Christopher Columbus High School

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

January/February 2017 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

What a very special time to be an Explorer and a Marist Educator. This year we celebrate as a community, 200 years in the Marist tradition.  We give thanks to the Marist Brothers for laying the foundation and providing the leadership necessary for the success of Christopher Columbus High School!  Please join us Saturday, March 18th as we celebrate 200 years of Marist education at our anniversary picnic, which will be fun for the entire family.   Hope to see you all there!
Over the last two months, we have stressed new beginnings…reflecting upon what we have accomplished, while looking ahead with much anticipation as we embark on a new adventure.  We set realistic goals and consider making positive changes in our lives.
Change is Happening Next School Year
Over the last few years, we have discussed a seven-period schedule and the opportunity for our young men to graduate with additional credits while also completing four full years of Theology.  This will benefit our students in many ways.  School will begin next year with the first bell ringing at 7:40am with the day ending at 2:45pm most days. Additional information will be provided at a later date.

Catholic Schools Week Ends With Marist Bicentennial Mass 
On February 3rd, the Marist Brothers Bicentennial Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski in the gymnasium with the participation of the entire student body.  The Mass also closed out Catholic Schools and Vocations Week, which earlier this week included the following lectures and prayers experiences:  Taize Prayer with a Reflection on the Diaconate with Deacons James Dugard and Alexis Ibarra, Married and Family Life with alumnus Alex Galvez and Mrs. Sylvie Galvez Cuesta (Columbus Mas Program Director), Religious Life and Lay Marists with Br. Todd Patenaude, FMS (New Membership Director of the Marist Brothers U.S. Province), Called to the Priesthood with Fr. Elvis González (Director of Vocations, Archdiocese of Miami).  Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and the Campus Ministry team for organizing this fantastic week.  
2017 National Merit Scholarship Finalists
National Merit Scholarship finalists have been determined and I am proud and honored to recognize Jonathan Aguiar and Jorge Raad as two Explorers who have advanced to the Finalist standing in the competition.  Congratulations!  

Congratulations Science Fair Winners
After competing at the South Florida Science and Engineering Fair, sophomores Jesus Capo and David Perez were selected to compete in the State and International Science Fairs with their project, RecycleTrash: Barcodes vs. CV, which received a Superior rating.  Only 15 high school science projects from South Florida are selected for the State Science Fair competition out of approximately 700 projects. These students also received the TITAN Environmental Award and the Ricoh Sustainable Development Award.

We also congratulate Giovanni Aprigliano and Christopher Perez who both received an Excellent rating for their projects as well as STEM Club members Jesus Capo, David Perez, Christopher Perez, Hans Rueckschnat, and Alexander Cordero whose team project was selected to compete at the prestigious Conrad Spirit of Innovation Challenge at Kennedy Space Center in March.  
2017 Silver Knight Nominees Have Been Announced
We are proud to announce the that the following 15 students have been chosen to represent Christopher Columbus High School and compete for the prestigious Silver Knight Award this year.   Banners with their pictures have just been installed on our gate facing 87th Avenue for our community to see.
Sebastian Fernandez-Cornejo, Eduardo Llano, Thomas Falcon, Anthony Martinez, Thomas Barrera, Christopher Vazquez, Jorge Raad, Danyel De Viliers, David Sanchez, Michael Herrero, Jonathan Aguiar, Jacob Reis, Julio Garcia, Kaelen Krumich, Jose Cardelle
While we were only permitted to select 15 Silver Knight Award candidates, over 30 incredible students met the credentials to be considered.  I would also like to recognize the following students, who may not be a Silver Knight, but continue to serve our community and represent Christopher Columbus High School in a very positive way.
Gabriel Portela, Nicolas Castellan, John Little, Brennen Lopez, Andre Madrid, Nicolas Hevia, Edson Milian, Michael Rodriguez, Victor Prieto, Matthew Rembold, Christopher Forero, Marcos Cibran, Fernandez Perez, Adrian Badenjki, and Pietro Palazzolo-Russo.  Special thanks to Mrs. Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta for guiding these students through their application process.
Vapors are Prohibited
Parents, we need your assistance.  Please have a discussion with your son about purchasing, using, and transporting vapors.  It is not permitted at school and students caught with them and/or using them will be suspended immediately. 
They are cheap, non-descript, and dangerous.  Please have that talk with your son and if he has one, strongly encourage him to throw it out! 
Winter Sports 2016
Coach Lorenzo and the Varsity Basketball Team ended the season 14-10, competing to the end.  They won the Varela Tournament and the West Palm Beach Classic. Coach Landera and the JV Team ended 17-5 while the Freshman Team, led by Br. Kevin, ended their season 20-3, winning the North Broward Tournament and defeating Belen three times.  Pictured above are the Miami Heat dancers with students at the pep rally that was held before the games against Belen.
Soccer Back-to-Back District Champs
The Varsity Soccer Team went 17-7-1 and won back to back district championships.   I am pictured above with the team captains Eduardo Velasco, Kevin Youmans, and their District Championship Trophy.  Congratulations to Coach Stewart and the entire team. 
Wrestling Qualifies 5 for State Championship
The Varsity Wrestling Team (32-3) continues to have a great season. They competed in the Region 4 State Qualifying Tournament this past weekend and finished in 4th place amongst 47 teams.  Five individual Explorers were able to advance to the State Championship (Justin Valdes, Charles Huffman, Mike Fernandez, Carmine Dascoli, and team captain Robert Perez).  The team captured the runner up trophy at the 8 team District tournament and 4th place at the GMAC tournament earlier this month.  In January, they won the District 15 Dual Meet Invitational at Coral Gables High School.  Congratulations to Coach Husk, Coach Grant and the entire team.
Lacrosse, water polo, baseball, and track (rated 2nd in state preseason) have all gotten off to a great start.   
11 Explorers Sign on National Signing Day
Congratulations to our 11 student-athletes that signed national letters of intent to play their sport in college.  They were honored on February 1, 2017 (National Signing Day) at a special ceremony in the Columbus cafeteria.  Members of the press were on hand to interview them.  Combined, they will receive nearly $1.5 million in grant-in aid/scholarships. 
Trajan Bandy - University of Miami
Max Gonzalez-Brito - Florida International University
CJ Henderson - University of Florida
 Danny Morales - Southeastern University
Hunter Moreno - Southeast Missouri State University
Robert Perez - Bryant University
Marcelo Rodriguez - University of Southern Mississippi
Michael Rodriguez - University of Pennsylvania
Anthony Roig - Oberlin College
Daniel Mayorga - Wofford University
Eduardo Velazco - Wofford University
Intramural Flag Football Champions
Congratulations to all the Intramural Flag Football Champions:

