Exhibit
In celebration of Engineering Week, our PLTW Engineering, Robotics Club and STEM Club students conducted demonstrations and activities on Marist Circle during the lunch periods. Thank you to Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Larrubia for all you do to keep STEM at the forefront at Columbus.
Rising Stars Awards Honored Several of Columbus' Own
Columbus hosted the Rising Stars Awards ceremony which recognizes outstanding individuals involved with Step Up For Students Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Four Columbus seniors were honored at the event as well as Columbus English teacher, Mrs. Jeanette Gonzalez-Rojas, who was presented with the Exceptional Teacher Award. The four student honorees were:  Gregorio Joa, Matthew De Abreu, Jaime Diaz Moreno, and Jeramy Passmore.  Special thanks to Mr. Trujillo.
17 Students Inducted into National English Honors Society
The Panzer chapter of the National English Honor Society held its Pinning Ceremony.  There were 17  members inducted: Alejandro Aguirre, Francisco Baca, Christopher Costa, Kenneth Debs, Andy dela Campa, Noah Defauwes, Javier Hernandez, Eduardo Hevia, Weikang Hu, Jorge Lima, Federico Maranges, Thomas Packert, Matthew Rockwell, Ralph Rodriguez, Fernando Salinas, Matthew Schutzen, and Max Shore.  Thank you Mr. Panzer and Mr. Crossman.  
Congratulations to the Geography Club for Placing 1st at the Miami-Dade Geography Bee
The Geography Club, led by Mr. Cunningham, placed in 1st and 3rd place in the Miami-Dade Geography Bee. The guiding spirit behind the club’s success has been junior Marcel van Hemert.  Marcel and talented members Andres Rodriguez, Albert Sanchez, Jacob Suarez, Daniel Volpe, Michael Lastella, Zachary Gutierrez, Ryan Hidalgo, and Brian Remy have proven their mastery in the area of geography. They will be defending their 1st Place title at the Independent Schools of South Florida (ISSF) Bee on March 21st.
Guidance News
Our guidance counselors have met with the Freshman, Sophomore and Junior classes to discuss PSAT scores, future plans for college, SAT preparation, and course selection. They have also met with the Seniors regarding their college acceptances and to discuss scholarships and financial awards.  A Jesuit College Fair was held in the cafeteria with the participation of 13 colleges: The University of San Francisco, Loyola University Chicago, Spring Hill College, Loyola University New Orleans, Marquette University, Canisius College, Saint Joseph’s University, Saint Peter’s University, Xavier University, The University of Scranton, Fairfield University, Loyola University Maryland, and Saint Louis University. Thank you to Mrs. Vinson and the entire department.
Debate Team Shines at UC-Berkeley’s Cal Invitational
The Debate Team had a spectacular tournament at the 46th Annual Cal Invitational at The University of California, Berkeley.  All four debaters (Andrew Castro, Albert Sanchez, Pedro Portela and Jesus Crespo) had winning records. Andrew Castro and Albert Sanchez made it to the elimination rounds and finished in 3rd and 11th place (respectively) in a pool of 147 students from 18 states.  Thank you, Mr. Martinez.
Robotics Competed at Vex Event in San Francisco
The Robotics Club competed in the VEX Signature Event hosted at Google's Headquarters in San Francisco, CA. The Team placed 14th out of 80 teams and also got some sightseeing in. They even ran into the Columbus Debate Team who was in the area for their tournament.   Thank you, Mr. Larrubia.
Dr. Julio Rodriguez Visits the Science Honor Society
The Science Honor Society welcomed Dr. Julio Rodriguez ‘87 from Dental Arts of Sunset. He taught the students the importance of properly closing wounds and demonstrated different suturing techniques.  Thank you Mrs. Aycart.
Students Went "Close-up" at our Nation’s Capital
Our seniors went on our annual Close-Up trip to Washington D.C where they met with Congresswoman Donna Shalala and Senator Marco Rubio. As always it was a memorable experience. Thank you, Mr. Linfors and Dr. Burrus for accompanying the Explorers.
Seven Seniors Signed National Letters of Intent
Congratulations to the seven Explorers who signed National Letters of Intent to play their sport t in college: Michael Cruz-Bustillo - St. Thomas University (Football), Demetries Ford - Youngstown State University (Football), Federico Maranges - FAU (Football), Dylan Perez - United States Military Academy at West Point (Football), Alejandro Fernandez - Stetson University (Football), Coby Vigo - University of West Florida (Football), and Nicholas Dopazo – Wofford College (Soccer).
Wrestling Finished 3rd at Regionals/Qualified Eight Wrestler for States
The Varsity Wrestling Team finished in 3rd place at the Regionals, 2nd place at the Districts, and in 3rd place at the GMAC championship. The following wrestlers have qualified for States: Robert Dusendang 113 lbs., Charles Huffman 120 lbs., Justin Valdes 126lbs., Dylan Mira 132 lbs., David Milton 145 lbs., Ryan Gonzalez 152 lbs., Brent Becerra 170 lbs. and Carmine D'Ascoli 195 lbs. Congratulations to Coach Husk and all the wrestlers.
Water Polo Wins 
Congratulations to Coach Elorriaga and the Water Polo team for winning their home game 17-3.

