Christopher Columbus High School

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

March 2019 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh


A Spirit Filled Month
March was an especially spirited month at Christopher Columbus High School.   Our school was filled with the Holy Spirit as we began the season of Lent, the ever-present Spirit of St. Marcellin, and the Spirit of Student Activities was abounding. We held an Ash Wednesday Mass as well as a Mass in honor of our 60-year history and the 20th year anniversary of the canonization of St. Marcellin. Our students participated in our traditional Spirit Week, enjoying dress down days, games and fun activities. Towards the end the month, we held our 60th Anniversary Gala, a joyous occasion where our faculty, parents, and alumni came together to celebrate our great school.  It is a very exciting time to be a Columbus Explorer!
The Blessing of the Cross Ceremony Marks the Beginning of Lent 
In addition to the Ash Wednesday Mass, we held our annual Blessing of the Cross Ceremony to mark the beginning of Lent. The cross was installed by our students at the center of campus, in front of the chapel. Thank you to Br. Eladio and the Squires.
Let us be Thankful and Pray!
On March 20th, we gathered to commemorate our 60th Anniversary and the 20th Anniversary of St. Marcellin Champagnat’s Canonization. Br. Dan O'Riordan, Vice Provincial of the U.S. Marist Brothers Province, encouraged students to go forward and make positive changes in the Columbus community and greater Marist world. The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Alejandro Rodriguez Artola ‘81, Fr. Miguel González ‘86 Fr. Mark Reeves, Deacon Steven Lee ‘81, and Deacon James Dugard, Columbus Theology Teacher.  Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and the Campus Ministry Team. 
Celebrating 60 Years of Columbus!
Nearly 1,000 Guests Attended the Grand Gala
On March 23rd, our 60th Anniversary Gala was celebrated at the JW Marriott Marquis Miami with nearly 1,000 attendees. Br. Patrick McNamara, U.S. Marist Brothers Provincial and former Columbus Principal, congratulated the faculty, staff, and alumni for helping to foster Marist charism and paid a tribute to Br. Kevin Handibode who will be stepping down as president at the end of the school year. Including Br. Patrick, Br. Kevin, and current librarian Br. Edmund Sheehan, six former CCHS principals were in attendance, as Br. Hugh Andrew, Br. Francis Garza, and Raymond Pazi flew in for the event. Guests enjoyed a reception in the “Past” and “Future” themed rooms, entertainment by the Columbus band, pictures with Mr. Explorer at the Red Carpet, and plenty of dancing until 12:30am. One of the highlights was Br. Patrick’s announcement of the newly formed ”Br. Kevin Adelante Fund” to help needy families with tuition assistance and his presentation of the first donation towards this fund by The Marist Brothers USA Province.  Special thanks to the Gala Committee for making it a memorable event.  VIEW GALA PICTURES.
Spirit Week Culminated with Seniors vs. Faculty Basketball Game
During Spirit Week, students wore shirts representing their favorite musical groups, sports teams, and entertainment characters. They enjoyed the Battle of the Sexes Talent Show and the Faculty vs. Seniors Basketball Game which took place on Neon Nation Day and benefitted Castaways Against Cancer. Congratulations to the Seniors who won the game with a 3-point shot at the buzzer by Anthony Macia. Special thanks to the SAC team led by Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez.

24 Juniors Receive National Hispanic Recognition
Congratulations to the following 24 juniors have been invited to participate in the College Board's National Hispanic Recognition Program (NHRP).  These outstanding young men have scored in the top 2.5% among Hispanic and Latino takers of the PSAT/NMSQT examination.  By participating in this prestigious recognition, they will be able to highlight their educational achievements to top colleges and universities.   Alessio Amor, Adolfo Anzola, Mikel Barbeite, Michael Berry, Salvador Blanco, Julio Brea, Kevin Cejas, Jared Coleman, David Diaz, Nicolas Fernandez, Carlos Gutierrez, Alejando Lambert, Daniel Luna, Thomas Mackle, Dennis Martinez, Alfred Martinez, Jose Osorio, Andres Perez, Joaquin Real, Joseph Rodriguez, Anthony Rodriguez-Mira, Albert Sanchez, Ethan Trueba, and Patrick Valerius.

