Christopher Columbus High School

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

May / June Principal's Newsletter 2020

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

I want to thank the entire school community once again for all the prayers, and tremendous amount of support I received since testing positive for COVID-19.  I am still progressing in isolation at home, feeling better every day. I am looking forward to returning soon, but thanks to our technology, I have been able to meet daily with our Administration as we continue to make preparations for the 2020-2021 school year. 

All things are being considered, and all decisions will be made in the best interest of our entire school community. I am confident that our decisions will reflect the information we have received from other school districts, healthcare professionals, local government leaders, as well as national recommendations from the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. One thing is certain, there will be an emphasis on education, communication, and expectations. Our situation remains fluid and is always subject to change, so it will be important to remain flexible, with the understanding that we may need to transition from one platform to the next at any given time. 
We look forward to sharing this information with you in early August. Until then, continue to explore our website and social media outlets throughout the month of July.  Enjoy the summer break, practice the guidelines provided by the CDC and respect the health and safety of others. We will do this, but we must work together, and we have to remain disciplined in our actions! 
Historic Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2020
Instead of walking across a stage, the class of 2020 drove across the finish line at Homestead Miami Speedway to receive their diplomas through their car windows. Beeping horns replaced applause. It was an amazing ceremony with many memorable moments like the solo electric guitar version of the National Anthem played by Joey Rodriguez, the aerial congrats banner flying overhead, and the inspiring invocation and speeches given by school leaders and class members Michael Berry, Alejandro Quevedo and Jared Coleman.   The class and their families took it all in while watching from their vehicles and listening to the simulcast on the radio . To close the ceremony, the graduates stepped out of their cars to throw their caps in the air before taking their last victory lap, as school administrators and faculty bid them farewell. WATCH VIDEO RECAP   VIEW PICTURES   VIEW LIVESTREAM
Virtual Graduation Celebration & Baccalaureate Mass
Although an in-person graduation ceremony was always planned for, we still wanted to celebrate the class of 2020 on their original graduation day. This is why we streamed a virtual graduation celebration on May 23rd where administrators announced the names of all 390 graduates while their pictures were featured.  As is the tradition, on the Thursday before the virtual graduation, the Baccalaureate Mass took place, also virtually. The Mass was officiated by Fr. Alejandro Rodríguez Artola ’81, Pastor at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church.   Both virtual presentations were streamed on Columbus’ social media channels.  Special thanks to Mr. Delgado and Mrs. Marti.  VIEW GRADUATION CELEBRATION     VIEW BACCALAUREATE MASS
Mask-arade Prom
On May 15th, Mask-arade Prom was celebrated as families hosted Prom for their seniors in their own homes. It was a fun opportunity that allowed for social distancing, yet a connection was felt via social media. 
Virtual Summer School
Our first-ever virtual summer school was a wonderful intensive learning experience.  Through online platforms, our students in need of credit recovery as well as those wanting to take advanced classes to enrich their learning, were able to continue instruction. We deeply appreciate our dedicated team of passionate and talented educators, who are always prepared to teach with high standards, regardless of the learning environment.  Congratulations to all the students who successfully completed their summer courses! Special thanks to co-directors Dr. Vila and Mrs. Rams-Foyo. 
Columbus Remains a Top High School in the Silver Knight Competition
Four Explorers Receive Awards at the Virtual Ceremony
For the 7th year in a row, Columbus has remained at the top for high schools in Miami-Dade County winning Silver Knight Awards (16 Silver Knights and 14 Honorable Mentions won since 2013). At the 2020 Virtual Ceremony, Silver Knights were won by Lukas Guerra (Digital Media) and Alejandro Morles (Mathematics). Two additional Explorers won Honorable Mentions, Patrick Silva (Athletics) and Marcel van Hemert (Social Science). The Columbus family is extremely proud of all of this year’s nominees. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cibran, Mrs. Chomat, Mr. Corazon, Mr. Martinez, Mrs. Call and Mrs. Amador who were instrumental in helping prepare their applications and with the interview process.  To learn more about this year's winners CLICK HERE.
Miami Herald All-Dade Sports Awards:  CCHS Wins Boys Major Sports Award; Athlete of the Year; and Coach of the Year for Bowling, Football & Golf
The virtual ceremony honored the top athletes and coaches for their achievements during the 2019-20 fall and winter seasons. Columbus once again won the All-Dade Boys Major Sports Award for a 7th time in 10 years. Running back and track star Henry Parrish was named the 7A-5A Boys Athlete of the Year while Adam Scholer ’81, Dave Dunn, and Mike Marinelli ’03, were all named Coach of the Year for their respective sports (bowling, football and golf).
CCNN Live Wins Record 10 NATAS Student Production Awards
During the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Student Production Awards Virtual Ceremony, CCNN Live learned that they won 10 awards, the most ever for CCNN Live, or for any high school nominated. Congratulations to all the winners and to Mr. Delgado, Mrs. Insua, and Mr. Diaz.   The winning entries were:  High School Serious News: Trends in CBD, Light News: The Hills' Second Act, Public Affairs Reporting: Grumen cuts for the homeless, Sports Program: The Ship, Sports Feature Segment: Bowler triumphs over adversity, Short Form Non-fiction: Sabores de Espana (Juan Pablo Garcia-Casals),  Best Director: SPOTTERS (Kevin Reyes), Best Editor: SPOTTERS (Kevin Reyes & David A. Perez), Talent Demo Reel: (Marcus Callegari, Christopher Gomez)
Nine Explorers Graduate as STEM Innovators
We congratulate the nine Explorers who graduated with the distinction of STEM Innovator. These innovators have excelled beyond the classroom through competitions and community outreach. Special thanks to Ms. Taylor for all her help in developing this program.
15 Students Become Marist Youth Leaders for 2020-21 School Year
We are pleased to announce that 15 Explorers have accepted the invitation to serve as the leaders of Marist Youth for the 2020-21 school year.  We are very grateful for their powerful example of knowing and loving Jesus, and for their many hours of dedicated service to our faith community.  Thank you Mr. Gonzalez, Br. Tom, and Br. Michael.