JV Lacrosse Went Undefeated to Capture Immokalee Tournament
The JV Lacrosse team won five games to capture the championship at the 2nd Annual Immokalee JV Tournament. A 5-4 Overtime victory over Belen in the Semifinal along with a 5-3 victory over Tampa Jesuit in the final were the highlights of the tournament. Congratulations to Coach O’Neill, Coach Corazon and all the young men on the team!
Anglers and Spearfishing Clubs Attend International Game Fish Clinic
The Anglers and Spearfishing Clubs attended a clinic presented by the IGFA where they interacted with professionals involved in marine conservation, preservation, and education. Our students learned about advanced knots, fly casting, and cast netting and were able to apply what they learned at the lakes at CB Smith Park. Thank you, Mr. Dukes.

Band Performs for Doral Charter Elementary
The Columbus Band performed at the Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School for a black history month concert.  Our students had a great time entertaining the youngsters.  SEE VIDEO. Thank you, Mr. Cooper.
The Freshman Formal was a Night in Paris
Our freshman students and their guests had an experience that was “magnifique” at their Parisian themed formal. Thank you to our SAC moderators Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez.
Kevin Brooks Speaks to Explorers
With the help of our Students Together Against Negative Decisions (STAND) and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) clubs, the freshman and sophomore classes were able to attend a lecture on campus from national speaker Kevin Brooks. Mr. Brooks spoke about many important topics that affect today's youth like impaired/distracted driving, suicide prevention, depression, bullying, relationships, peer pressure, and coping with guilt, tragedy and stress.
42 Alumni Participated in Career Day
Thanks to the support of our dedicated alumni who are always willing to give of their time to help our students, we had another very successful career day.  Forty-two alumni participated this year from a variety of fields, sharing their professional experiences and career advice.  Thank you Dr. Burrus and Mrs. Branas
Squires Visit West Gables Health Center
Br. Eladio and the Squires Club visited the West Gables Health Center to celebrate Valentine's Day with the elderly residents.
Father and Son Communion Breakfast
Thank you to all the fathers and sons who participated in our Communion Breakfast.  This event is a wonderful opportunity for our students and their fathers to celebrate their relationships, give thanks and share special bonding time amongst the Columbus family.  Congratulations to senior Charles Gannon for his speech and special thanks to Fr. Elvis González, vocations director, Archdiocese of Miami, Mr. Gonzalez,
Mr. Ulloa, Mr. Roa, Mrs. Alegret, Br. Tom, Br. George, Ms. Tellechea, Mrs. Caballero, Mr. Rivero, Mrs. Santoni and the cafeteria staff, and Mr. Alvarez and the maintenance staff. 

Freshmen Visit Universal Studios
The Class of 2022 Explorers had a fun trip to Universal Studios Orlando.  Thank you again Ms. Cedeno and Ms. Gonzalez and all the faculty chaperones.

