Christopher Columbus High School

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

January 2021 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

While this year has been a challenge, we have been able to keep our school open and provide our students and families with a sense of security and much needed flexibility. Our plan, which was shared with our community in early August, continues to be meticulously executed and has been successful in de-densifying our classrooms and hallways while de-escalating any internal spread of the virus on campus. Whether our students are attending class physically or in our eLearning platform, we are confident that they are receiving a quality Marist education.
 
Our protocol for athletics, clubs, and extra-curricular activities have enabled our programs not only to continue, but to compete and thrive under very difficult circumstances.  I am very proud of our students, faculty, staff, coaches, and moderators for their hard work, dedication, and resilience. It is their efforts that permit us to move forward…Adelante! 
 
Freshmen Classes at Full Capacity
Currently, many of our freshman classes are at full capacity.  We encourage more upper classmen to attend in person.  While we understand the decision to remain virtual, there is nothing like the in-person educational experience and the level of engagement that occurs when  students and teachers are together on campus.  
Robotics Team Received State Championship Rings
The Robotics Team was presented with rings to celebrate their recent Robotics State Championship victory.  The presentation took place at the outdoor patio of Arbetters.  Special thanks to Mr. Larrubia and Mr. Rodriguez.  This is the second (non-athletic) Columbus team to be presented with rings for winning  a state championship.  Our CCNN Live Team have won multiple state championships.  
Football Team Won the Inaugural Tri-County Championship (8A Gold Division)
The varsity football team was the leader in the Inaugural Tri-County Championship, formed late last year by South Florida athletic and media leaders in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.  The championship series brought together some of the best teams from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach to play one another based on a school size and a rankings system.  After winning the final game against the Deerfield Beach Bucks on December 21st, the Explorers became the champions in the Class 8A Gold Division.  This marked the 3rd straight year that Columbus played in football finals.  Congratulations once again to Coach Dunn and our football champions!
Br. Kevin’s Birthday Bash Month
Campaign in his Honor -  Drive-By Parade on February 18

Br. Kevin is turning 82 this month and to celebrate Columbus is holding  a birthday campaign throughout the month of February in his honor.  All proceeds will benefit the new Marcus Lemonis and Mario Sueiras Center for Science & the Arts, a project that is dear to Br. Kevin.  On his actual birthday, Thursday, February 18th between the hours of 3:00 – 5:00pm, the Columbus family has an opportunity to drive-by Columbus’ main entrance to greet Brother and wish him a Happy Birthday in person.  The Columbus band will provide music and the first 100 guests will receive individually wrapped birthday cake.  You will also be able to hand Brother a birthday card with gift, if you wish.    MAKE A GIFT TO  BR. KEVIN'S BIRTHDAY BASH / SIGN HIS VIRTUAL CARD
Wrestling Team Captured 1st Place in Naples
Varsity Wrestling captured the 1st Place Team Trophy at the Naples High School Tournament.  Christian Guzman was named the tournament’s Lightweight Outstanding Wrestler and Derrick Hart won the Outstanding Upper Weights honor.  Derrick had the fastest pin of the day and came close to breaking a national record. Gian Rodriguez also went undefeated. Earlier in the month, the team defeated the Cooper City Cowboys 67-3 at Columbus’ annual Wrestling Under the Stars and went undefeated in the Battle at the Bay Duals at Cypress Bay High School.  Good luck to Coach Husk and the Explorers at the GMAC Tournament! 
Soccer Program Held Senior Night  
The Soccer Team has had a successful season (9 – 1).  On January 28th, the team held its annual Senior Night on the field, a great opportunity for the players to be recognized in accompaniment of their parents.  We wish Coach Stewart and the team good luck as they prepare to compete in district competition. 
Basketball Team Headed to Districts
The Basketball Team (12 – 6) has had a good season, winning eight games in a row in January.  We wish Coach Moran and the team good luck as they also will compete in the districts.  
Bowling Team Finished Season 5-1, Placed 3rd at GMAC
The Bowling Team finished the shortened regular season with a 5-1 record and placed 3rd at the GMAC Tournament.  They narrowly missed the finals at the Tri-County Tournament, placing 5th out of 12 outstanding teams. Marlon Ruiz , Chris Ferrer and senior Antonio Varona led the team in a competitive tournament. Marlon Ruiz shot a 666 set topping almost the entire field. Congrats to Coach Scholer and the Keglers of Columbus on a great season of excellent bowling.

