Christopher Columbus High School

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

March 2018 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Hope Springs Eternal
Spring and hope are intertwined in life with the belief that things will get better and that we will persevere through difficult circumstances. It is an optimistic way of looking at life; it encourages us to overcome obstacles while attempting to achieve our own goals. This month has offered us healing and reassurance that our faith is strong and our prayers are answered. Let us go into the Easter holiday season with a sense of renewal. I hope we are all able to rest, reflect, and most importantly...return with the passion to finish this school year with great vigor.
Raising Awareness of Peanut/Nut Allergies
There are several students in our school who have severe food allergies especially to peanuts/nuts. It's important that all our students be mindful of this and avoid bringing peanuts/nuts to school in order to prevent these students from experiencing a life-threatening allergic reaction. We are asking that you speak to your son about not eating and/or possessing any peanut/nut containing products anywhere within the school, including the cafeteria, hallways, classrooms, fitness & wellness center, gym etc...

We also ask that you tell your son that if he ever does eat a peanut/nut product, like peanut butter, while on campus to be diligent about washing his hands and face in an effort to limit any exposure to these products by other students. There have been two known occasions of exposure to peanuts/nuts that has resulted in emergency medical treatment. It is important that we consider everyone and maintain a safe environment for the entire school community.
Vaping is Prohibited at Columbus
No vaping of any kind is permitted at Christopher Columbus High School. We make a commitment to our families to keep a drug free and vapor free environment. Anyone caught using a vapor will receive strict disciplinary consequences.
Prayer Service Honored the Stoneman Douglas H.S. Victims
On March 14, Columbus students led and designed a prayer service to honor the 17 Stoneman Douglas High School students that lost their lives in the school shooting. Our Explorers walked into the gym in silence and solidarity as part of National Walk Out Day and several students spoke on the #Enough gun violence movement.  A candle was lit for each victim as the names were read aloud. “Taps” was played by Gregg Joa. The students who organized the ceremony were Alex Perite, Angel Toro, Matthew Manning, Brandon Caminsky, and George Castaneda. Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and Campus Ministry.
14 Drama Students Place at State Thespian Festival
Daniel Sanchez Received Perfect Score/Wins Critic’s Choice Award
All  14 drama students that competed at the Florida State Thespian Festival in Tampa placed in their categories.  Daniel Sanchez broke a school record by receiving a perfect score on his solo musical piece, earning him the coveted States Critic’s Choice Award. 

Congratulations to Mrs. McGrath and the following talented students:  Excellent in Ensemble A: Andrew Alonso, Gabriel Perez, Tomas Pereyra, Rafael Vergara, and Luis Vergara; Excellent in Ensemble B: Giovanni Aprigliano, William Lamey, Andrew Llovet, Spencer Wood, and Raul Mederos; Excellent in Group Pantomime: Steven Hernandez, William Lamey, Giovanni Aprigliano, Daniel Sanchez, Daniel Travieso, and Gabriel Perez; Superior in Solo Pantomime: Luis Vergara; Superior in Dialogue: Andrew Llovet and Rafael Vergara; Superior and Critics Choice Award Winner in Solo Musical: Daniel Sanchez
We hope to see you at their final performance and annual Improv show “Too Much Light Makes the Explorer Go Blind!” taking place the week of April 30th.