CCNN Live Wins STN National Championship for the 3rd Time in the Past 5 Years
CCNN Live has done it again!  For the third time in the past five years, they won the Crazy 8 News Magazine Championship, the Student Television Network’s most notable award which involves students creating an 8-minute show in 8 hours. The team competed with over 400 schools at the convention in Seattle, Washington.  In addition, they placed first in three individual categories.  First place Sports Commentary (Carlos Rodriguez, Benjamin Cure, Marcus Callegari), First place Podcast (Steven Lee, Joseph Fernandez, Kevin Angueira), First place Nat'l Package (Alexander Someillan, Lukas Guerra), and received an Honorable Mention for Weather Report.  (Christopher Gomez, Arthur Falconi, Giancarlos Miguel). Congratulations Ms. Insua, Mr. Delgado, and the entire team for their tremendous efforts and accomplishments.
David Perez Placed First in the Future Business Leaders of America’s State Conference
Several students competed at the FBLA State Conference along with 8,000 other district winners throughout the state of Florida. David Perez won first place in the Cybersecurity competition and qualified for the national competition. David Perez (1st Place Cybersecurity), Anthony Rodriguez Mira (5th Place, Accounting 2), Adolfo Anzola (4th Place, Agribusiness), Daniel Luna (5th Place, Computer Problem Solving), Alessio Amor (5th Place, Insurance and Risk Management), Gustavo Jimenez (5th Place Introduction to Business Communication), Thomas Packert (5th Place, Personal Finance). Special thanks to moderator Mr. Corazon.

Mas Family Program Recognition Ceremony
Mas Scholar Juniors received their pins and Mas Program Seniors their graduation medallions at the annual recognition ceremony. The event included a speech by Jose Mas ’89, Mastec Inc. CEO, and a student roast to the teachers. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Amador, Mrs. Cibran, Mrs. Anderson, and Mrs. Sastoque.
Business Honor Society Induction
The National Business Honor Society inducted its new members and installed its first executive board.  Congratulations to: Leonardo Cruz-President, Nicholas Molina-Vice-President, Daniel Rodriguez-Secretary, Andrew Castro-Treasurer, Sean Buechele-Historian, 
Jonathan Lorenzo, Cesar Onate, and Carlos Valdes.  We recognize these students for outstanding achievement in Business and Technology Education and for having demonstrated excellence in the areas of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Special thanks to Ms. Rayneri.
Encounter Retreat
Juniors and Seniors were able to further build upon their relationship with God and neighbor on the Encounter Retreat. Thank you Mr. Gonzalez and the Campus Ministry Team.
Geography Club Finished First in ISSF Bee for 2nd Consecutive Year
Held 1st Annual Explorers Geography Bee at Columbus