Junior Ring Ceremony
The Class of 2020 celebrated its Ring Ceremony and Mass last week, signifying the presentation of the time-honored Columbus rings. Thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas and Mrs. Horowitz.
Feed The Hungry Club Hosts Sandwich Making
The Feed the Hungry Club made over 350 sandwiches for the Miami Rescue mission in Overtown. Columbus students and faculty came together to donate food and their time for the less fortunate of our community.  Special thanks to Club President and Vice President Joseph Hernandez and Anthony Alonso and Br. John.
3rd Annual Family Picnic and Pig Roast
Columbus hosted its annual Family Picnic and Pig Roast Competition on February 9th.   There were 34 pig roasting teams as well as many activities for children. Congratulations to the team of Frank Varona ‘82 for winning the pig roasting competition. Special thanks to Mrs. Branas, Mr. Fernandez, and all the faculty and staff for helping to put on this fun family event.
Future Explorers & “Explorettes” Enjoy Bring Your Child to Work Day at Columbus
There were 35 little Explorers and “Explorettes” (children of the faculty and staff) who participated in a special “Bring Your Child to Work Day” at Columbus that was both a fun and learning experience. They participated in many activities including a monster painting contest in Mr. Isenberg’s art class, a jam session with Mr. Cooper in the band room, a science lab experience using microscopes with Mrs. Sanchez, an impromptu Spanish class with Mrs. Kahn-Roberts, ice cream making with Mrs. Chomat/Mrs. Aycart, a CCNN broadcast with Mr. Delgado and Mrs. Insua, PE on the field with Mr. Amador, and a history class and tour with Admissions Director Mr. Marinelli who of course gave them all Columbus themed goodie bags.  Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas for making the day happen.
Internet Safety – “Momo Challenge”
The safety and well-being of our students is of the utmost importance. As such, we take every precaution to alert parents and guardians whenever we become aware of any possible dangers that may impact children.  National media has been reporting on a disturbing Internet trend known as the "Momo Challenge" which  surfaced last year but is regaining popularity.  It involves a ghoulish character daring children through WhatsApp and YouTube Kids videos to participate in a series of dangerous and deadly acts.  Some reports indicate this is a wide-reaching hoax but there may be “copycat” videos circulating. Therefore, it is important that parents and guardians be aware of this concern.  We recommend that this be used as an opportunity to talk to children about peer pressure, responsible internet use, and the importance of reporting suspicious and bizarre online content to an adult.  Take time to set and review parental controls on children’s electronic devices, as well as those they may have access to in the home.   If you encounter questionable content or videos that appear to be related to the “Momo Challenge” report them to YouTube.

Br. Kevin Honored by the Miami Heat
The Miami Heat honored Br. Kevin in a spectacular way at their February 23rd game against the Pistons. Br. Kevin was the "honorary captain" and was able to take pictures on the court before the game. At halftime, his 80th birthday was celebrated with many members of the Columbus family and the team's mascot "Burnie." Heat announcer and Columbus parent Jason Jackson interviewed Br. Kevin live during the game. SEE VIDEO.   Kudos to Mr. Fernandez who coordinated all the happenings with the Heat.
Br. Kevin’s 80th Birthday Celebration at Columbus
In addition to Br. Kevin’s birthday celebration at the family picnic and Heat game, he was also given a special birthday surprise on campus as students and faculty sang happy birthday to him at the Mas Building Steps.  We also gathered for a reception in the cafeteria for refreshments while listening to Br. Kevin’s  favorite Frank Sinatra songs from a live entertainer.  Special thanks to Dr. Vila, Mrs. Minoso, and Mrs. Trujillo.

Last Chance to Get your 60th Anniversary Gala Tickets!
With less than three weeks to go for Columbus' 60th Anniversary Gala, this is the time to reserve your seats.  Don't be left out of the grand celebration!  Produced by Wow MKTG, it will be a memorable evening that includes dinner, open bar all night, entertainment and dancing.  All proceeds of the event will benefit the school's capital campaign for the new Integrated Academic and Parking Facility.  PURCHSE GALA TICKETS HERE
60th Anniversary Gala Car Raffle
Only 300 tickets will be sold for the 60th Anniversary Gala Car Raffle which has a grand prize of a 2-Year Lease on a Lexus Sedan.  Tickets are $100 and the winning ticket will be drawn at the Gala.  The winner not need be present to win.  PURCHASE RAFFLE TICKET HERE.
Online Store – Football State Champions Shirts
Get your own Columbus Football 2019 State Championship victory shirts, available online at:  COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP.  You’ll always find 2-day shipping at our online store.  

3/4 & 3/5:            Drama Spring Show (3:30pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)
3/6:                      Ash Wednesday Mass (8:00am, Gym)    
3/7 & 3/8:            Drama Spring Show (7:00pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)
Week of 3/11:     Spirit Week
3/13:                    Battle of the Sexes (7:00pm, Gym)
3/14:                    Students vs. Faculty Basketball Game (1:25, Gym)
3/18:                    Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
3/20:                    Mass in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of St. Marcellin’s Canonization (8:00am, Gym)
3/22:                    Blood Drive (all day, cafeteria)
3/23                     60th Anniversary Gala (7:00pm, JW Marriot Marquis Miami)
3/27:                    Internships Seminar (1:30pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)

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.