Christopher Columbus High School

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

March 2020 Principals Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Principal's Newsletter March 2020
Unprecedented Times! 
As we reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted our society, we begin to realize the little things that we took for granted; simple things like waking up and going to school, sharing breakfast in the cafe with friends, waiting in Patriot Plaza for the bell to ring, and proudly representing our school in activities. Our world changed as we knew it and it happened so fast that it was difficult to comprehend. As we complete our 3rd week of remote learning, we are stronger than we were yesterday and we are seeing signs of progression daily.  While things are still unsettled and there remains more questions than answers, there is a bit more clarity as we are becoming more determined, resilient, and steadfast. Looking on the bright side, our technology skills have enhanced and we are spending more time at home with family. Let's appreciate what we do have and be grateful...because things most certainly could be worse.

We cannot forget to acknowledge our March student and school accomplishments, and there are many as you will see in this newsletter. As a school community, we continue to Stand Together. Rise Together. Remember that our Easter vacation starts on Monday, April 6th, with remote learning resuming on Monday, April 20th. We hope that this much needed break will give our students and faculty time to rest and reinvigorate. May God keep you and your families safe and may your faith be strengthened during this unprecedented time.

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter!
Being a Marist Educator in a Remote Learning Environment
As a Marist school, our teachers are not only relied upon to offer instruction, but they are also encouraged to guide, lead, mentor, and care for our students. They understand the Marist values and are committed to living out the charism of Saint Marcellin. In the new remote learning environment, they must now find innovative ways to engage our young men and promote our mission of making Jesus Christ known and loved. Building relationships and fostering a brotherhood will now be more difficult. Adjustments will be made, but how do you replace a fist bump, a hand shake, or an embrace after your student has shared the loss of a love one, described the thrill of a big win, or received his acceptance to the college of his choice? Even the basic disciplinary interactions of letting students know they need to shave, take off a hoodie or pull up a tie are not the same. Those moments of engagement are fundamental to forming relationships and developing structure in a young man’s life. Relationship building is as important to education at Columbus as is the need to learn the Pythagorean Theorem in mathematics. Just ask any one of our 15,000 alumni and they will tell you that Columbus is a special place, made up of special people who do more for a young man than just teach a subject.  Today's challenges are real but as a Columbus family we remain committed to integrate our Marist charism into this distant online platform in the best interest of our students.
Teachers Using Live Platforms to Engage Students
We have great respect for the educators around the country who are finding ways to keep their students engaged during this challenging time. The education profession has changed, but expectations are the same.  At Columbus we continue to offer a high quality education within our digital platform, while also showing compassion to the needs of our families. Our teachers are using the OnCampus management system that they have been trained on for the last eight years.  They continue to teach in the multifaceted, technologically enhanced environment that they are accustomed to while offering the new “live” component on Zoom, Microsoft, or Google.  Teachers, counselors and campus ministers are working together creatively to keep our students engaged academically while helping to make an impact on their social, emotional, and spiritual development.

College Acceptances
The class of 2020 continues to receive news of their college acceptances.  The list of colleges is long with many seniors having been accepted to the honors colleges of universities and several have received full scholarships.   Here's a sample:  Barry University,
Case Western University, Duke University, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University, Florida State University, Fordham University, George Washington University, Georgia Tech, Northeastern University, Ohio State, Penn State University, Southern Methodist University, St. Thomas University, University of Chicago (including a Questbridge winner), University of Florida, University of Miami (including a Foote Scholar), University of Michigan (including the Ross School of Business), University of North Carolina, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas, Austin, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt University (including the top Mosaic scholarship winner), Villanova University, and West Point Academy.