The Geography Club successfully defended its title by again finishing first in this year's Independent Schools of South Florida High School Geography Bee. Special thanks to Mr. Cunningham, Mr. Hermida, and Mr. Pino. In addition, the team hosted the first annual Explorers Geography Bee on campus as Marcel van Hemert's service project to increase the geographic literacy of Miami-Dade County middle school students. Congrats to St. Kevin Middle School (1st place), Belen Jesuit Middle School (2nd place) and Palmetto Middle School (3rd place). 
Theater Program Excels at the Florida State Thespian Festival
Members of the Theater Program received ratings of superior and excellent at the Florida State Thespian Festival. Congratulations to the following students:  Paul Signori (Superior in Monologue) Luis Vergara (Excellent in Solo Pantomime), David Figueredo, Daniel Travieso, Augustin Mendez, Pedro Erigoyen III, Andres Cabral, Justyn Rubio, and Aidan Pasantes (Excellent in Group Pantomime), Luis Vergara, Daniel Travieso, and Kevin Cordero (Excellent in Ensemble).  Special thanks to Mrs. McGrath.  
Bio Medical Science Students Observe Open Heart Surgery at Baptist Hospital
Several Bio Medical students were able to participate in the Baptist Explorer Program.  Matthew Garcia and Christopher Toussaint shadowed Dr. Ana Maria and Stephano Monsante and Anthony Rodriguez  had the opportunity to observe an open-heart surgery. Thank you Ms. Taylor.
Track Relay Team Ranked #1 in Florida and #2 in U.S.
The Columbus Track Team’s performance at the University of Florida Relay have put them on top. The 4x400M Relay Team of Sebastien Cantave/Xzavier Henderson/Courtney Holmes/Cameron Daniel ran their season best at 3:14.12, putting them in first place. This currently ranks them as number 1 in Florida and number 2 overall in the United States. The 4x100M Relay Team of Ken Moore/Xzavier Henderson/Henry Parrish/Cameron Daniel ran their season best at 41.76, putting them in 3rd place. The 4x800M Relay Team of Donato Scarcello/Kevin Kergean/ Malcom Brown/Sebastien Cantave came in at 8:05.76. Kevin Kergean 1600M and Donato Scarcello 3200M ran their personal best at 4:22.48; and 10:07.38, respectively. Malcolm Brown 800M (ran 2:00.8). Congratulations Coach Foyo and all the runners.
Wrestling Team Places 4th in State Championship
The Varsity Wrestling Team returned from the State Championship in Orlando with a fourth-place team finish and five individual winners. Carmine Diastole 195 lbs. (2nd place), Charles Huffman 120 lbs. (3rd place) Justin Valdez 126 lbs. (4th place), Robert Dusendang 113 Ibs. (4th Place), Ryan Gonzalez 152 Ibs. (6th place). Congratulations to these Explorers who worked hard to reach this level of success. Special thanks to Coach Husk.
Volleyball Team is Having a Successful Season
The varsity volleyball team is enjoying another successfull season with the help of veteran players, Brian Clark, Luis Gutierrez, Nick Suarez, Ishaan Melwani, and Sean Salazar, who recently celebrated senior night with their families.  Come support the Explorers as they travel to Ransom Everglades tomorrow and Friday where they will compete in preparation for district play.  Good luck to Coach Bluhm and all the players!  
Robotics Ranked 4th at State Championship
The Robotics Team competed in the South Florida VEX Robotics High School State Championship, finishing 5-1 and ranking 4th overall against the best 34 robotics teams in South Florida. The team was one win short of qualifying for the Worlds Championship. Congratulations to Daniel Saez, Daniel Luna, Gabriel Paz and
Anthony Alonso. Thank you to moderators Mr. Rodriguez and Mr. Larrubia.
Jazz Band Once Again Sweeps the WorldStrides Music Festival Competition
The Columbus Jazz Band has once again proved that they are incomparable at the Worldstrides Music Festival which took place in Los Angeles, California. They received a gold medal, top honors and first place in the Jazz band category. Danny Collazo and Greg Joa received two of the eight best soloist awards, from over 500+ students. They also received “best overall band” with the highest score out of all the performing groups at the festival.   Adding to their experience, they performed at the world-famous Normans Rare Guitars and met world famous recording artist John Legend on their plane trip back to Miami. Thank you to band director Mr. Cooper and Mr. Scholer.
Guidance News:  
Our 11th grade counselors have been meeting with students and families individually to discuss academic growth, college options and summer internships. College Counselor,  Mrs. Horowitz, has visited all of the 11th grade classes to discuss the importance of planning and setting goals for the college application process.  Mr. Nunez and Ms. Vinson held meetings with students from all four years levels to discuss the harmful effects of vaping and poor decision making. These are topics that we will continue to touch upon and bring to light on a regular basis.
AP Government Class Participated in Classroom Exchange
Ms. McCullagh hosted a National Constitution Center Classroom Exchange with her AP Government class. The class was able to communicate with a class from a school in Georgia.
Spring Blood Drive 
There were 70 Columbus family members who donated to the Spring Blood Drive which amounted to a potential 210 lives saved.  Pictured is Angel Gonzalez who was chosen as the OneBlood Hero of the Day for his insistence and determination to donate blood although he arrived after registration closed. Thank you Mrs. Cofresi and all of the NHS volunteers.
Columbus Car Show Featured Over 100 Cars
The Columbus Car Club presented their first ever car show on campus with cars, food, and music coordinated by the Student Activities Committee. Over 100 cars of different makes and models were on display, from vintage to the most modern.  Special thanks to Mrs. Gonzalez.