Debate Team Sweeps Miami-Dade After-School Tournament
The Columbus Debate Team hosted the 5th and final Miami-Dade After-School Tournament of the school year. The Explorers finished strong by winning six out of the eight events being offered at the tournament.  Student Congress: Jorge Gutierrez (1st place), Leonardo Cruz (3rd place); Mixed Extemporaneous: Marcel Van Hemert (1st place), Matthew Rockwell (2nd place); Big Questions Debate: Denis Ramos (1st place), Issac Quijano (2nd place); Informative Speaking: Christopher Aguiar (1st place), Xavier Curiel (2nd place); Lincoln-Douglas Debate: Andrew Castro (1st place), Christopher de la Viesca (2nd place); Public Forum Debate: Josep Amiguet & Daniel Rebollar (2nd place)
The Debate Team concluded their varsity season by competing at the FFL Varsity State tournament with 19 students in four different events, a school record for qualifiers.  Thank you to Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca. 
Mas Family Program Recognition Ceremony
Congratulations to all the Mas Scholar Juniors and Mas Family Program Seniors who participated in the Recognition Ceremony. Junior Scholars were awarded their Mas Scholar Program pins and Mas Family Program Seniors were presented with medallions which are to be worn during graduation. Thank you Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cibran, and the entire administration. Special thanks to Mr. Jose Mas ’89 who was on hand that evening to help present the items to the students.
Anglers Club Participated In Night Fishing Trip
The Columbus Anglers Club participated in its first night fishing trip in Key Largo. The 23 Anglers headed out to sea at 7:30 pm and returned to the docks at 12:30 am. This adventure provided the boys with the opportunity to test their fishing skills in the dark. Multiple species were caught on the trip including many types of snappers (mangrove/yellow tail/mutton snapper/Margate/Creole). The group returned safely back to the docks with plenty of fresh fish to be cleaned and cooked for their families to enjoy. Thank you to Mr. Dukes and Mr. Connell. 
Aviation Club Visited Miami International Airport
Mr. Diaz and members of the Aviation Club took a behind the scenes tour of Miami International Airport.
Blood Drive Raises 127 Pints of Blood
This academic year, 127 pints of blood were donated by students, teachers and staff through the National Honor Society Blood Drive in partnership with the OneBlood  organization. This represents 381 lives saved and over $2500 in scholarship money. Thank you to Mrs. Cofresi and Mrs. Pugh.
New MLS Franchise Owner Jorge Mas ’81 Visits Sports Management Classes
We had the pleasure of hosting the owner of Miami's new Major League Soccer franchise, Columbus’ own Mr. Jorge Mas (Class of 1981). He spoke to our sports management classes on his new endeavor. Thank you Mr. Bowman.
Pre-Med Club Visits UM’s School of Nursing & Health Studies Simulation Hospital
Ms. Taylor and the PreMed Club had the opportunity to visit The University of Miami’s School of Nursing & Health Studies Simulation Hospital. It was a great learning experience for these aspiring doctors and nurses.
Thomas Packert/Andres Frazzetta Competed at Fairchild Tropical Garden’s Green Cuisine
Thomas Packert and Andres Frazzetta competed at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's Green Cuisine as part of Ms. Taylor's AP Environmental class. They explored the diversity of the produce section and prepared and shared vegetarian dishes.
CCNN Live Named “All Florida Show"/Wins 3rd at STN's National Convention 
Team worked on Stoneman Douglas H.S. Documentary
CCNN Live students continue to impress and represent Columbus in an outstanding way.  This month CCNN was once again named ​ an​“​All Florida Show” by the Florida Scholastic Press Association and President Chris Ahrendt was named a finalist for “Broadcast Journalist of the Year.” Chris was also interviewed by Pam Giganti on Your South Florida about his 'Making it Work' story. ​In addition, sophomore David A. Perez was named a finalist for the "Emerging Young Journalist Award."​
The team travelled to Nashville, TN to compete in the Student Television Network’s Convention where they placed 3rd in Commentary (Gonzalo Londono, Antonio Castellanos, Kevin Reyes, Arthur Falconi) and in Spot Feature (Joseph Fernandez, Christopher Ahrendt, Franco Luis, Alex Someillan).  Alejandro Basalo, Victor Arechavaleta, Lukas Guerra, and Giancarlos Miguel received an Honorable Mention.  A highlight of the convention was when a documentary about the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting was shown.  CCNN was asked by MSD to create the national reaction portion of the film and some of our students appear in it.  Great work Alex Someillian, David Perez, and Lukas Guerra.  Thank you Mr. Delgado and Ms. Insua for you tireless work. View Documentary Here.
ISSF Geography Champions
Our Geography Club emerged from the Annual Independent Schools of South Florida High School Geography Bee as its Champion.  Our Team A went undefeated in various rounds that involved fourteen other teams and our Team B also held its own. This is Columbus’ first ISSF Geography title in the school/s history.
TEAM A: Stefan Hengartner, Matthew Manning, Carlos Silva, Jacob Suarez, Marcel van Hemert