Adelante Named Most Outstanding Private School Yearbook for 2020
The American Scholastic Press Association named the Columbus’ Adelante Yearbook the Most Outstanding Private School Yearbook for 2020.  Congratulations to Mrs. Essig and the entire yearbook staff of students.
Blood Drive Raised 34 Pints 
The Columbus family came together to give blood and save lives.  Thank you to all the students, teachers, coaches, staff, administrators, and alumni for helping achieve our goal  - 34 pints!  Special thanks to Mrs. Cofresi and her team of National Honor Society students for their assistance.
Dr. Jorge Echenique Donated his Model Ships to Columbus 
The Mas Technology Complex lobby received a beautiful new addition thanks to the generosity and hard work of alumnus Dr. Jorge Echenique ’74 who donated his Columbus ship models of the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria to the school.  Dr. Echenique built the models himself by hand, over a period of two years and gifted them to Columbus in a plexiglass enclosure.  They now serve as a central focal point as you enter the building.  We thank Dr. Echenique for the beautiful gift as well as alumnus Luis Palenzuela ‘86 and his company Roluwood for donating the wooden base for the display.

Evans and Quesada Families Establish Columbus Scholarships
We thank alumnus Eric Evans ‘77 and Mike Quesada who recently established scholarship programs at Columbus.  The Evans family established their scholarship in honor of their late father who was a crucial supporter of CCHS while the Quesada family established their scholarship through their foundation, Running With Danny, to honor their son who passed away in 2019 of complications from Cystic Fibrosis. 
 
In January, we had the pleasure of announcing the inaugural winners of the Lee Evans Memorial Scholarship (Ahmere Foster '23),  and the Danny "Coach DQ" Quesada Memorial Scholarship, (Patrick Garcia '21). Congratulations to both these talented and deserving students!
 
