Christopher Columbus High School

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

May 2018 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

The end of a school year can be exciting, exhausting, and sometimes filled with anxiety. For our seniors, it is a time to celebrate graduation, reminisce for a moment, and make final preparations for college. The undergraduates may use this time to prepare for finals, reflect on achievements, and work on an improvement plan for the next school year. Decisions must be made to attend summer school, apply for an internship, work, or simply read and relax while enjoying free time. Whatever you decide, it should be thoroughly planned out and executed.  Be safe and enjoy.
While it was a challenging year at times, we did it! We survived Hurricane Irma, adjusted to a new school schedule, and we felt the effects of the senseless and tragic shooting in Parkland. I want to thank our teachers who were resilient. They made the best out of some difficult situations and they did it with love and compassion for our young men and this great school.   I would also like to thank our parents, who trusted us and continued to support us at all times. For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37).  Have a wonderful summer!  
The Importance of Setting Goals
There is a wonderful quote from Jim Rohn which I used in a graduation speech two years ago. I always thought it was appropriate, given the fact that we are Explorers. He said, “The same wind blows on us all, the winds of disaster, opportunity, and change. Therefore, it is not the blowing of the wind, but the setting of the sails that will determine our direction in life.”  The most important benefit of setting goals isn’t achieving your goal; it’s what you do and the person you become in order to achieve your goal that’s the real benefit. Goal setting is powerful because it provides focus. It shapes our dreams. It gives us the ability to hone in on the exact actions we need to perform to achieve everything we desire in life. Goals cause us to stretch and grow in ways that we never have before. In order to reach our goals, we must become better. I hope you enjoy this article on setting powerful goals.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018!
It has been my pleasure to have served you as Principal. Remember, as proud and distinguished alumni, you continue to represent Christopher Columbus High School. Do your very best, make good decisions, and continue to make us proud. Don’t ever forget who you are and where you came from. Don’t look back.  Our motto is to move onward. Adelante!  
Thank you to Ms. Vinson and the entire guidance department for your hard work in counseling our students and preparing them to reach their college goals while administering over 1,400 AP exams in two weeks.  Our seniors were awarded over $9 million in scholarships and completed over 70,000 hours of community service.  The senior class was accepted into and will attend our nation's ivy league and top universities - See Listing. 
Kudos to the Valedictorian & Salutatorian
Special congratulations to the Class of 2018’s valedictorian, Stefan Hengartner, who will be attending the University of Florida's Honors College and salutatorian, Diego Ramos, who will be attending The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Building on Our Legacy of Success in the Silver Knight Competition 
Congratulations to our 2018 Silver Knight winners: Christopher Ahrendt (Journalism) and Antonio Castellanos (Digital Interactive Media), Honorable Mentions Gonzalo Londono (Drama) and Angel Perez-Castaneda (World Languages). With the addition of this year’s winners, our school continues to lead Miami-Dade County in this prestigious competition (14 won in the last 5 years and 22 in total). Thank you for exemplifying what it means to be Marist by challenging, inspiring, and most importantly serving.  Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Silver Knight Coordinator, and Mrs. Cibran.
STEM Club Placed 2nd at Kennedy Space Center's Innovation Challenge
In a competition that lasted six months against 700 teams from around the world, the Columbus team was selected as one of the 25 finalists and won the Power Pitch Award, the second highest honor in the Cyber-Technology & Security Challenge Category at the Conrad Challenge Innovation Summit.   Congratulations to Jesus Capo, Chris Perez and Alex Cordero and special thanks to moderator Mr. Rodriguez.
Focus on Security & Changes to Dress Code
Next year we will continue to focus on safety and security for our entire school community.  Doors and locks will be replaced.  We will continue to have a Miami Dade police officer on campus from 7:30 am – 5:00 pm and train our faculty and students for emergency situations.   Some additional changes to the attire will be made including the prohibition of hoodies. No hoodies of any kind will be permitted next school year. It will be strictly enforced!
Honor Roll Assemblies
We held the 9th, 10th, and 11th grade honor roll and educational assemblies which recognize our most improved students.  Thank you to our administration and guidance department. 
Achievement Breakfast
Over 150 students were recognized for their outstanding academic achievements and service to our community at our last achievement breakfast of the year.  Rafael Rodriguez received an Honorary Junior Book Award. 
Angler’s Club Visited the Rick Murphy Insider Fishing Show
Coach Dukes and 20 members of the Anglers Club visited the Captain Rick Murphy Florida Insider Fishing Report Show at their studio. They toured the facility and were part of their live audience. Earlier in the month, the Anglers Club assisted St. Thomas the Apostle School with their annual Fishing Tournament, helping young children to fish.
Young Explorers of Art Club Visited Anhinga Clay Studios
Mr. Santa-Maria took the Young Explorers of Art on a field trip to Anhinga Clay Studios.  The students learned how to create pottery out of clay. Ceramicist Gus Miranda demonstrated how to use the wheel to create the vessels and each student made three bowls.
Blood Drive Success Results in $3,500 in Scholarship Money 
Congratulations to Mrs. Cofresi and the National Honors Society members who coordinated another successful Blood Drive. Due to their efforts, Columbus received a trophy and $3,500 in scholarship money from the OneBlood organization for being the private school that collected the most pints of blood in Dade County. Senior Diego Ramos won Student Coordinator for Miami-Dade County. Pictured with Mrs. Cofresi are the NHS executive committee members Enrique Ribas, Jorge Leonard, Diego Ramos, Xavier Caso, and Angel Toro.
Thomas Packert & Andres Frazzetta Won 2nd Place at Fairchild Challenge 
Thomas Packert
and Andres Frazzetta placed 2nd at the Fairchild Challenge for their Green Cuisine entry using NASA’s Grow Beyond the Earth veggies. They used radishes to create a dish that could be grown, made and eaten in space.  The “Rad” Dish: Thai Style" was a hit for astronauts looking for crunch and spicy when in zero gravity.  Our school won a Bronze Award and $500.  Thank you to Ms. Taylor for your leadership in environmental sciences.  
Clyde Dozier & Xavier Caso  - Winners of  Voice of Democracy Contest 
Congratulations to Clyde Dozier and Xavier Caso for winning first and second place, respectively, in the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Voice of Democracy Essay and Speech Contest.  Thank you to Ms. McCullagh for coordinating. 
Students Honored by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Julian Alexander
was presented with a Congressional Recognition Award by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. The following students were also honored for being Columbus' most improved students: Julian Alexander, Lukas Guerra, Nicolas Febres, and Robert Puig.
Noah Defauwes Won the French Embassy’s Special Jury Prize
Noah Defauwes has won the French Embassy’s Francophonie French Language Contest’s Special Jury Prize for his French poem.  The theme was The Francophonie in the Caribbean and the “Tout-Monde.”  He is pictured with Columbus French teacher Mrs. Pugh. 