TEAM B: Gregory  Valerius, Lucas Rodriguez, Christopher Pham, Michael Millan
Congratulations to Mr. Cunningham and all the club members who competed. Special thanks to Mr. Pino, Mr. Staiano and Mr. Diaz.  
Coding Club Placed in Top 20 at UCF’s Programming Competition
Mr. Larrubia took four Columbus teams to compete at the University of Central Florida’s Programming Competition which attracts 100 teams from around state. One of the Columbus teams was able to place in the top 20. Congratulations to: Raphael Crespo, Ben Fernandez, Stefan Heagartner, Daniel Luna, Dylan Owen, Justin Parrondo, David Perez, Justin Piel, Daniel Ramirez, Angel Toro, and David Trueba.
Future Business Leaders of America Club Competed at State Competition
Michael Millan & David Perez Become State Runner-up in Economics/Coding
The Columbus FBLA Club competed in its 2nd State Competition under the tutelage of Mr. Corazon. In the individual competitions, Michael Millan was the state runner-up for Economics.  David Perez was the state runner up for Coding & Programming.  Xavier Caso/Phillip Corrales placed 5th in Entrepreneurship. In the team/club awards, Columbus placed first in overall increase in membership, going from 30 members to 86. Columbus was also recognized for its volunteer efforts working on the "King of the Hill" race to support the SebastianStrong Foundation and for enhancing the image of the overall principles of FBLA, the largest student business organization in the country. Special thanks to Mr. Moritz, Mr. Larrubia, Mr. Pino, Mr. Scholer, and Mr. Collazo.
Track Team Wins GMAC Championship for 2nd Consecutive Year
4 x 200m Team Ran Fastest Time in Nation at Sam Burley Hall of Fame Meet
This Columbus Track & Field team, led by Coach Foyo, won the GMAC Championship for a second consecutive year.  With 142 points, the Explorers put on a nearly-historic performance, winning all but one of the individual dashes and runs.  The placers included:  Tyler Harrell: 100M(1st), 200M(1st), 4x100M(1st), 4x400M(1st); Xzavier Henderson: 200M(2nd), 400M(1st), 4x400M(1st), Long Jump (7th); Cameron Daniel: 400M(2nd), 4x100M(1st), 4x400M(1st); Deshay Fernandes: 4x800M(1st), 1600M(1st), 800M(1st); Kevin Kerjean: 4x800M(1st), 1600M(6th); Christian Alexander: 3200M(5th); Donato Scarcello: 3200M(6th); Clyde Dozier: 110HH(5th); Courtney Holmes: 4x100M(1st), 4x400M(1st); Henry Parrish: 4x100(1st); Malcolm Brown: 4x800(1st), 800M(8th); Nicholas Aixala: 4x800M(1st); David Trueba: Pole Vault(2nd); Kevin Flaherty: Pole Vault(4th); Gary Cooper: Shot Put(1st); Tony Mills: Shot Put(3rd)
Earlier in the month Cameron Daniel, Xzavier Henderson, Courtney Holmes and Tyler Harrell ran the fastest 4x200m time in the Nation at the Sam Burley Hall of Fame Track Meet. 
Baseball is 10-3
Coach Weber and the Varsity Baseball Team is currently 10-3 and has won their last three games in a row, including a 10-0 win over Varela.  They will be playing South Dade H.S. on Thursday.  Go Explorers!

Waterpolo Started Season Strong
Mr. Machado
and the Water Polo Team started their season by winning their first game against Cutler Bay Senior, winning four games in the Forza Stefano Water Polo Tournament, and defeating Coral Gables in their district match.  They also had a strong showing at the Gulliver International, one of the toughest Water Polo tournaments in the state, finishing 2-2.  They took a tough loss to Gulliver and Boca Raton but then rallied to beat MAST Academy and Westminster Academy.  Special congratulations to Juniors Sean Dawson and Raul Herrero, the tournament MVPs. 

