Christopher Columbus High School

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

March 2017 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

This month was dedicated to the Marist family spirit!  We celebrated the 200 year anniversary of the Marist Brothers with over 1,600 family members, students, alumni, and Columbus employees.  It really was a special day and I was extremely proud to be part of it.   We ended the month with a “Day of Service,” a day recognized by all Marist schools throughout this country and around the world. 
It was a busy month, one filled with the Marist Spirit.  Let us recognize our young men and acknowledge their many great accomplishments from college acceptances to scholarships earned, from high academic achievements to service and compassion for those less fortunate in our community, from the baseball team sporting a 18-1 record to the historical run that our track team is on while shattering school records.  

Respect, integrity, pride…it is great to be Marist!
Marist Brothers 200th Anniversary Picnic
On March 18th, Columbus celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the Marist Brothers in the true Marist way – with family. Explorers of all generations and their families, along with the families of many faculty and staff members, attended the Marist Brothers 200th Anniversary Picnic, over 1,600 people in all.   The highlight of the event was when our Columbus Marist Brothers were honored and presented with a beautiful 200th Anniversary cake, courtesy of Cakes by Rosa. 

Congratulations to the winners of the pig roasting competition (Henry Aquino, Santiago Eljaiek, Armando Rubio, and Luis Prieto, all from the class of 1991).  Special thanks to the many people who made this event happen, especially organizers Pete Marti, Carlos Gonzalez, the Picnic Committee, and the Alumni Association.  
Picnic Picture GalleryFlorida Catholic Article

Marist National Day of Service
March 29th was another special day as our students participated, along with students from the other Marist Schools in the U.S., in the “Marist National Day of Service” in honor of the Marist Brothers’ 200th Anniversary.
  • The entire student body gathered for a morning prayer service in preparation for the day’s work ahead.  The Columbus Marist Brothers sang the Salve Regina in unison and water from each of the seven Marist schools in the U.S. was mixed together as a symbol of solidarity.
  • Over 400 students from across grade levels went off campus to serve seven different locations (Tropical Park, A. D. Barnes Park, His House (home for abandoned/neglected children), St. Anne’s Catholic Nursing Home, Floridean Healthcare (rehabilitation center for the elderly), Chapman Partnership (homeless outreach), Great Heights Academy (special needs children outreach)
  • On campus, 250 seniors made 1500 lunches for the homeless which were delivered to the Missionary Sisters of Charity.  All food was donated by CCHS students and faculty. 
  • Dr. Alison Thompson, a life-long humanitarian, spoke to students in the junior and senior class.  Dr. Thompson’s current work is focused on placing Syrian refugees in camps in Greece and Turkey.
  • Students in the freshman and sophomore classes researched eight international Marist missions currently in crisis and shared their findings with their classmates.
Special thanks to Pete Marti, Carlos Gonzalez, and the Marist Bicentennial Committee for the planning and organizing of this wonderful day.  We thank our entire faculty for going above and beyond to serve as an example of what being Marist is all about.  National Day of Service Picture Gallery

$3,500 in Scholarship Money Awarded for Blood Drive
The National Honor Society sponsored two successful blood drives for the OneBlood organization. More than 210 students, faculty, staff and parents participated in the drives which collected 172 points of blood in total.  