Over 100 Seniors Exceed the ACT's STEM Benchmark
Over 100 seniors were recognized for their outstanding achievement on the ACT, all having met or exceeded the STEM Benchmark.   This incredible outcome is a reflection of the dedication of both our excellent students and teachers. Congratulations! 
National Engineers Week
During Engineering Week, activities were organized during all four lunch periods in the cafeteria with robotics, flight simulators, engineering and coding. Thank you to Mr. Rodriguez and the following students for sharing their passion for engineering with the larger student body: Ethan Jimenez, Joaquim Carvalho, Ryan Vidal, Gabriel Paz, Erick Gonzalez, Daniel Saez, Nicholas Guzman, Adrian Barbosa, Diego Espinosa, Jorge Quintana, Justin Parrondo
Undefeated Debate Teams Place 1st & 2nd at Miami-Dade Tournament
The Columbus Debate Society competed at the 7th Miami Dade After School Tournament of the year, hosted at the Downtown Doral Charter Upper School. In Public Forum Debate, Andres Quintana and Daniel Tavel finished in first place after going 2-0 in preliminary rounds and getting the highest speaker points in the tournament. Closely behind them in second place, Jake Goudie and Brandon Gustafson also finished undefeated with slightly less speaker points.  Thank you Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca.
CCNN Live Publications Honored by FSPA
All three of CCNN Live's publications: CCNN Live Daily Show, The Voyage and The Ship have been honored as All-Florida publications by the Florida Scholastic Press Association (FSPA).  Special thanks to Mr. Delgado and Mrs. Insua.
Alumni Share Professional Advice During Career Day
Thanks to the support of our dedicated alumni who are always willing to give of their time to help our Explorers, we had another successful Career Day. Over 40 alumni from a variety of fields participated, sharing their professional experiences and career advice. Special thanks to Dr. Burrus and Mrs. Branas.
Over 200 Explorers Experience Hamilton at the Adrienne Arsht Center
More than 200 Explorers from the Mas Family Program and the Drama Troupe along with several faculty members participated in a field trip to the Adrienne Arsht Center to see the 11x Tony Award winning production, Hamilton. After the show, the students had a private meet and greet with a few of the stars. It was a memorable evening. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and Mrs. Cibran.
State Wrestling Championship Results
Five wrestlers competed in the State Championship in Kissimmee. With over 100 schools represented and 224 athletes in the 3A large school division, three Explorers won medals and the team placed 15th overall. Christian Guzman placed second, Robert Dusendang paced 4th , and Gavin Buck placed 5th. Congratulations Coach Husk and the entire team for representing Columbus well.
Track Team Wins GMAC Championship
The Track Team has won the GMAC championship and placed first at the Sam Burley Hall of Fame Invitational (out of 51 schools). Congratulations Coach Foyo and all the runners!
Lacrosse Clinic Held at Columbus with Pro Players
On March 14th, 34 local high school lacrosse players from throughout South Florida gathered at Columbus for a lacrosse clinic with pro players that included Team USA member Rob Pannell. The clinic was organized by Columbus Lacrosse Coach Morrissey and was covered by the Miami Herald. Coach Morrissey believes it was the first such tutorial set up in Miami for the sport.         VIEW HERALD VIDEO
1st  Annual "Kick Cancer Out" Soccer Tournament
We had a great showing at our 1st annual  ”Kick Cancer Out” soccer tournament with over 50 players participating and a total of $500 raised for the Castaways Against Cancer.  Special thanks to Mr. Pino, Mr. Mendoza, Mrs. Bell-Mendoza and Mr. Staiano