The Papi's
(Freshman/Sophomore Winners):  Nelson Molina, Carlos Oyarzun, Ricardo Guerrero, Eric Sosa, Robert Lopez, Xavier Carralero, Jason Corbett, Enrique Martinez, Walter Rodriguez. 

The Wookies
(Junior/Senior Winners):  Alex Valeiras, David Perera, Juan Pujol, Danny Fals, Roberto Rodriguez, Javier W. Ortiz, and Nikolas Tsaoussis.
CCNN Film is Top Winner at Broward International Film Festival
CCNN Live's documentary film, Proof of Life, which followed the Castaways Against Cancer on their annual one week kayak journey, was the top documentary winner at the West Broward International Film Festival.  Hundreds of films were submitted. This project took the students the entire summer to complete. Their passion and dedication is obvious in their award-winning work.  The awards they took home were:  Best Director- Christopher Ahrendt; Best Structure, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, and Best Overall Documentary.  The crew that worked on the film were: Christopher Ahrendt, Alejandro Basalo, Antonio Castellanos, Anthony Martinez, Danyel DeVilliers, and
We are also proud to announce that senior Christopher Vazquez was one of three winners of the Dow Jones News Fund's Summer Journalism Workshop Scholarship Competition for Best Multimedia.  As a winner, he will receive a $1,000 scholarship toward college.  Congratulations Chris!    
Debate Team Success
Debate continues to compete at a high level.  Seniors Thomas Barrera and John Little were double entered in speech events at the National Speech and Debate Association’s national qualifier and came home with four district championship titles!  John Little finished in 1st place in both Humorous Interpretation and Original Oratory, while Thomas Barrera finished in 1st place in Dramatic Interpretation and Program Oral Interpretation. This is a historic feat and a first for the Columbus Explorers. 
In January, at the G. Holmes Braddock High School Tournament, freshman Albert Sanchez finished undefeated to win first place in the Lincoln-Douglas division. Not far behind, in his first tournament ever, sophomore Jorge Lima finished in 3rd place with a 1-1 record. 
Seniors Attend Close-Up
Dr. Burrus and Mr. Linfors traveled to Washington, D.C. with over 20 seniors who received an experience of a lifetime!  
Students Honored for Academic Success
Through the Principal’s Breakfast and the Freshman and Sophomore Honors ceremonies, we recognize our young men who have achieved academic success, lead clubs and activities, and/or provide service to our community.  Thank you to Mrs. Call, Mrs. Vinson, and Mrs. Martinez for providing valuable information regarding the college application process, the importance of the GPA and test scores, course selection, and setting realistic and attainable goals.  It is never too soon to discuss this important process.  Hard work now = no regrets later.
We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of all of the Explorers who were honored.  Congratulations! 
Future Business Leaders of America - Top Winners at Districts
The Future Business Leaders of America Club competed in their first district competition and 10 members brought home medals.  They will represent Dade County in the State competition in March. The winners are:  Walter Martinez (2nd in Accounting II), Junior Angel Toro (3rd in Advertising), Matthew Plinio (4th in Business Law), Arturo Quintana/Alec Johnson (3rd in Entrepreneurship), Andres Miranda (4th in Introduction to Business), Daniel Volpe (3rd in Introduction to Business Procedures), Matthew Lopez (2nd in Networking Concepts), Thomas Falcon (3rd in Organizational Leadership), Jonathan O’Neil (4th in Personal Finance).
The other students who were an integral part of the overall team were  Fabian Parernoster (Advertising), Bryan Torreblanca (Business Communication), Jean Paul Esteves (Business Law), Andres Azel (Computer Problem Solving), Brian Izquierdo (Cyber Security), Weikong Hu (Health Care Administration), Matthew Catala (Insurance and Risk Management), David Febles (Intro to Business), Daniel Rebollar (Intro to Business Communication), Adolfo Anzola (Intro to Financial Math), Dean Tapia (Intro to Financial Math), Daniel Rodriguez (Intro to Financial Math), Nicholas Richards (Securities and Investments), and Nicolas Sanchez (Securities and Investments).
Commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King Day
Several students participated in the FlU Martin Luther King Breakfast, which commemorates the life of Dr. King and also serves as a reminder of the purpose of his life and its relevance to our lives today.  Charles Bonner, Civil Right Lawyer and author, delivered the keynote address - The Path to Peace Begins with Me.  The students that participated were: Tony Mills, Robert Crockett III, Rashard Jenkins II, and Clyde Dozier.  Thank you, Mr. Trujillo, for accompanying our young men. 