FBLA Students Place at State Virtual Competition
With the club's state competition cancelled the day the team was ready to board the bus and head to Orlando, FBLA decided to hold a virtual competition with over 7,000 students competing in 60 categories. We are proud to announce the following students placed in their respected categories and have qualified to compete in the Virtual National Competition. 
Accounting 1 - Andres Miranda (5th Place)
Agribusiness - Adolfo Anzola (2nd Place)
Insurance and Risk Management - Alessio Amor (4th Place)
Entrepreneurship Team - Dominic Alberty, Fabrizio Cisternino, and Alexander Perez – (3rd Place)
Campus Ministry Facilitates End Of The Year Class Retreats 
Campus Ministry Leaders facilitated End of the Year Class Retreats on Zoom for Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, and Freshman. Thanks to Mrs. Alegret, Br. Michael, Mr. Emmanuel González, Mr. Isenberg, Br. Kevin, Br. Tom, Mr. Larrubia, and Mr. Albert Rodriguez.
Step Up Rising Star Award Winners
We are very proud of this year’s Step Up For Student’s Rising Star Award winners. The High Achieving Student Awards went to Jorge Gonzalez and Alejandro Morles. The Outstanding Student Character Awards went to Josep Amiguet and Waquel Jones. The Turnaround Student Award went to William Rivera while Mr. Juan Moscoso received the Exceptional Teacher Award.  Special thanks to Mrs. Martinez. 
Congratulations to all!
State Champion Football Players Received their Rings
The 2019 state champion football coaching staff distributed the long-awaited championship rings to all the players.