In return, OneBlood provided nearly $3,500 in academic scholarship monies to the Marist Brothers and NHS officers.  
Thank you Mrs. Cofresi for coordinating this effort. 
Six Debaters Qualify for Nationals
The Columbus debate team once again dominated the National Qualifying Tournament in Lincoln-Douglas and Policy Debate, taking all of the district qualifying spots for the second year in a row.   In Lincoln-Douglas debate,  Javier Navarrete finished undefeated with a district championship and Brian Izquierdo secured the second qualifying spot. Angel Toro and Daniel de Izaguirre qualified in Policy Debate. They will be joining the Speech Team members who qualified earlier last month, Thomas Barrera and John Little, to make it a grand total of six Columbus students who qualified out of our district. This is the second year in a row that Columbus has qualified the most number of students to the National Speech and Debate Association National Tournament out of Miami-Dade County. Our Explorers beat La Salle, Michael Krop, Ransom Everglades, and Miami Beach in the qualifier. The team was also recognized with the distinguished Leading Chapter Award for accumulating the most amount of "trophy points" in a school year.  The national tournament will take place in Birmingham in June.  
CCNN Live's Documentary Wins 1st Place at International Film Festival
returned from the Student Television Network competition in California with a huge 1st place win - "Best Documentary " in the largest international film festival for students. They won this award for their film Proof of Life,  which documented the journey of the Castaways Against Cancer.  Congratulations go out to the following students who worked on the documentary:  Anthony Martinez, Danyel De Villiers, Chris Vazquez, Chris Ahrendt, Antonio Castellanos, Alejandro Basalo, and Jose Luis Fernandez.  
Other awards that the team members brought home were:  David Caserta, Jose Vazquez, Alejandro Basalo, Michael Suarez (2nd Place Commercial); Gonzalo Londoño, Antonio Castellanos, Justin Jackson (Honorable Mention for Commentary); Christopher Vazquez, Victor Prieto, Brian Houtenbrink-Hoyo, Sebastian Valdes-Denis (Honorable Mention for Spot Feature).
CCNN Live put on another spectacular Media Excellence Awards at Columbus on March 11th with over 20 members of the South Florida news media in attendance.

As always, special thanks and congratulations to the CCNN Live moderators:  Omar Delgado, Christina Insua and Danny Rodriguez.
Fairs Showcased Electives and Business Offerings
Columbus held two fairs for students in March.  The Electives Fair showcased all of the school's elective courses while the Business Fair specifically focused on the courses and clubs available in the area of business.  Some of the areas that were showcased were: Artistic Design and Production, Biomedical Sciences, Engineering, Social Studies, Physical Education, Law & Civic Engagement, Engineering, Business & Entrepreneurship, World Languages, Broadcast Journalism, Computer Science, and Theology.  Some of the business clubs represented were: Coding, Entrepreneurship, Investors, Robotics, Pre-Law, Pre-Engineering, and the Future Business Leaders of America.  Special thanks to Mrs. Vinson, Mr. Moritz and Mr. Corazon for organizing the events.
Business Law Class Events
Mr. Corazon's
Business Law class visited the criminal courts to learn about our justice system from Judge Stephen Millan.

The class also heard from R
ichard Perez ’90, partner at Holland and Knight, when he visited Columbus to speak about careers in corporate law.
Nicholas Richards Won the Investor's Club Market Game
Junior Nicholas Richards, pictured at left, was the winner of the Investors Club Stock Market Game.  He is being presented with a gift card from the club's president, Kaelen Krumich.  

Drama Club Rates Superior at Florida Thespian Festival
The Columbus Drama Club competed in the Florida State Thespian Festival, the largest festival of its kind in the world. With 15 districts and over 8,000 students in attendance, our students proved that they can compete with the best.  We thank the club's moderator, Mrs. McGrath, for her leadership.  The team brought home three excellent awards and one superior in the following categories:  Superior in Ensemble A- Andrew Alonso, Matthew Muro, Andrew Llovet, and Spencer Wood (this was their first state competition); Excellent in Ensemble B (missed superior by two points) - Thomas Barrera, Giovanni Aprigliano, Juan Suarez, Ricardo Somarriba, William Lamey, Tomas PereyraExcellent in Monologue B- Thomas BarreraExcellent in Costume Design A- Miguel Corral.

Orlando Hidalgo & Daniel Bravo Finish 1st and 2nd in Play Writing Contest 
Orlando Hidalgo has qualified as the first place winner in the 12th grade category of the Founding Freedoms Play Contest at the National Constitution Center for his play -  “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.”  Daniel Bravo qualified as the 2nd place winner for his play - "Dr. Franklin.”  Both students attended a 3 day playwriting workshop in Philadelphia which included historic tours with the foundation's team of historians and professional playwrights, directors, and performers.  

Orlando has been awarded $2,500 and his play will be performed live at the National Constitution Center by professional actors for the month of July 2017. Daniel has been awarded $1,000 and has been given the opportunity to submit a final copy of his play.  