Learning the Dangers of Racism at Student Awareness Day
86 Columbus students attended The Holocaust Documentation and Education Center's Student Awareness Day at FIU's North Campus, a prejudice reduction symposia whereby high school students learn the dangers of racism, hatred, and bigotry through videos, lectures, and round-table discussions with Survivors of the Holocaust. Through Student Awareness Days, the Center encourages students to learn to take a stand and become more vigilant in their daily lives. They are taught the importance of standing up, speaking out, and making a difference.  Thank you to Ms. McCullagh for coordinating this important field trip.  
Students Attend Wings of Freedom Tour
The Rho Kappa History Club members and students taking the World War II History class had the opportunity of seeing a part of history during the Wings of Freedom Tour put on by the Collins Foundation at Naples Municipal Airport.  The Wings of Freedom tour aims to restore the memories of WWII veterans and celebrate their legacy.  Students visited the Museum of Military Memorabilia and saw the P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress, and the B-24 Witch Craft.  Thank you Ms. McCullagh, Mr. O'Brien and Mr. Trujillo for coordinating this trip.
Dare to Care Event Benefits Children with Special Needs
Columbus students participated in the 3rd Annual Dare to Care Soccer Tournament which was initiated by senior Eddy Llano and celebrates children with special needs in our community. The event brought together the Columbus family for a fun day of not only tournament soccer play for children with Down Syndrome but also basketball, art projects, face painting, music, and a farmer's market.  Special thanks to Coach Stewart, Sylvie Galvez-Cuesta, and alumnus Chef Michael Beltran of Ariete for helping to make the event a huge success.    
Squires Valentine's Day Celebration
Thanks to the Squires Club, many seniors at the West Gables Health Center celebrated with a fun Valentine's Day party.  Thank you to Br. Eladio, Mr. Panzer, Ms. McCullagh, Mr. Staiano, and Mr. Machado. 
Campus Ministry Experiences
The many retreat and prayer experiences that were organized by Campus Ministry included: The Junior/Senior Encounter (pictured above), Confirmation Retreats led by Peer Ministers at St. Brendan, St. Kevin, St. Timothy, and St. Thomas the Apostle parishes and the Tuesday Marist Youth Group Gatherings led by Br. Tom and Mr. Machado.  Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez, Br. Brady, Br. Tom and all the members of the faculty that make these experiences happen.
2017 Columbus Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees
Congratulations to the new members of the Columbus Athletic Hall of Fame which were inducted on February 4th.  Of all the class of 2017 inductees, we’d like to recognize CCHS’ current Athletic Director, Chris McKeon.
MLB Player, Jon Jay Visited Columbus
Columbus alum from the class of 2003 and MLB World Series Champion, Jon Jay, visited our campus in January to speak at the Columbus Connects Leadership Lecture Series.  He has represented Columbus well in the Major Leagues, first with St. Louis and San Diego, and now as a new member of the World Champion Chicago Cubs. 
Students Visit Nicklaus Children's Hospital
In January, some of our senior football players volunteered to dress up as super heroes to spread some cheer at the Nicklaus Children's Hospital for the Dr. Gigi Raise Me Up Foundation.  The students that participated were:  Danyel De Villiers, Sean Zetino, Orlando Hidalgo, and David Contreras.  They visited many patients, some who had cancer and were in critical condition.  It was an impacting experience for the group. 
Patriot Club Hosts Take Back Our Republic Director
The Columbus Patriot Club hosted Take Back our Republic's Director of Operations, Justin Hill and Ambassador, Norm Eisen the same day that the 58th Presidential Inauguration took place.  They spoke about political campaign financing, the current state of discord in the United States, and the future of the Trump administration.  Special thanks to the Dr. Burrus (Patriot Club Moderator, Austin Wagner (Club President), and Andre Madrid (Club Vice President).
Freshmen & Sophomores Class Trips
The Sophomores visited Islands of Adventure while the Freshmen went to Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  Thank you to Mrs. Cedeno, Mrs. Gonzalez, and all the teachers/staff who volunteered to chaperone. 
Anglers Club Visits SeaHunter Boats/International Boat Show
The Anglers Club recently had the opportunity to go on two exciting trips; one to the SeaHunter Boats facility where they spoke to leaders in the boating industry and took a ride to Boca Chita on the company's top performing boats and one to the Miami International Boat Show. Thank you to alumni Eddie Leon and Ralph Montalvo of SeaHunter and to our club sponsor RealXTrailers.  

