Christopher Columbus High School

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

February 2020 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

The month of February has been rewarding in many ways.  Academically, our young men are working hard to achieve success in the classroom, they are receiving acceptances into some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country.  They are also being recognized for outstanding work in their clubs/activities, and they are competing for state recognition on the mats, the fields, in the water, and on the track.
 
Our students achieve their goals through hard work, sacrifice, and the support of our teachers, coaches, and moderators. It is their presence and love of work that helps to create a competitive and successful school culture.  
 
As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us remember that this is a time to nurture our relationship with Jesus. Our campus ministry program offers many opportunities for our school family to enrich their faith like retreats, youth groups, daily Mass, and service opportunities.  There will be a Lenten Reflection service for parents taking place on April 2nd.  Take advantage of these opportunities.  As Marists, we all  "make Jesus known and loved." 
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Our administrative team and full-time nurse are actively monitoring and addressing the potential risks of a coronavirus spread to our local communities. As part of our preventive measures, we have ensured that all common areas (classrooms, cafeteria, offices) are cleaned daily and that everyone has ample access to hand sanitizers and  tissues. The upcoming trips that were planned for students to Germany and Dominican Republic have been cancelled. We should all be following the healthy practices recommended by the CDC to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as COVID-19:
  • Wash your hands often with soap & water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough, sneeze with a tissue, and wash hands after.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine. (when available)
Anyone experiencing the identified viral symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath should refrain from coming on campus and/or participating in school related activities that would place our community at risk. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the Principal’s office. Coronavirus Disease 2019 Overview        Coronavirus Disease 2019 FAQ’s
Robotics Team Makes History, Wins VEX SFL State Championship
The Robotics Team competed amongst 57 of the state's best teams and fought their way to the top to become Robotics State Champions. This is our school’s first team to accomplish the great feat, building a legacy for our STEM programs for years to come. We thank moderators Mr. Larrubia and Mr. Rodriguez for the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication that they put into the program.   Congratulations to the following talented students who participated in the state competitions: Daniel Saez, Gabriel Paz, Daniel Luna, Javier Lopez, Anthony Alonso, Marcelo Varela, Caden Serrato, Victor Valero, Simon Cura, Aiden Kennedy, Nick Guzman, Erick Gonzalez, Andrew Fernandez. They look forward to competing on the world’s stage in late April. Earlier in the month, the team visited Downtown Doral Charter Upper School as part of their community outreach efforts to help the school start a robotics program.
Explorers Win 1st Place at MDCPS and ISSF Geography Bees
Although faced with tough competition from both public and charter schools, the Columbus Geography Team remained victorious. This is the second year in a row that the team placed first in the Miami-Dade Public Schools Geography Bee. They also won a record 3rd championship at the ISSF Geography Bee. In that tournament, the Explorers scored more points in the preliminaries than any other team in ISSF’s history. Many thanks to Mr. Hermida, Ms. Koepp, and d Mr. Cunningham.
Debate Ranked in Top 10 Programs in the State
We are proud to announce that for the first time in school history, the Columbus Debate Program is ranked in the Top 10 programs in the state by the National Speech and Debate Association. Moderator Randall Martinez, co-moderator Dan Ciocca and our talented students put in an incredible amount of work, time, and practice to excel and their hard work is paying off.  In the month of February alone, 11 debaters qualified to the varsity state tournament and the team competed in tournaments at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, and the Fairchild Challenge.    
Conrad Innovators
In a 6-month competition involving 700 teams from around the world, the Columbus STEM Team was recognized as Conrad Innovators in the Aerospace & Aviation category. This badge of excellence is bestowed upon these students by the Conrad Foundation as an honor that can be carried along their educational career as a source of pride and ownership in passing the litmus test of entrepreneurship. Congratulations to: Felipe Solorzano, Erick Gonzalez, Nicholas Guzman and Daniel Parrondo. Thank you to Mr. Armando Rodriguez for accompanying these students every step of the way.
CCNNLive’s The Voyage Named Best Monthly Show in Southeast U.S.