Celebrating French Culture
During French Language and Francophonie Week, students researched the French-speaking countries around the world and prepared writings for a contest organized by the French, Haitian and Canadian Embassies. French teacher, Madame Pugh, and her students hosted a "Petit Déjeuner" (breakfast) for Columbus students and teachers. Thank you to Délice de France Bakery for the delicious pastries.
Daniel Gonzalez Received Morehead-Cain Scholarship
Daniel Gonzalez
is the first Columbus student to have received the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, the oldest and most prestigious merit scholarship program in the United States, inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. The scholarship covers four years tuition, room and board, annual stipends, travel costs, networking and research opportunities, and four fully funded summer experiences. Daniel is a Mas Scholar, a National Merit Finalist, also recognized as a National Hispanic Scholar, a varsity member of our soccer team, and a Silver Knight nominee in Athletics. He co-founded of Player to Player, a non-for-profit organization that collects and ships sporting equipment to three continents.
Noah Defauwes Won 1st Place at the Fairchild Challenge’s Green Cuisine Culinary Competition
Noah Defauwes won first place in the Fairchild Challenge’s Green Cuisine Culinary Competition which counted on the participation of 100 students across Miami-Dade County. His “Cabbage Patch Fairchild” was the winning fruit/vegetable side dish that met the nutritional needs of astronauts.
Baseball Coach Joe Weber Honored for His 500th Win
Long-time Columbus baseball coach and teacher Joe Weber ‘83 recorded his 500th win as head baseball coach of the Columbus Explorers. Over his 23 years as head coach, Joe has led the Columbus baseball team to two state championships, five Florida High School Athletic Association Final-4 appearances and an overall record of 500-160-3. Coach Weber was honored at a pre-game ceremony that was held prior to the team’s game against Key West.

Mr. Santa-Maria Named 2019 Kevin Workman Foundation Sponsorship Recipient
Columbus Art teacher, Peter Santa-Maria ’01, has been named the 2019 Kevin Workman Foundation Sponsorship Recipient. The foundation grants one talented individual each year the opportunity of a lifetime to showcase, promote, and sell their work at the San Diego Comic-Con at their exclusive booth.   Congratulations Mr. Santa-Maria!
South Dade NewsLeader Article on Columbus
The South Dade News Leader Newspaper published an article in celebration of our school’s 60th Anniversary. VIEW ARTICLE HERE
Electronics Drive to Benefit Needy Children
The Squires Club is collecting donations of new or gently used electronics for the children and families at St. John Bosco and St. John Mission. Items can be dropped off at Br. Eladio's office (B23) or at the various collection boxes throughout campus.
Online Store
Shop our online store – COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP where you’ll find 2-day shipping on the latest Columbus branded merchandise for men, women, and children.
Upcoming April Dates To Remember:
4/2:           ACT/Pre-ACT Testing for 9th, 10th, 11th grades (no school for seniors)
4/5:           Grad Bash (Universal Studios, Orlando)
4/9:           Marist Achievement Dinner (6:00 – 9:00pm; Jungle Island)
4/11:         Lenten Reflection For Parents (7:00 – 8:00pm, Chapel)
4/12:         Sports Physicals Upperclassmen (6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
4/13:         Gear Up For Autism (10:00am – 2:00pm, CCHS Field)
4/17:         Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
4/18 – 28: Easter Recess (No School)
4/29:         School Resumes
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.