Explorers Honored at Miami Herald's All-Dade  Breakfast
Eighteen Explorers were honored by the Miami Herald at their annual All-Dade Breakfast. Senior baseball and football standout Anthony Arguelles won the Pitcher of the Year award and head coaches Fred Foyo (Track & Field) and Michael Marinelli (Golf) were recognized as Coaches of the Year for their respective sports. Senior Sharif Amastha (golf) was named a finalist for Scholar Athlete as was Arguelles for Male Athlete of the Year. Congratulations to all the Explorers who were honored at the event: Football: Jeramy Passmore, Robert Crockett, Luis Cristobal, Henry Parrish; Golf: Sharif Amastha/Roberto Nieves; Cross Country: Deshay Fernandes; Bowling: Giancarlo Perez; Wrestling: Henry Fernandez; Soccer: Eduardo Cardonne/Trent Lima; Baseball: Christopher Bohrer/Anthony Arguelles; Track & Field: Gary Cooper/Tyler Harrel/Henry Parish/Courtney Holmes/Cameron Daniel
Track Team Won State Championship
Congratulations to Coach Foyo and our Class 4A Track & Field State Championship team. All the hard work and dedication paid off for this amazing group of Explorers!
Varsity Baseball Had an Outstanding Season, Made it to States!
The varsity baseball team won the GMAC, District, and Regional Finals, and made it all the way to the Class 9A State Semifinal game in Fort Meyers where they lost to Jupiter High School.