CCNN Live’s The Voyage has been named the best monthly show in the southeast region of the United States. The show is now a finalist for the national broadcast excellence award from the Student Television Network, in the monthly news category. The show airs on Facebook and our other social media platforms on a monthly basis. Thank you Mrs. Insua and Mr. Delgado.
Lenten Season Begins with Ash Wednesday Mass
We began the Season of Lent with the celebration of Mass and the imposition of ashes in our gymnasium. This 40-day period that leads to Easter on April 12th is a time for reflection, prayer, and penance. We thank Fr. Reeves, Deacon Dugard, and all the students and faculty that served as liturgical ministers that day.
Ceremonial Blessing of the Cross  
At Columbus, not only do we mark the beginning of Lent with ashes but also with our annual Blessing of the Cross Ceremony which involves our students installing a cross at the center of campus, in front of the chapel. Thank you to Br. Eladio and the Squires.
Guidance News
The guidance department started the month of February by taking 18 students on a five-day trip through four states and nine universities (LSU, Tulane, Loyola New Orleans, University of South Alabama, University of Alabama, Auburn University, Vanderbilt University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Emory University). Our students toured each campus and got to enjoy some of the city highlights such as Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans and the Georgia Aquarium. Also, a Jesuit College Fair was held on campus with 12 colleges. As we continue to spread the message of our Marist mission, the freshmen counselors spoke to students about kindness and understanding. The department successfully entered the course selections for the upcoming year and continues to meet with students to discuss the short term and long term academic goals.  Thank you to Ms. Vinson and all guidance counselors.  
Seniors Receive Early College Acceptances
Some of our seniors have already received acceptances from colleges across the nation, and they continue to receive decisions and financial aid packages. Please make sure that your son updates Naviance so that we may send the final documentation to the University/College they will be attending. For Seniors that are still retesting to obtain The Bright Futures Scholarships, June is the last test date that will be accepted.  Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Ms. Vinson, and all college placement counselors.
Third Quarter Achievement Breakfast
Congratulations to all the students who were honored for their success in academics and extra-curricular activities this quarter.  
Celebrating African-American Heritage Month with a Lecture Series
Once again, the Social Studies and World Languages departments partnered together to bring Columbus students the Exploring Black History & Leadership Lecture Series in honor of Black History Month. Both Marlon Hill, an experienced attorney, and Papa Keith, a popular radio personality, participated. Thank you Mr. Trujillo and Mrs. Khan-Roberts for coordinating the events. As an added treat and to close out the Black History Month Celebrations, a taste of Jamaican cuisine was brought to Columbus, catered by Ayee’s.
New Members Inducted into the National English Honor Society
Congratulations to all the students who were were inducted into the Fred Panzer Chapter of the National English Honors Society.  Thank you Mr. Crossman.
Spanish Class Tours Little Havana
Special thanks to Mrs. Alonso for taking her Spanish 2 class on a tour of Little Havana. It was a fun Cuban cultural experience.  
Junior Ring Ceremony 
The Class of 2021 celebrated its Ring Ceremony and Mass, signifying the presentation of the time-honored Columbus rings. Thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas and Mrs. Horowitz.
Three Juniors Received Their Own Ring Ceremony
Juniors Jordan Jackson, Michael Ortiz, and Julian Rose had to miss the Junior Ring Ceremony because they represented Columbus in a varsity basketball game that same night. Therefore, our Campus Ministry Director and Administration held a small ceremony for them and their parents in the chapel.  Special thanks to President Kruczek.
Fall Sport Athletes Earn Miami Herald Honors
Congratulations to the 11 Explorers who made 1st Team All-Dade in their respective sport: Cross Country: Adrian Bichara, Christian Ivonnet; Bowling: Marlon Ruiz; Golf: Andres Atrio, Hans Risaver; Football: Brandon McDuffey, Henry Parrish, Xzavier Henderson, Ryan Rodriguez, Elijah Roberts, and Alejandro Prado.
Five Wrestlers Qualified for State Championship
The Varsity Wrestling Team  finished in 5th place in the 31 Team Region 4 Tournament and qualified five Explorers to advance to the State Championship:  Christian Guzman, Robert Dusendang, Gavin Buck, Van Huffman, and Gian Rodriquez.  Good luck to these young men and Coach Husk as they represent Columbus in States!
Basketball Team Ends Season at Regionals
The basketball team came together towards the end of the season. They won some big games against School House Prep and Coral Park and  advanced to the GMAC, playing a close game against powerhouse South Miami before falling short at the end of the game. They also played for the District Championship against Miami High, and advanced to the Regionals for the first time in nine years. Thank you to Coach Moran.  We look forward to next year’s season.

