Christopher Columbus High School

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

March 2021 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

On behalf of the entire Christopher Columbus High School community, Happy Easter Holiday!
Although this year has been a challenge, our team of Marist Educators continued to provide a quality Catholic education and worked hard to provide live and engaging activities outside of the classroom.  They meticulously planned and organized events with the health and wellness of our young men as a priority. They did not give up and instead accepted the challenges. I am so proud of their efforts academically, athletically, and more importantly, spiritually.
Campus ministry has offered Marist Youth since September and they now offer retreats on and off campus.  These enriching experiences are necessary for our young men to strengthen their relationship with God. Our teachers show their love of work by offering after school activities and moderating a host of different clubs.  Much of this work is also focused on community service and giving back to those less fortunate. Our Walk-a-thon, field days, and spirit week would not have been successful without the Student Activities Committee and a strong team who are dedicated and loyal to our school Mission. 

Moving forward, this Easter season offers hope!  Our new sense of energy and excitement exists because of the efforts of our great Columbus team and the support we continue to receive from our parents. 
May God bless you!
The 27th Annual Pat Bixby Memorial Walk-a-thon - March Madness!
New format allowed for the participation of the entire school community  
Our annual  Walk-a-thon was able to take place on March 26th, although with a new format.  This year, it took place on our athletic fields instead of Tropical Park.  It was March Madness as the entire student body, faculty, and staff participated in fun activities and fundraising throughout the month.  Everyone was placed into four different houses:  The Castaways, The Titans, The Wild Wild West and the Tigers.  An online payment portal was offered for the first time for donations.  The winning house, total money raised and more prize winners, including the grand prize winner who will receive $2,020.50 will be announced in April.  We thank the Columbus family for this successful team effort, especially everyone who served on the event committee:  Mr. Marinelli, Mr. Staiano, Mr. Rodriguez, Mrs. Vento, Ms. Ramirez, and Ms. Tellechea. 
Calonge is NBA2K21 Tournament Champion & Figueroa Won a PS5 as Part of the Walkathon Activities
After a fierce three game series, sophomore Daniel Calonge was crowned our first ever NBA 2k21 Tournament Champion.  Second place went to Helmut Gaensel.  Also, Lucas Figueroa won a PS5 prize.  Congratulations!
Spirit Week Led Up to Walkathon
March Madness Monday, Tourist Tuesday, Patriotic Wednesday, and Teacher Thursday, were some of the themes of Spirit Week leading up to Walkathon Day.  We had Kona Ice and Cold Stone Ice Cream, Corn Hole and Spike Ball games and the students were able to dress in attire according to the day (college gear, red/white/blue, Hawaiian Shirts).  On Teacher Thursday students were able to dress like their favorite teacher.  Thank you SAC!
Columbus Connects Externship Seminar Speaker Series
The Columbus Connects Externship Speaker Series has been successful with four different seminars being hosed in March alone.   The speakers were:  Luis de la Aguilera ’77 (U.S. Century Bank CEO), Alex Galvez ’92 & Friends,  Melissa Marti (Columbus Digital Communications Director) and Brett MacIver '95 (Director, NASCAR Partnership Marketing).  In April, there will be two more seminars:  Jennifer Boyd-Pugh (Barry University’s Chief Human Resources Officer) will discuss resume writing and interview skills on the 15th and David Scatterday Trevino will discuss careers in marketing on the 29th.   Special thanks to our Director of Externships & Internships, Mrs. Anderson for coordinating this program.
Looking Back with Lynskey MLB Edition
Mr. John Lynskey hosted a special edition of his Looking Back with Lynskey Podcast this month with four alumni who are currently playing for Major League Baseball:  Jon Jay ‘03, Yency Almonte ‘12, Eddy Alvarez ‘08, and Bryan Garcia ’13.
March's Lunch n Learn Focused on The Korean War 
Mr. Lynskey’s popular Lunch n Learn Series was back in March with a new topic - the Korean War.  This series is offered during junior and senior lunches in the Lawrence Bell Center, mostly on Tuesdays.  It’s a great way to spend your lunch break.  Be on the look-out for announcements from Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta.
Congratulations ISSF STAR Students
Each year, the Independent Schools of South Florida (ISSF), recognizes outstanding students from its member schools. We are proud to announce that this year our Star Students are Marc Recuset (SAC President), Michael Ortiz (Senior Class President) and Eduardo Fernandez (SAC Vice President).  Congratulations!
Silver Knight Nominees Announced
The Columbus family wishes to congratulate our 13 Silver Knight Award Nominees, all whom have a banner with their picture hanging on the front gate of the school.  Their interviews will take place in April and the winners will be announced on the evening of May 20th during a virtual ceremony.  Our nominees are: Rodrigo Velazco (Athletics), Gilbert Navarro (Business), Ray Lozano (Digital & Interactive Media), Michael Bendixen (English & Literature), Lukas Bleichner (General Scholarship), Christopher Gomez (Journalism), Christopher de la Viesca (Mathematics), Joseph Bilbao (Music & Dance), Patrick Garcia (Science), Adrian Noy (Social Science), Noah Sastoque (Speech), Hansel Heres (Vocational Technical), Darrick Baboun (World Languages).  Good Luck Explorers!
Max Jacomino & Max Munoz Led a Successful Drive for “Buddies for Lotus”
Junior Mas Scholars Max Jacomino and Max Munoz held a hugely successful drive which collected over 16,000 diapers and 500 baby bottles for the Buddies for Lotus service organization to help homeless women and children.  We thank our Columbus family for being extremely generous.  The Buddies for Lotus volunteers said they had never received so many diapers and bottles. 
Class of 2021 Formal Events Announced
We were happy to announce the three formal events for our senior class. Prom (April 23, 7:30pm, CCHS Field), Baccalaureate Mass (April 28, 6:00pm, CCHS Field), and Graduation (May 22, 9:00am, Homestead-Miami Speedway.  By holding the events outdoors while enforcing mask wearing and social distancing, we are confident that each event will be celebrated in a safe environment which will not jeopardize the health and wellness of anyone in our school community.  In case you missed the graduation promo video, CLICK HERE to watch Principal Pugh make the announcement.    
Wrestling News:  Christian “Chip” Guzman Named State Champion
Team Finished in 9th  Place; Derrick Hart Placed 4th   
Congratulations to  our Wrestling Team which placed 9th out of 56 schools in the State Championship.   In the process, junior Christian “Chip” Guzman  became a state champion in the 108 lb. class and sophomore Derrick Hart placed 4th in the Hwt. Class.  Special thanks to Coach Husk, Coach Grant, and Coach Gonzalez.  
Cross Country Team Receives their Championship Rings
The Cross Country Team received their 2020 state championship rings at a special outdoor ceremony.  Coach DQ’s parents were presented with a ring since their late son Danny Quesade coached most of the players.  Thank you Coach Pino.