The Business Club Visits U.S. Century Bank
The Business Club recently had the opportunity to spend a day with the management staff of US Century Bank, hosted by the President and alumnus Luis de la Aguilera. Thank you Mr. Corazon.
Great Heights Academy Visit
Great Heights Academy, a school that services children with disabilities, visited Columbus and we all had a wonderful time!  Thank you Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas and Mrs. Martinez for organizing this special day.
Students Participate in Marist Youth Gathering in New York
A delegation of Columbus students participated in the Marist Youth gathering in New York, along with students from Marist schools from around the world.   As a family, they focused on how to live out a Marist life every day.  Thank you to Mr. Gonzalez and the entire campus ministry team for all the events and activies that they coordiante throughout the year. 
Patriot Club Helps Homeless Veterans
The Patriot Club collected and donated household items to homeless veterans who were provided with  housing. Rho Kappa students also wrote thank you letters which were presented to them with the items. VIEW NBC-6 COVERAGE HERE. Thank you Dr. Burrus, Ms. McCullagh and all involved.  
Explorers Writing Books For Children
Students in Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas’ English classes have become authors, writing and illustrating books for children as a class project. The books will be donated to a special needs PreK Program.
Florida Representative Daniel Perez Visits Columbus
We thank Florida Representative and Columbus alum, Daniel Perez '05 for visiting Columbus and speaking to  several of our social studies classes.
Guido Samanez’s “Feed the Kids” Food Drive Underway
Guido Samanez's
service project, the Feed the Kids  food drive,  is underway and he is asking for donations. The junior is hoping to have all donations in by June 9th to deliver to an impoverished neighborhood in Homestead where many kids rely on school meals. Please consider donating non-perishable items like, canned goods, peanut butter, fruit snacks, parmalat milk, cookies, juice boxes, mac and cheese, etc...  Please deliver items to the main office.
Robert Crockett Featured in redefineED Article
Senior Robert Crockett was profiled in an article for the redefineED publication for being a successful student at Columbus.  Robert will be attending Dartmouth University to play football and study pre-med.  VIEW ARTICLE HERE
Senior Chris Ahrendt Won the 2018 NATAS Randy Falco $10,000 Scholarship
Senior Chris Ahrendt won The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Randy Falco ($10,000) Scholarship, awarded to a Hispanic or Latino student pursuing a career in any aspect of the television industry.  He will be attending Florida State University.
Gregory Mesa Receives Scholarships from SebastianStrong & St. John Neumann Men's Club
Senior Gregory Mesa was honored by both the SebastianStrong Foundation and the St. John Neumann Men's Club for his outstanding academic performance and service to our community.  Both organizations awarded him with scholarship money.  SebastianStrong gave him their first annual Science & Technology Scholarship for his "heartfelt and passionate" drive to be part of the medical field.  Gregory plans to concentrate his efforts in the area of targeted immunity with special attention to children.  He is heading to Dartmouth University to pursue his studies.   
Mr. Rodriguez Gave Presentation at the Museum of Discovery of Science
Columbus' Pre-Engineering Teacher and STEM Club Moderator, Mr. Armando Rodriguez, was the featured speaker at the Museum of Discovery of Science in Ft. Lauderdale. His presentation, Into the Heart of Mars, coincided with NASA's launch to Mars on May 5th and focused on the past, present, and future of Mars exploration.   He also spoke at several Miami-Dade public libraries and the University of Miami on the subject.   Mr. Rodriguez is a Solar System Ambassador and volunteer spokesperson for NASA.   
Summer School Runs From June 12 – July 2nd
Registration – June 11th
Summer 2018 Required Assignments
A listing of all the required assignments has been posted on the school website under "Student Life."  To view listing - CLICK HERE
Summer Office Hours:
June 12 – July 5 (7:00am – 4:00pm)
July 11 – July 31 (8:00 – 2:00pm)
Beginning August 1st (7:00am – 4:00pm)


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 Cognia and is a member of the Marist Association of Secondary schools, the National Catholic Education Association and the Independent Schools of South Florida.