Christopher Columbus High School

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

January 2019 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

January signifies a new beginning, a new year, a fresh start. We turn to new year resolutions in hopes of changing and/or making something better in our life. For our young men, they have an opportunity to set goals and meet new expectations as they begin a new semester. It is a short month in school days, but a very busy time of year. There is no time to reflect on the past, only time to prepare for the future. Set your mark, reach your goals, and don’t look back. Quitting is not an option! It is time to build your character, form good habits, and seek positive outcomes.  Have the right values and do the right things.  Be a good person and spread kindness and compassion.  Practice persistence and determine to be determined.  Work on yourself and pursue excellence.
Education is the Work of Good Example
Education is, above all else, the work of good example, since virtue strengthens authority. It is natural for young people to imitate what they see; actions do more to persuade than words and commands. To educate young people, the teacher must have a claim on their respect and obedience. The claims that young people recognize, and respect best are good example, professional skill, and compassion.

(Marcellin Champagnat)
U.S. Dept. of Education’s Jose Viana and Fr. Alejandro Rodriguez Helped Celebrate Catholic Schools Week
On January 30th, in honor of Catholic Schools Week, a school-wide Mass was celebrated at Christopher Columbus High school by alumnus Fr. Alejandro Rodriguez.  Special guest, José Viana from the CCHS Class of 1987 and Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition for the U.S. Department of Education, participated in the Mass.  Both Mr. Viana and Fr. Alejandro gave an enlightening speech.  They spoke about the important role that the Catholic and Marist education they received at Columbus played in shaping them into the men they are today.  The Columbus family prayed together for all vocations and displayed gratitude for the opportunity to attend Catholic school.
Freshmen and Sophomore Assembly – An Opportunity for Academic Recognition and Education
The Freshmen and Sophomore assembly recognized the 2nd Quarter Honor Role Students,  the "Most Improved Students" and addressed pertinent social issues and dangers that threaten our young people.   On hand was our security adviser and retired police officer Mr. Danny Villanueva ’83 who spoke about the risks of drug and alcohol use and the inappropriate usage of social media.  Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) member Presley Pomeranc ’19  also spoke about the dangers of vaping.
Soccer Team Wins GMAC Championship (2nd in School History)
Congratulations to Coach Stewart and the varsity soccer team on winning the Greater Miami Athletic Conference Championship with a 1-0 victory over Ronald Reagan/Doral High School. This is the second Soccer GMAC Championship won in Columbus school history. The team will play for the District Championship tonight at Columbus. Go Explorers!
Basketball Victorious at UM’s Watsco Center Against Belen
On January 17th, for a second year in a row, both the Columbus Varsity and JV Basketball Teams came away with wins against Belen at the University of Miami’s Watsco Center.  Congratulations to Coach Lorenzo and the varsity team who won the game with a score of 51-38 and to Coach Landera and the JV team who won 65-58.  We also congratulate the freshman team, led by Br. Kevin, who won against the Wolverines a few days later (50-35).

The Varsity team secured a berth into post season play with a resounding 54-33 road victory over the Southwest Eagles and they will be facing Coral Park on Br. Kevin Court in the Columbus Gym tonight.