Campus Ministry Continues the Encounter Tradition
Following COVID-19 Columbus Protocol, juniors and seniors experienced Encounter during two separate retreats.   Thanks to Mr. Gonzalez, Br. Peter, Mrs. Reynaldo, Mr. Nuñez,  Ms. Rodriguez, and Mr. Baez.  President Kruczek participated in both Encounters by speaking to the students about who Jesus is in his life.
SAC and Campus Ministry Host Retreat and Field Day
Students gathered on campus for retreat and field day experiences hosted by SAC and Campus Ministry.  The classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 each met on campus during three different days to pray, share in small groups, and play field day games.  Thank you to all the administrators, faculty, and staff who served as small group retreat leaders and assisted with the activities.
Spanish Honor Society Induction
Congratulations to all the students who were inducted into the Spanish Honor Society.  Special thanks to Dr. Folch, Michael Bendixen, David Nader and Juan Ignacio Ramirez for their excellent work.
New Model UN Team Competes in its Inaugural Conference
Columbus has a new Model UN Team, thanks to the initiative of our students.  They participated in the  33rd Annual Model UN Conference at FIU this month and represented a variety of countries and historical figures.  It was an interesting three days of strategizing, debating, and consensus building. Our students received some fantastic positive feedback and were commended for doing well on their first ever competition. The students who attended the conference were:   Jan Andretta, Marcelo Andreu, Enrique Villamil, Nicolas Lavin, Nicholas Martinez, Eleazar Lopez-Contreras, and Mathew Calviño.   Thank you to moderators Mr. De Tuya and Mr. Hermedia.
Castaways Against Cancer Hosted Spike Ball and Soccer Tournament, Raised $6,000
The Castaways Against Cancer hosted a spike ball and soccer tournament giving students a great opportunity to get some exercise, see friends and raise money for cancer research.  Over $6000 was raised.  Thank you Mr. Pino and Mr. Corazon.
Debate Competed at Woodward Academy and Harvard Tournaments
The Debate Team attended two very tough and competitive tournaments this month; the Woodward Academy Debate (featured many National and Tournament of Champions contenders) and the Harvard Tournament (a large World Schools competition with 188 teams from around the globe).  We would like to recognize the following students who participated:  Nick Gonzalez, Alan Munschy, Gabriel Llerena, Jan Andretta, Gabriel Perez, Hans Bendixen, Marcelo Andreu, Ryan McMillan, Andres Paneque, Mathew Calviño, and Bruno Barreiro. Special thanks to Mr. De Tuya.
Drama Club Hosts Improv Shows
The talented Drama Club, under the direction of Mrs. McGrath performed their Improv show during several days.   Too Much Light Makes the Explorer Go Blind was a hit!  Thank you to everyone who attended.
Operation Coupon Raises Over $7,000 in Coupons for Troops Oversees
Dr. Burrus and the Patriot Club in collaboration with the Mas Family Program and Rho Kappa worked to collect manufacturer’s coupons for distribution to our troops overseas.  The idea for the effort came from brothers Dominic and Donato Scarcello.  Special thanks to Mrs. Call and to Kevin Morales who brought in $1000 worth of coupons alone.
Attorney Joe Zarzaur Spoke to Pre Law Club
Sophomore Ethan Centeno arranged for board certified trial lawyer Joe Zarzaur to speak to the Pre-Law Club. 
Antonio Varona’s Walkathon Banner Designs
We would like to thank senior Antonio Varona III for designing this year’s four Walk-a-Thon  banners representing the four houses (Castaways, Titans, Tigers, and Wild West).  They have given the front entrance a nice artistic flair.  