For information on how to set up a scholarship fund at Columbus, contact  President Kruczek at 305-223-5650 or at tkruczek@columbushs.com.
Cuban Maristas Alumni Association Support CCHS Financial Aid Efforts
Special thanks to the Cuban Maristas Alumni Association President, Rodolfo Solares, and Treasurer, Fidel Zaldivar, for visiting Columbus to present President Kruczek with the association's annual donation to benefit the Br. Rafael Scholarship Fund at Columbus. They also took time to honor Br. Eladio and the Squires for all the good work they do in the community throughout the year.
Film Club Takes 1st Place at FBLA Competition
Congratulations to the members of the Film Club and its moderator Mr. Diaz as their submission won first place at the Future Business Leaders of America Competition for Public Service Announcement.  The entire club is to be commended especially Julian Herrerias, Adrian Morgade, and Matthew Calvino. VIEW WINNING VIDEO. 
CCNN Live Students Competed on the TV Quiz Show - School Duel
Christopher Gomez, Nicholas Casanueva, and Alexis Vivanco
 had the opportunity to compete on School Duel, South Florida’s first High School Academic Television Quiz Show, presented by BECON-TV.  Special thanks to Ms. Gaby Cruz.
Debaters Win Big at Regional and National Tournaments
The Debate Team competed at the McCarthur High School’s Regional Tournment and Columbia University’s National Tournament. Congratulations to the following Explorers who placed at the events:  Best Speaker in World Schools Debate: Marcelo Andreu;  World Schools Debate 1st Place:  Noah Sastoque, Gabriel Llerena, Javi Hidalgo-Gato, and Hansel Heres; World Schools Debate 2nd Place: Jan Andretta, Hans Bendixen, Ryan McMillan, Bruno Barreiro, Mathew Calviño; Columbia National LD:  Phillip Castro, Nicholas Gonzalez and Alan Munchy (semifinalist); Finalist for Congressional Debate:  Kevin Alonso, Michael Alvarez.  Special thanks to Mr. De Tuya
Guidance Counselors Meet with Freshmen Classes
Our guidance department chairperson and freshmen counselors met with all members of the Class of 2024 taking college preparatory classes. They explained the PSAT exam and the importance of maintaining a high GPA, among other topics.  Thanks you Ms. Vinson, Dr. Burrus, and Mr. Grant. 
Marcus Lemonis and Mario Sueiras Center for Science & The Arts
Construction Update / New Time-Lapse Videos
Construction of our Marcus Lemonis and Mario Sueiras Center for Science & The Arts continues to progress rapidly with the concrete pour of the fourth floor taking place recently. To view the latest building updates, including new time-lapse videos, - CLICK HERE
Silver Knight Award Nominees Announced
Congratulations to the following 13 seniors who have been selected as nominees for the 2021 Miami Herald Silver Knight Awards, one of the nation's most highly regarded student awards programs.  All of these seniors have excelled academically, maintaining a high GPA, all while serving selflessly in our community.   Athletics: Rodrigo Velazco, Business: Gilbert Navarro, Digital & Interactive Media: Ray Lozano, English & Literature: Michael Bendixen, General Scholarship: Lukas Bleichner, Journalism: Christopher Gomez, Mathematics: Christopher de la Viesca, Music & Dance: Joseph Bilbao, Science: Patrick Garcia, Social Science: Adrian Noy, Speech: Noah Sastoque, Vocational Technical: Hansel Heres, World Languages: Darrick Baboun.  Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and Mrs. Cibran. 
Future Business Leaders of America Results
73 Students Qualified for States and 25 Won 1st Place Awards
This year, 1000 Columbus students competed in the Future Business Leaders of America District 25 Competition.  Our Explorers dominated in many of the categories with 73 students qualifying for the state competition, 25 placing 1st, 14 placing 2nd, and 15 placing 3rd.  These are the best FBLA results in the club's history.  Special thanks to Mr. Corazon.
Courtney Holmes  Headed to Lake Erie College
We are very proud of Courtney Holmes '20, a football captain, state champion, mentor, and brother who is headed to Lake Erie College in Ohio to play football.  We gathered to celebrate his accomplishments before his departure. 
Mr. Pino Named Cross Country Coach of the Year
We congratulate Mr. Eric Pino for being named the Florida Dairy Farmers 2020 Cross Country Coach of the Year, an award he shares with his fellow assistant coaches, Coach Areces and Coach Ventura.  After six years of serving as the head coach, Mr. Pino is stepping down and turning the reigns of the program over to Coach Areces in 2021.  He could not be leaving on a higher note, as a State Champion and Coach of the Year!
French Club Participates in Virtual Cooking Class
The French Club participated in an afterschool cooking workshop, courtesy of Atelier Cuisine.  Led by French teacher and World Languages Department Chair, Ms. Vessiere, the students baked a traditional Galette des Rois (King’s cake) to celebrate the Epiphany. 
Eagle Scout Eduardo Guerrero ‘22
After scouting for the past five years, Junior Eduardo Guerrero was named Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor.  His Eagle Scout project was the refurbishment of the “Heartbeat of Miami Clinic” which involved him painting, landscaping, and installing various fixtures.  Congratulations Eduardo!
Eagle Scout William Dunkley ‘21
Senior William Dunkley also earned the rank of Eagle Scout for creatively refurbishing an outdoor sports area at Our Lady of the Lakes School.  William revamped and enhanced the school’s outdoor basketball courts from start to finish, leading the effort to plan, design, fundraise and recruit volunteers.    Congratulations William!
Hans Risvaer Won the Doral Publix Open Gold Championship
Sophomore Hans Risvaer won the prestigious Doral Publix Open Golf Championship, which hosts hundreds of players from all over the globe.  He won the boys 14-15 division by firing a -4 under round after being down by ten strokes on the final day.
Alex Seage Joins Columbus as Senior Director of I.T. & Innovation
 Alex Seage '07 has joined our I.T. Department as Senior Director of Information Technology and Innovation.  Alex is an experienced Program Manager with knowledge in application and infrastructure implementations. He comes to us from Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings where he helped build, train, and lead teams, and deploy new business systems and innovative technology solutions.   An accomplished, process-driven leader who is highly experienced in planning and execution, Alex will be a valuable member of our team. 
Columbus Giphy Channel is Launched
The official Giphy Channel for Christopher Columbus High School has been launched.   Now Explorers of all ages can use our new animated stickers to show their CPride!  VISIT GIPHY CHANNEL.  Thank you Mrs. Marti. 
Castaways Against Cancer / Columbus Hats Back in Stock

You asked and we listened! The Columbus Castaways Against Cancer Straw Hat is BACK IN STOCK on campus in Br. Kevin's Store and online.   Get yours before they are sold out again!  PURCHASE HAT HERE
Upcoming February Dates to Remember:

2/15:  President’s Day Holiday – No School
2/18:  Br. Kevin’s Drive-By Birthday Parade (3:00 – 5:00pm, Main Entrance)
2/19:  Brotherhood For Good Freshman Retreat (All Day, Gym)
2/24:  Junior Ring Ceremony (Last Names Starting A-L, Football Field, 7:00 – 9:00pm)
2/25:  Junior Ring Ceremony (Last Names Starting M-Z, Football Field, 7:00 – 9:00pm)

Marist Youth Takes Place Every Tuesday from 7:00 – 8:30pm, on campus and via Zoom.
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.