Wrestling Going Strong
Coach Husk and the Varsity Wrestling Team is having another spectacular year! They ended their dual meet season with a 25-4 record and had four team victories at their District Dual Meet. They defeated Palmetto and Barbara Goleman highs schools as well as the premiere St. Thomas Aquinas team at “Wrestling Under the Stars” at the Columbus Field (40-39).
Winter Arts Festival – Showcased Our Explorers Artistic Abilities
The two-day outdoor Winter Arts Festival featured drama competitions, skits, poetry, music, and artwork from our talented Explorers. Mrs. McGrath, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Isenberg, and Mr. Santa-Maria were instrumental in creating this opportunity for our young men to shine!
Electives Fair Exposes Students to Columbus’ Many Course Offerings
The Guidance Department hosted its annual Electives Fair which exposes students to all the elective opportunities at Columbus. Students were able gain important information before they make their course selections for the next school year.
Wings of Freedom Tour
65 Explorers participated in the Wings of Freedom Tour of WWII aircraft in Naples, Florida. They were able to experience two fully restored bomber aircraft: a B-24 Liberator and B-17 Flying Fortress, along with the newest addition a WWII P-51C Mustang dual-control fighter aircraft. We thank social studies teachers Mr. Trujillo, Mr. Steve O’Brien, Mr. Jason Hill and Mr. Barrentine who accompanied the students, helping educate them about our national history and the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans.
Explorers Judge Somerset Academy Entrepreneur Fair
Seniors Rodolfo De Armas, Brian Houtenbrink-Hoyo, Ivan Garces, William Gregory, and , Matthew Grant helped judge the Somerset Prep Entrepreneurs Fair.
34 Future Business Leaders of America Win Medals at Districts
The CCHS Future Business Leaders of America Club had an outstanding showing at their District Competition with 34 of the 79 members bringing home medals. They will be representing Dade County in the State competition in March. Thirteen students won first place medals while nine won second place. Congratulations to Mr. Corazon and all of the winners: Accounting 2 (Anthony Rodriguez-Mira-1st Place); Advertising (Dean Tapia-2nd Place); Broadcast Journalism (Daniel Diaz-2nd Place); Business Law (Andrew Millan-1st Place); Computer Problem Solving (Daniel Luna-1st Place; Justin Parondo-2nd Place); Computer Problem Solving - 2nd Place); Cybersecurity (David Perez-1st Place), Digital Video Production (Julian Corrales/Jason Corbett -2nd Place); Economics (Emilio Valenzuela-1st Place); Insurance Risk Management (Alesio Amor-1st Place, Michael Janulious-2nd Place); Introduction to Business Communication (Gustavo Jimenez-1st Place) Introduction to Business Procedures (Daniel Valdes-2nd Place); Introduction to Financial Math (Lukas Bleichner-1st Place); Introduction to Public Speaking (Ray Lozano-2nd Place); Journalism (Joseph Pozo-1st Place); Network Design Team (Nicholas Molia/Michael Berry/Benjamin Elizondo-1st Place); Personal Finance (David Febles-1st Place, Leonardo Cruz-2nd Place).
Celebrating Our Columbus Mothers
The annual Mother & Son Mass and Breakfast brought together hundreds of Explorers and their mothers for a beautiful and memorable morning. Special thanks to Mr. Gonzalez, Mrs. Alegret, Mrs. Tellechea, Br. Michael, and Br. Tom.
NPR Journalist Spoke to Communication Methodology Class
Mrs. Catalina Garcia,
Columbus Mom and journalist for NPR, spoke to our Communication Methodology students about research and deciphering fake news in the media.   
Class Trip to Islands of Adventure
The Freshmen and Sophomores were able to enjoy a day of fun together in Orlando when they visited Islands of Adventure.  Special thanks to our SAC moderators and all the chaperones who helped make the day a safe and memorable one.  
CCNN Members Chosen as Miami HeatKid Casters
Alex Ramos and AJ Someillan were selected as Miami Heat Kid Casters for the Heat vs. Grizzlies game. Alex gave play-by-play with John Crotty and Eric Reid while AJ worked with Jason Jackson as a sideline reporter
Daniel Gonzalez Receives Proclamation from Coral Gables Mayor
Soccer player Daniel Gonzalez was recently awarded a proclamation from the Office of the Mayor of the City of Coral Gables for his philanthropic work with, a non-profit organization he created which has collected and donated over one 1,000 cleats, soccer uniforms and sports equipment to underprivileged children in Miami and around the world.  He is pictured with head soccer coach Michael Stewart.
Congratulations to our Newly Inducted Athletic Hall of Fame Members:  
Basketball:  Andres Alfonso (2001), Julio G. Leblanc (1961); Football:  Jeff Sawyer (1976) posthumously 
Robert Lasky (1985), Joseph “Joe” DiBernardo (1992), Darrell Sheppard (2001), Track & Field: Michael Montero (2011); Baseball:  Andrew “Andy” Suarez (2011), Jose Mendoza (2005), Matthew “Matt” Barket (2001); Golf: Marcelo Huarte (2010)Coach: Jim Husk
Welcome Back Football Coach Dave Dunn
Dave Dunn has taken on the position of the Varsity Football Coach, replacing Chris Merritt who left the program to accept the head coaching position at Bryant University in Rhode Island. This marks Dunn's second tenure at the helm of Explorer football; he led the team to back-to-back district titles in 1999 and 2000 and went on to a very successful high school and college coaching career. Learn More About Coach Dunn DUNN
Family Picnic & Pig Roast – Feb. 9th
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.
Miami Heat to Honor Br. Kevin at Feb. 23rd Game Against Pistons
Special Opportunity for the Columbus Family to Purchase Tickets at Group Rate – Deadline is Feb. 8th

Celebrate Br. Kevin with the Columbus family at the Miami Heat game against the Detroit Pistons on February 23rd! Br. Kevin will be the 'Honorary Captain' and will bring the game ball to center court right before tip-off. Be one of the first 200 to buy game tickets and get in early before other fans to watch the players shoot around. The first 50 children (aged 7 – 13) can join the “high 5” club on the court. Let’s show our Columbus Pride and fill the stands to cheer Br. Kevin on.

Purchase Heat Game Tickets on Br. Kevin Recognition Night 

If you have any questions, contact Alfonso “Flash” Fernandez at  
34th Annual Reverse Raffle – March 2nd
Columbus will be holding its 34th annual Reverse Raffle in the Columbus cafeteria on March 2nd. Only 300 tickets will be sold for the opportunity to win a $10,000 grand prize and sixteen $150 prizes. Winner need not be present to win.  For more information and to download the ticket registration CLICK HERE.   For more information, contact Barbara Branes at
60th Anniversary Gala – March 23rd (secure your tickets early)
Our 60th Anniversary Gala at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami is fast approaching on March 23rd.  Produced by WOW MKTG, this event will be like no other that Columbus has ever hosted. We hope you will be able to join us at this grand celebration for Columbus.  Purchase Gala Ticket/Sponsorship
Miami’s Community Newspapers Honors Columbus with 60th Anniversary Issue
We thank Miami’s Community Newspapers and Publisher Grant Miller for publishing a special issue in honor of Christopher Columbus High School’s 60th Anniversary.  View 60th Anniversary Issue
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.