EMT Class Visits a Miami-Dade Rescue Station
Mr. Chica
went on a field trip with his new EMT class (Barry University partnership) to visit Miami Dade Fire Rescue Station 3. Our Explorers learned the ins and outs of a Fire Rescue station and got some great advice from Columbus alumni who help run the station. Thank you Chief Ralph Baena, firefighters Gonzo Garcia and Robert Ortega, and Barry University EMS Coordinator Marco Torres.
Guidance Department Shares Life Skills Your Son Should Know
As part of our guidance department’s school-wide Social Emotional Learning Initiative, we share with you the 24 Basic Life Skills that all high schoolers should be developing. We urge you to review the list and make sure your teen knows them all before graduation. CLICK HERE TO VIEW LIFE SKILLS YOUR SON SHOULD KNOW
Five Seniors Complete Externship at Banyan Health Systems
Seniors Lukas Bleichner, Joseph Packert, Daniel Armesto, Hansel Heres, and Alexander Gonzalez completed a pilot senior externship with Banyan Health Systems. Thank you to Banyan Health Systems CEO and President Vince Carrodeguas ‘80 and VP Manny Rodriguez II ‘85 for this amazing opportunity for our students! Special thanks to Mrs. Anderson.
A Third  Ring Ceremony
A final intimate ring ceremony was held at Brother Eugene Plaza for those students who were not able to attend the Junior Ring Mass in February.
Br. Dan O'Riordan Elected as Marist Brothers U.S Provincial
Br. Dan O'Riordan has been elected as the next provincial of the Marist Brothers’ United States Province,  beginning his duties in April.  Br. Dan has been a Marist Brother for over 29 years. After graduating from Archbishop Molloy High School in NY, he earned a BA from University College in Cork, Ireland, and an MA from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY.  He has served as a teacher, coach, counselor, development director, and campus minister at numerous Marist High Schools around the United States. He also served his USA Province as one of their Vocations Directors and spent the last six years as Vice Provincial.  He has coordinated more than one hundred mission service trips and has led numerous pilgrimages.   He continues to be a featured speaker on youth retreats and youth gatherings, where he encourages young people to find ways to answer God’s call and use their gifts and talents to respond to the many needs of our world.
Christopher de la Viesca Wins the National Merit $2500 Scholarship. 
Congratulations to senior Christopher de la Viesca who was selected as a winner of a $2,500 National Merit Scholarship.
Dustin Vinas Signs Football Scholarship With Stetson University
We would like to congratulate senior Dustin Vinas for signing to play 
football at Stetson University.  We hosted a small celebration for him and his family this month.
“The Jacket Collection”  Exclusively Available at Br. Kevin's Store
The limited edition and officially licensed collection is only available on campus at Br. Kevin Store.

6/14:                  Summer School Begins
7/2:                    Last Day of Summer School
8/9:                    New Parent Meeting (A-L, 6:00, Cafe)
8/10:                  New Parent Meeting (M-Z, 6:00, Cafe)
8/14:                  New Parent Cocktail (6:30, Café)
8/17:                  Freshmen Orientation (7:45am – 12:30pm)
8/18:                  Senior Orientation (7:45am – 11:00am)
8/19:                  Junior Orientation (7:45am – 11:00am)
8/20:                  Sophomore Orientation (7:45am – 11:00am)
8/23:                  First Full Day of School
8/25:                  Picture Day

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.