Congratulations to both students on this impressive accomplishment and thank you to Ms. McCullagh for helping them through the process. 
Spring Sports Preparing for Post Season Play - Track Team Wins GMAC Championship!

Our Spring sports teams are wrapping up their seasons and getting ready for post season play.  

The Track team defended their title and have become the Greater Miami Athletic Conference (GMAC) Champions once again.  The team had an outstanding meet, finishing with 125 points well ahead of second place Northwestern (85). The team set three new school records in the 200M (CJ Henderson) with a time of 21.2 finishing in 1st place, the 4X100M (Trajan Bandy, CJ Henderson, Joshua Jobe, Tyler Harrell) with a time of 40.96 (6th nationally) finishing in 1st place and the 4X400 (Xzavier Henderson, CJ Henderson, Cameron Daniels, Tyler Harrell) with a time of 3:18.91 finishing in second place. The team also finished in first place at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair Meet and at the Sam Burley Hall of Fame Invitational, while placing in third place at the Bill Wilson Invitational.   Congratulations to Coach Foyo and all the runners.

Varsity Lacrosse will face Ransom Everglades this afternoon at Columbus in the first round of the districts while Water Polo capped their season last week in the district tournament with a hard-fought loss to Ransom.  
Baseball Team Tied for 1st Place in Districts 
The Explorer Baseball Team is having an outstanding season, 18 - 1.  They are currently tied for first place in the district with Braddock High School.  Good luck to Coach Weber and the team as they play Braddock this afternoon.
Tennis Team Playing at Districts
The Tennis team, 8-2, is in the midst of playing in the district tournament which ends this afternoon and includes all the district teams including Palmetto, Ferguson, Coral Reef, Braddock, South Dade and Killian.  Good luck to the team led by Coach Green! 
Volleyball Team Excels
The Varsity Volleyball Team continues to excel and has improved their record to 10 - 4.  The team placed 2nd at the Florida Christian Tournament.  Congratulations to Coach Penate and the entire team!   They are getting ready to play against International Studies Charter School on Wednesday.
Campus Ministry Experiences
We thank our Campus Ministry team and all the teachers that volunteered to serve at our many spiritual events and experiences.  Some of the events included:  Father and Son Mass, Marist Youth Group Bird Bowl Outing, Ash Wednesday Services, Senior Encounter, Sacrament of Penance, Lent Reflection for Parents, Freshman Kerygma Retreat, LaValla Weekend at Marist Brothers Center, Esopus, NY, Peer Ministry at St. Agnes Catholic School's Confirmation Retreat and at St. Timothy Parish School's Lent Retreat.  Special thanks to: Mr. Gonzalez, Fr. Julian, Fr. Mark, Deacon Alex, Deacon Jim, Br. Michael, Br. Tom, Mr. Chacon, Mr. Ulloa, Mr. Pino, Br. Tom, Mrs. Pita, Mr. Ortega, Mr. Harriman, Mr. O'Neil, Ms. Rayneri, Ms. Tellechea, Mr. Bravo, Br. John and Mrs. Noy.
29 Alumni Participated in Career Day
Every year Columbus is able to host a successful Career Day due to the large number of dedicated alumni who want to inspire our students.  This year, 29 alumni from many different professions participated from fields like banking, law, business, medical, and information technology.  They demonstrated to our students what the Columbus brotherhood is all about.  We thank all the alumni that participated as well as Dr. Burrus and Mrs. Branas for coordinating the event.
Mas Scholar Recognition Ceremony
The Mas Scholar Recognition Ceremony is a special event where the Mas Family Program students across all year levels come together.  The seniors are presented with medals that they will wear on graduation while the juniors receive pins.  The Freshmen and Sophomores support the upperclassmen and help with the event.  We thank Mr. Jose Mas '89 (MasTec CEO) and Mr. Robert Sanchez '83 (Ryder CEO) for being present to honor the students. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cibran, Mrs. Pita, and the entire administration. 
Columbus Jazz Band Placed 2nd in the National World Strides Competition
The Columbus Jazz Band competed in the WorldStrides Band Competition in California and placed 2nd out of 10 jazz bands from across the country. The group also had the opportunity to do a little sightseeing and visited places like Venice Beach, Disneyland, and the Griffith Park Observatory.  Special thanks and congratulations to band teacher Mr. Cooper as well as to Mr. Scholer who accompanied the students on the trip.
Columbus Celebrated French Culture for Francophone Week
During the week of March 20th, Columbus celebrated French language and culture, in honor of Francophone day.   A variety of French music played in between classes and students were greeted by members of the French program with juice and croissants.  Ooo la la!