Water Polo Having a Strong Season
The Water Polo is having its strongest season in recent years. Headed by Coach Robert and Coach Dukes the team record is currently 5-2, only losing to two power houses. All 12 seniors have worked together over the past four years to leave their legacy on the water polo program. The team will be entering its last quarter of the season and is projected to have a strong finish. 
Six Seniors Signed National Letters of Intent to Play Football In College
Congratulations to the six Explorers who signed National Letters of Intent to play football in college: Brandon Coleman (Colorado State University), Jose Fernandez (Ave Maria University), Xzavier Henderson (University of Florida), Henry Parrish (The University of Mississippi, Max Villar (Georgetown University), and Trynyty Conway (St. Thomas University).
 
Special congratulations to Henry Parrish for being named All-State Player of the Year!
"Be the Light at the Light" Game/Fundraiser Against Belen
Baseball season started in February and currently the team is 5-2. On March 2nd, the Columbus Explorers and Belen Wolverines faced off at Mark Light Field at UM's Alex Rodriguez Park for the "Be the Light at the Light" fundraiser in benefit of the Ari Arteaga Foundation. Our Explorers won the game 1-0 and Columbus and Belen representatives presented the Arteaga family with a check for $21,180.  Good luck to Coach Weber and the team as they continue their season.
 
Anglers & Spearfishing Club News
The Anglers and Spearfishing Clubs received a personal tour of JD Outdoor Adventures and attended the Miami International Boat Show where they met world renowned Guy Harvey, Captain Nick Stanczyk and Captain Rob Fordyce. On Presidents’ Day, Anglers Carlos Cornide and Nicholas Valdes, held their service project, Catch for Kids Fishing Clinic, at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park where they educated children who don’t get the opportunity to fish from the San Juan Bosco Clinic. They spent seven hours outdoors, enjoying fishing and each other’s company under the bright Florida sun. Thank you Coach Dukes.