Spike Ball Tournament Also Helped Raise Funds for the Castaways Against Cancer
Day Two of Castaways Week was another success as Mr. Corazon led 60 boys through a Spike Ball tournament. The boys had a great time while raising funds to fight cancer.
Freshman Kerygma Retreat
The freshman experienced the Kerygma retreat which offers opportunities to discover Jesus through talks, small group discussions, scripture, prayer, and activities. Thanks to the Campus Ministry student leaders, Mrs. Alegret, Mr. Alegret, and Mr. Rodriguez.
Fr. Philippe Visits Columbus to Lecture on God's Action in Us
At the invitation of President Kruczek and in collaboration with Michel Deschapelles '84, French priest and author Fr. Jacques Philippe visited Columbus to present his lecture on "God's Action in Us" to our young men.  With over 1 million copies sold in 24 languages, Fr. Philippe's writings are focused on themes such as prayer, interior freedom, and peace of heart. Thanks you Campus Ministry, Squires, and senior theology and French teachers.
Call Music Ministry Brings Concert to Columbus
The Call Music Ministry led a live concert of worship and praise on the Columbus campus.  We were also able to welcome back band member Luis Lopez, '85 who participated in the concert. Thanks you Campus Ministry!
Campus Ministry Leaders Served at St. Michael the Archangel Lent Retreat
Campus Ministry student leaders served at the St. Michael the Archangel Lent Retreat.  Thanks to Ms. Valdes and the Campus Ministry student leaders.
Mas Family Program Students Helped the San Juan Bosco Center Court Service Project
Mas Family Program students and Columbus alumni Alex Galvez '92 (A Galvez Construction) and Tony Varona '92 (Synthetic Lawns) helped develop a basketball court and safe space at San Juan Bosco Center, a long-standing pillar of the Little Havana immigrant community. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta.
35th Annual Reverse Raffle
Br. Kevin once again hosted our annual Reverse Raffle, now in its 35th year! It was a night of fun, food and games. Congratulations to all the winners!
International Women's Day
To celebrate International Women's Day, we took the opportunity to express how important the work of our diverse female faculty and staff is at Columbus. Women lead in so many aspects of our school, from the administration, to guidance, in the classroom, in development, extra-curricular activities and in our various offices. We celebrate all our amazing women during International Women’s Day and every day at Columbus.
Global Connections Team Visited Columbus
A team of educational leaders from around the world visited Columbus as part of their annual Global Connections Seminar which was hosted by Palmer Trinity School. The team learned about several Columbus initiatives and we all enjoyed sharing innovative ideas and best practices in the field of education.
Trip to Arbetters
As a reward for the winning homerooms during Walk-a-thon, students were treated to lunch at a Westchester classic eatery, Arbetters.   Thank you Dr. Burrus and Mr. Hill.
Jesus Javier Rodriguez Received Morehead Cain Foundation Scholarship
For a second year in a row, a Columbus senior has received the prestigious and competive Morehead-Cain Foundation Scholarship to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Congratulations Jesus Javier Rodriguez! The full tuition scholarship also includes all fees, housing, meals, books & supplies and participation in their summer enrichment program.
Maximus Villar Named Scholar Athlete of the Year
The Miami Touchdown Club Board of Directors named our senior football player Maximus Villar its Scholar Athlete Scholar of the Year. They will be submitting Max's information to the National Football Foundation to become a member of their "Team of Distinction" and will be awarding him with a $500 scholarship.
Alexander Someillan & David Perez Awarded Dow Jones News Fund Scholarship
Two members of CCNNLive, Alexander Someillan and David Perez were awarded $8,500 Dow Jones News Fund Scholarships. They received the scholarships for their work in the 2019 Summer Journalism Workshop Competitions which focused on health and wellness. David Perez won Best Data Journalism for his article and graphics about the gender wage gap in Miami. Alexander Someillan won Best Videography for his piece about the growing organic, farm-to-table trend at Miami restaurants.
Kevin Reyes Named Finalist in the Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films
CCNN Live's Kevin Reyes '20 has been named a finalist in the Education Awareness category for the 25th Annual Palm Beaches Student Showcase of Films, the largest student film competition and award show in Florida. He was nominated for his public service announcement entitled, Disconnect to Reconnect. 
CCNN Live Featured on CBS4 News Regarding Distance Learning
When Miami-Dade schools first closed and CBS4 started to report on the new norm of distance learning, the station chose to interview our own CCNN Live's Alexander Someillan and moderator Mr. Delgado on their experiences. Thank you for representing Columbus well and demonstrating how Explorers quickly adapted to the transition. VIEW CBS4 SEGMENT.
Stay Up-to-Date on Coronavius/Remote Learning News on our Website
Make sure you check the COLUMBUS WEBSITE regularly for important news regarding remote learning and changes to the school calendar. Some of the information you will find there is our Remote Learning Plan, Frequently Asked Questions and Videoconferencing Best Practices.  
Support Columbus Restaurant Partners
To view a list of restaurants that are open for carryout and delivery that are owned by alumni and friends of Columbus CLICK HERE
We Miss You Explorers!
We look forward to the day that we are all on campus together again.  Know that our Marist educational team is well prepared to continue on-line learning until the State of Florida decides it is safe for our return.  In the meantime, know that the Columbus family is keeping all the Explorers in their prayers.
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.