Explorers Competed in the Barry Math Olympiad
The Explorers represented Columbus in top form at 2nd Annual Math Olympiad at Barry University. Pietro Palazzolo-Russo placed 6th out of 54 students in the individual competition.  We congratulate the following students for an outstanding effort:  Pietro Palazzolo-Russo, Andrew Gonzalez, Fernando Perez, Jose Cardelle, Kevin Nodarse and Nicolas Hevia.  Thank you to Mr. Moro for leading them in the competition. 
Columbus Participates in UCF Coding Competition
Special thanks to Mr. Larrubia for taking a Columbus team to participate at the University of Central Florida's High School Programming Competition which attracts schools from the entire state of Florida. Columbus was well represented by: 
Nicolas Hevia, Matt Taylor, Nicholas Gonzalez, Anthony Martinez, Albert Caro, Chris Modrono, Matthew Carmona-Gonzalez, Kevin Nodarse, Pietro Palazzolo-Russo, Ben Fernandez, Justin Parronda, and Javi Busto. The team was able to place 43 out of 109 registered teams. 

Jonathan Aguiar, Alejandro Grillo, and Diego Gutierrez are Recognized by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen honored three Columbus students in March.  Alejandro Grillo and Diego Gutierrez received "Most Improved Student Awards" and
Jonathan Aguiar received a Congessional Medal of Merit.  Jonathan was recognized on the floor of the House of Representatives by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for his organization “Know More” which is aimed at raising awareness about sexual assault on high school campuses.  View Video of the Recognition
Joey Rodriguez Performed at Two Concerts with his WYK Band
Freshman Joey Rodriguez is the guitarist of a successful rock band whose drummer is the son of Phil Collins - WYK Band.  Joey and his band played two major South Florida concerts in March (The Okeechobee Music &  Arts Festival and Carnival on the Mile in Coral Gables). Last year the band performed on "The Voice" in Switzerland.  To read about the band in a recent article  - click here.

Nicholas Tamayo earned the All-Florida award for the Florida Scholastic Press Association's quick turn competition which involved him creating a two-page spread on the Columbus Blood Drive.  He interviewed, designed, photographed, and created infographics all in one day.  

Congratulations Nicholas!

International Women's Day
In honor of International Women's Day on March 8th, we celebrated all of our female teachers and staff members.  Ladies, thank you for your great dedication to help carry out the Marist mission at Columbus.  
Columbus teacher and debate club moderator Randall Martinez was selected as a presenter for the first ever High School Debate Education Conference which will take place in August and is sponsored by the National Speech and Debate Association. Mr. Martinez will serve on a panel about debate as a tool for language acquisition skills.
Wishing you a Blessed Lenten Season and a Happy Easter!
As we conclude the Lent Season and enter into the liturgical celebrations of Holy Week, we look forward to Easter. May we take this opportunity to reflect on the presence of Jesus Christ through the intercession of Mary Our Good Mother.



April 3 - 5:  Drama Production - Dystopia! The Hungry Maze Game of Divergent Death (April 3 & 4 from 3:30 - 6:30pm/April 5 from 7:00 to 9:30pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)
April 10: Marist Achievement Dinner (6:00pm to 10:00pm, Jungle Island, *by invitation only) 
April 12: Open House Holiday (No School)
April 13 - 23:  Easter Vacation (No School)
April 24:  Classes Resume
April 26:  New Parents Meeting (Incoming 9th Graders/Transfer Students) 6:30pm to 7:30pm, Cafeteria
April 28/29:  Sports Physicals in the Cafeteria (4/28 from 6:00 - 8:00pm, 4/29 from 8:00 - 10:00am)
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.