Special thanks to Anglers Club moderator Michael Dukes.
Junior Ring Ceremony
The Junior Ring Ceremony was held on February 23rd.  This is a wonderful tradition at Columbus that has become a rite of passage, celebrating the maturation process of the upperclassmen.  Thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas for your support.   
Mother - Son Mass
The Mother and Son Mass is a beautiful ceremony which celebrates the special love and bond that mothers share with their sons.  Thank you to Campus Ministry and Ms. Tellechea for organizing this wonderful event. 
Manny Alvarez & Greg Mesa - Rotary Club Youth Leaders
Manny Alvarez and Greg Mesa were chosen for the Rotary Club's Youth Leadership Award and spent three days at their leadership camp in Islamorada with 144 high school students exploring team dynamics and enhancing their personal leadership skills.  These high performing students were chosen for the program due to their leadership potential, strong communication skills, and proven dedication to community service, among other qualities.  They recently spoke about their camp experience at the Coral Gables Rotary Club.  Congratulations!
Thomas Falcon Honored for Community Service
Senior Thomas Falcon received the President’s Volunteer Award through the 2017 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program. Congratulations on your recognition and thank you for serving as a role model for other young people!  
Thomas Ibarra's Painting Chosen for Beaux Arts Showcase
Sophomore Tomas Ibarra's oil pastel drawing of a still life was chosen for participation in the prestigious Beaux Arts Student Showcase Competition at the Lowe Museum of Art at the University of Miami.
Br. Kevin Honored for 60 Years of Serving as Marist Brother
Br. Kevin was honored at the Archdiocese of Miami's World Day of Consecrated Life and Jubilee Celebration for his 60 years of serving as a Marist Brother.  The Mass was celebrated by Archbishop Thomas Wenski at St. Mary's Cathedral. 
Congratulations Br. Kevin!  The Columbus family is eternally grateful for your leadership and devotion to our great school.
CCNN Live Media Excellence Awards
The CCNN Live 4th Annual Media Excellence Awards will take place on March 11th (6:30pm - 10:00pm) at Columbus. 
This event brings some of South Florida's best news reporters together in the Columbus cafeteria to be honored in a Golden Globes styled gala.  To learn more, view the nominees (most of which attend the event) visit CCNNLive's website.
 Please consider supporting CCNN Live!
Marist Brothers 200th Anniversary Picnic
Please Join Us!
This year marks a significant milestone for the Marist family worldwide-the 200th Anniversary of the Marist Brothers Institute.  We invite our entire Columbus family to help celebrate this milestone at the Marist Brothers 200th Anniversary Picnic on March 18 (12 noon - 5:00pm).
Activities will include a pig roasting contest, bounce houses, a rock climbing wall, jousting, dunk tank and dominoes. Two live bands and a DJ will provide entertainment. All activities will take place at Columbus. 
Upcoming Dates to Remember…
March 1:     Ash Wednesday, Early Release 1:20 pm
March 4:     32nd Annual Reverse Raffle. 7 pm (limited tickets available)
March 8:     Career Day
March 11:   4th Annual CCNN Live Media Excellence Awards (6:30 pm)
March 17:   Walk-a-thon Holiday - No school
March 18:   Marist Brothers 200th Anniversary Picnic (12 noon - 5 pm)
March 26:   Father/Son Mass & Breakfast
March 29:   National Day of Service  
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.