Students Travelled to Our Nation’s Capital for "Close-up"
Our seniors went on the annual Close-Up trip to Washington D.C where they met with Congresswoman Donna Shalala and Senator Rick Scott. This year, there were 180 students from seven states that participated in special workshops. Each workshop group chose a representative to give a speech at the closing banquet and three of the six speakers were Columbus students (Carlos Gutierrez, AJ Someillan and Marcel van Hemert, all who represented our school well). As always, it was a memorable experience. Thank you, Mr. Linfors for accompanying the Explorers.
Seniors Honored by Congresswoman Shalala for their Nomination to U.S. Military Academies
Columbus seniors Grant Archer, Andres Ortiz, Ryan Vidal and David Ragan were honored by Congresswoman Donna Shalala at a breakfast where they were congratulated on their recent nomination to U.S. military academies.
Peer Tutoring
Through peer tutoring, our upperclassmen English Honor Society students work with freshmen students who need help with writing and revising essays and research papers. Our Brotherhood for Good is always looking for ways to help each other!
Freshmen Visit Universal Studios
The Class of 2023 Explorers traveled to Orlando for a fun day at Universal Studios. Thank you Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell and all the faculty chaperones.
Flying Club Visited Aviator Zone Academy
Our Flying Club went on a field to Miami Executive Airport where they visited Aviator Zone Academy and alumni instructors Chris Perez ‘18 and Garrett Duell ’12. They not only discussed career and hobby opportunities in the aviation industry but also had the opportunity to enter top-of-the-line Cessna aircraft. Special thanks to moderators Alberto Rodriguez and Armando Rodriguez.
Band Performs for Doral Charter Elementary – Inspires Dancing & Fun
The Columbus Band performed at the Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School for a black history month concert. As you will see from the video, they had the children dancing and having a great time.   Thank you, Mr. Cooper. VIEW BAND PERFORMANCE
AP U.S. Government Class Video Conference
Through the National Constitution Center’s Classroom Exchange Program, our AP U.S. Government Class connected with a class in Eire, Pennsylvania in a real-time, face-to-face videoconference. The topic that was discussed was “Freedom of the Press.” Thank you Ms. McCullagh for providing the opportunity.
Columbus Connects Classroom Speaker Series
The first Columbus Connects Classroom Speaker Series of 2020 took place with Michael Bulness '14 who discussed LinkedIn profiles and externship preparation.  Thank you Mrs. Anderson.
Campus Ministry Leaders Serving at Local Parishes
A team of our campus ministry leaders served on retreats at several of our local parishes including St. Thomas the Apostle, St. Timothy, and St. Kevin.  Thanks to Mr. Gonzalez, Br. John, Ms. Noy, and Mr. Pino.
New Campus Ministry Leaders Workshop
Campus Ministry leaders attended a workshop aimed at preparing them to serve and lead their communities. Topics like preparing a speeches and prayers and how to facilitate small and large group discussions were covered in the workshop. Principal Pugh addressed the students in the first worshop. Thanks to Br. Tom, Mrs. Alegret, and Br. Brady.
Squires Share Time with Children at St. John Bosco
Sebastian Vergara
and the Squires took time out in February to visit with the children of St. John Bosco. They shared a “merienda” with them and also gave them a monetary gift which they used for pajamas and technology needs. Thank you Br. Eladio and Mr. Machado.
Business Class Students Visit U.S. Century Bank
Senior business students had the opportunity to spend a day at U.S. Century Bank headquarters with President  & CEO Luis De La Aguilera '77 and his team.  What a great experience for these aspiring business leaders.  Thank you Mr. Corazon.  
4th Annual Family Picnic & Pig Roast
The 4th Annual Family Picnic & Pig Roast was lots of fun for the entire family. The event drew over 1,600 attendees, 33 Pig Roast Teams, and an abundance of activities for children of all ages was made available. Thank you to alumni director Mrs. Branas, alumni association board members Mr. Roca, Mr. Eljaiek and their committee.
Dave Dunn Named All-State Football Coach of the Year 
Coming off the FHSAA 8A Football State Championship win, our head football coach, Dave Dunn, was named the 2019 Class 8A All-State Coach of the Year.  Congratulations!
 
The factors that went into choosing the All-State Team included stats,  placements in all-area/all-county teams, coach’s nominations and consultation of all-area/all-county teams as published by various media outlets from around the state. 
Mr. Martinez - Debate Coach of the Year
Congratulations to Mr. Randall Martinez for being selected the Florida Forensic League’s Art Deco Region 5 Debate Coach of the Year. A well-deserved honor!
Upcoming Columbus Connects Leadership Lecture Features Frank Azor ’99
Event Open to Columbus Family
We have some pretty amazing speakers lined up in our revitalized Columbus Connects Leadership Lecture Series (CCLLS).  Check out the promo video below.  Traditionally focused on alumni for networking, friendship and learning, this year we are proud to announce that this exclusive series will be extended to Columbus parents and alumni parents. Each event is free, thanks to presenting sponsors U.S. Century Bank, DigitalEra Group and Moss Construction. The first event with Alienwear Co-founder/AMD's Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions Frank Azor '99 is March 30th, and on April 29th, the Amparo Experience will be at Columbus thanks to Facundo Bacardi '84.  Due to the high interest that we expect these events will generate, we will need everyone to RSVP before attending.
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.  
Upcoming March Dates To Remember:
3/5 & 3/6: Freshman Kerygma Retreat (Morningstar Renewal Center)
3/12: Battle of the Bands Benefitting Castaways Against Cancer (5:00 – 10:00pm, Café)
3/13: Freshman/Sophomore Formal
3/16: Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
3/18: Battle of the Sexes (7:00 - 9:00pm) Gym
3/19: Student/Faculty Basketball Game (1:30pm, Gym)
3/25/26/27: Junior/Senior Encounter (Morningstar Renewal Center)
3/27: French Breakfast (7:00am, Main Entrance)
3/28: Car Show & Contest (2:00pm, Tennis Courts)
3/30: Columbus Connects Lecture Series with Alienware Founder Frank Azor ‘99
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.