Wear them with pride gentlemen!
A Special Gift for our Football Coach and Athletic Director
Former Columbus football player Marcus Rivero ‘02 (Soles by Sir), presented Athletic Director Chris McKeon and Head Football Coach Dave Dunn with custom cleats commemorating the 2019 state championship win.  The hand-painted cleats include the initials of every player and first name of every coach. Alex Quevedo ’86 of Performance Team Sports donated the cleats and was an integral part of the planning with the help of Danny Martinez ‘89.
SAC Board is Elected - Marc Recuset & Edi Fernandez Become President/VP
After a digital SAC election, the following young men will serve Columbus with leadership roles within SAC. Marc Recuset (SAC President), Edi Fernandez (SAC Vice President), Justin Aguiar (SAC Secretary), Michael Oritz (Senior Class President), Edward Claughton (Senior Class Vice President), Don Darcangelo (Junior Class President), Jarek Planck (Junior Class Vice President), Derrick Hart (Sophomore Class President), Konnor Mann (Sophomore Class Vice President).  Thank you Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell.
Castaways Against Cancer Complete their 21st Annual Tour
The Explorer led Castaways Against Cancer again teamed up with the Sebastian Strong Foundation for their 21st annual - 2020 Perfect Vision Tour. The Castaways and SebastianStrong Foundation have collectively raised over $2.3 million supporting cancer research. The Columbus family is so proud of all the faculty members and alumni who participated and led the fundraising efforts: Steve O’Brien, Patrick Linfors, Eric Pino, Jose Mendoza, Paul Kumer, Oscar Ortiz, Jaime Lemus, Rick Pelegrin and Adam Scholer.  
Freshman Also Received Yard Signs
The Class of 2020 wasn’t the only class that received signs to proudly display on their lawns. The incoming freshman all received “A Future Explorer Lives Here” sign.  CPride!
College Admissions & Financial Aid Virtual Town Hall
The Columbus Guidance Department hosted admissions professionals from various universities, both local and out-of-state. Representatives from the following colleges participated: Barry University, The University of Alabama, University of Michigan, Florida State University, Ohio State University, Sacred Heart University, Florida International University, and Vanderbilt University. Special thanks to Ms. Vinson for moderating. View Video 
Externship Webinars:  Careers in Finance and Marketing
The Externship & Internship Program hosted two virtual events in its Digital Speaker Series.  Alumni and finance professionals Eric Evans '09 and Nick Anderson '14 were the featured panelists in the Careers in Finance Webinar while Kevin Testa ’95 (Managing Partner for Grain & Barrel Spirits) led the Careers in Sales and Marketing Webinar - View Video.  Thank you to these dedicated alumni for sharing their experiences and advice with our Explorer community.  Special thanks to Mrs. Anderson for moderating.
Patrick Valerius Featured on CBS4 Miami
CBS4 aired a Senior Spotlight on the Class of 2020’s Patrick Valerius. Patrick gave an excellent interview and represented Columbus well. Thank you for making us proud Patrick! WATCH INTERVIEW
Max Vilar Received The Miami Touchdown Club’s Scholar Athlete Award
The Miami Touchdown Club, a local chapter of the National Football Foundation, presented its annual Touchdown Club Scholar Athlete Award to Max Vilar in front of his family and members of the Columbus administration and faculty at Arbetter’s Hot Dogs. Congratulations to Max for being an exceptional student athlete. The NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete award is among the most prestigious high school awards in the country.  VIEW HERALD ARTICLE
Retiring & Relocating Faculty Members – We will Miss you!
We express our deep appreciation to the four faculty members who are leaving Columbus after many years of faithful service to our students and colleagues. Mr. Juan Moscoso and Mr. Randall Martinez will be relocating with their families to Arizona and Orlando, respectively. Ms. Joyce Meadow and Mr. Fred Panzer are retiring.   We wish them all well in their new endeavors.
CCHS Branded Masks & Gaiters on Sale
CCHS branded face masks and neck gaiters are now available at our online store. All proceeds from mask sales will benefit Columbus families in need as a result of unexpected financial hardship resulting from COVID-19. CLICK HERE to purchase your branded mask.
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.