Tennis Team is 7-2, Preparing for Districts
Mr. Green and the tennis team has had successful season, currently, 7-2.  They had an impressive win against Coral Reef H.S., a team they hadn’t defeated in eight years.  They are now preparing for their last regular season match against Miami Beach on April 10th and the district competition. 

Students Brought Easter Fun to Children with Special Needs
Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas and 12 students volunteered their time at the Tropical Elementary Easter Egg Hunt working with children with special needs. The students who participated were: Chris Cruz, Adrian Valdivia, Joseph Price, Max Baggini, Alejandro Alfonso, Adrian Gonzalez, Isaiah Morales, Lucas Vasta, Angel Gonzalez, Nicholas Arciniegas, Carlos Parra, and Santiago Aguerrevere (who was the Easter Bunny for the day).
CCHS Partnered with CRS and local Catholic Schools to Help Chronic Hunger
Columbus hosted a Catholic Relief Services “Helping Hands” meal preparation event which benefitted the people of the African nation of Burkina Faso who suffer from chronic hunger. Over 100 students and school family members participated from Columbus, Belen, Carrollton, St. Brendan H.S., Coral Reef H.S., Epiphany, and St. Theresa. They prepared 32,000 meals!   Thank you to Mrs. Branas, Mr. Gonzalez , Mr. Crecencio Ruiz (VP of the Belen Jesuit Alumni Board), Rodger Shay (CRS Advisory Board Chair), and Cristian Moreira (Knights of Columbus). Special thanks to Fr. Rodriguez-Artola ’81 who started the day by celebrating Mass.
Autism Awareness Ties On Sale
Silver Knight Nominee Diego Ramos is selling Autism Awareness Ties for $20 to support his organization “Gear Up For Autism” which works with the foundation Faith’s Place Autism to provide academic scholarships to children on the spectrum. To date, Diego’s organization has raised $20,000. The ties can be purchased before school at the front entrance.  
Family Picnic and Pig Roast
Over 1,000 Columbus family members came out for the 2nd Annual Family Picnic and Pig Roast. It was a fun day for the entire family, filled with socializing, games, food, and plenty of roast pig. Thank you to the alumni association for bringing us this event. Special thanks to Mrs. Branas, Mr. Fernandez, Mr. Marti for all their hard work as well as to all the faculty and staff that participated.  
Explorers Won Battle of the Sexes
This year’s Battle of the Sexes talent competition with our sister school, Our Lady of Lourdes Academy, showed us some great talent in the areas of dance, singing, lip sync, and music video by all the teams. In the end, it was the Columbus Explorers who won the competition!  Thank you to SAC moderators Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez.
Thank you Our Lady of Lourdes Academy!
We thank all the Lourdes students who participated and attended the The Battle of the Sexes.  They really showed a lot of talent.  We look forward to the battle again next year.

Seniors Win Annual Faculty vs Seniors Basketball Game
As always, this year’s Faculty vs. Seniors Basketball Game was great fun.  The final score was Seniors 47 and Faculty 38.  Mr. McKeon coached the faculty and Br. Kevin/Mr. Pugh coached the seniors.  
Francophonie Week Was Celebrate By Honoring French Heritage
Mrs. Pugh and the French Club celebrated Francophonie Week by offering French pastries (from French Bakery Delices De France) and cheese to the student body. They engaged in researching, preparing and participating in various Francophone projects, gaining greater awareness of the cultural diversity from French-speaking countries through music, gastronomy, and the Arts.
Career Day
Close to 30 alumni from many different professions participated in our annual Career Day on campus.  They inspired our students and demonstrated the Columbus brotherhood.  Thank you Dr. Burrus and Mrs. Branas.

Explorers Given Important Lesson About Driving While Intoxicated
Kevin Brooks, a leading youth speaker who is wheelchair-bound, gave an inspirational and emotional talk to our Sophomore Explorers.  He spoke about the day he decided to get behind the wheel of a car after a night of partying and discussed real-life strategies for making better, smarter moment-to-moment decisions.
Walk-A-thon Surpasses Goal
Unlike past years, this year’s Walk-A-Thon was held in March, moved from October due to schedule changes caused by Hurricane Irma. The Columbus family surpassed the event’s fundraising goal of $130,000 by $867.58. The money raised will be used to expand school technology, construct new guidance offices and build a 2nd story onto the baseball clubhouse.   In total 932 students participated in the walk. Thank you for your generosity and participation. Special thanks to Walk-A-thon organizer Mrs. Martinez and her team.
International’s Women’s Day
In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8th, we celebrated all our female teachers and staff members.  We are blessed to have such a strong female presence at Christopher Columbus High School (1/3 of our faculty/staff are women).  Here is a beautiful picture of our female teachers who have served Columbus for 25+ years.
5th Annual CCNN Media Excellence Awards is April 21st
Don’t miss this opportunity to see your favorite South Florida TV News, Radio, and Print reporters as our CCNN Live team honors them live at the 5th Annual Media Excellence Awards on April 21st from 6:30 – 10:00pm. The event, emceed by Univision’s Sandra Peebles, includes a cocktail hour, red carpet pictures, dinner, and the awards ceremony. That evening, we will also honor CCHS alum and Emmy award winning playwright and TV writer Luis Santeiro ’65 (original writer for Que Pasa USA and longtime writer for Sesame Street). The event is open to the entire CCHS family. Purchase Tickets/Sponsor Here
SAVE THE DATE:  Rock Sarcoma Out Concert:  May 6th
CCHS Students to Play at this Youth Concert Benefitting Pediatric Cancer Research

The Columbus Jazz Band as well as several other rock/jazz bands that feature CCHS students  will play the Rock Sarcoma Out Concert on May 6th at The Open Stage in Coral Gables.  The event will benefit the SebastianStrong and Manny Alvarez Foundation. Both foundations work to raise awareness of and fund research for pediatric cancer. Save the date to catch all these bands in action:  The Columbus Jazz Band, Westchester Sauce (Ross Collazo '78), Fifty Eight Hundred (Joey Rodriguez '20), Tongue Tied (Danny Collazo '20), Miami School of Rock House Band (Ethan Trueba 20’ and Danny Collazo '20), RipCord (Jake Aleman '21), Stix Stones and Bones (Joey Rodriguez '20 and Danny Rodriguez '20).  Purchase Tickets/ Make Donation Here
Reminder: Complete Branding Survey By Tomorrow (March 28th)
Columbus is undergoing a "brand refresh" and to aid in the process we are asking our key stakeholders (faculty/staff, parents, students, alumni) to fill out the short survey, found on the link below. The deadline to complete the survey is March 28th. All respondents of the survey will remain anonymous.   Thank you for your help in this important project.  
​Survey Link:   ​ ​

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

August 16: Seniors Report to Purchase Parking Permits (9:00am – 12:00noon, Room A-12)
August 17: Orientation for Freshman (in Gym) and Transfer Students (in Café), 7:45am – 12noon
August 18: New Parents Reception (7:00 – 9:00pm, Cafe)
August 20: First Day of Classes - All students report (7:45am – 2:45pm, regular full day)
August 21: New Parents Meeting A-L (6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 22: Picture Day for all students
August 22: New Parents Meeting M-Z (6:30 – 8:30pm, Cafeteria)
August 24: Beach Bash, school dance (7:00pm – 11:00pm)
August 28: Back to School Night (9th & 10th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 29: Back to School Night (11th & 12th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 30: 60th Anniversary Opening Mass with Archbishop (8:00 – 9:30am, Gym)
August 31: Freshman Field Day (7:45am – 2:45pm)
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 AdvancEd and a member of the National Catholic Educational Association.