Christopher Columbus High School

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

November 2018 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

A Time for Thanksgiving

This month we give thanks for those individuals in our lives who continue to sacrifice for our own happiness. We show our appreciation by doing something good for one another. It should be a selfless time of year, one in which we help those in need. It makes me proud to know that our young men participate in activities that embody our Marist mission. Together, faculty and students made sandwiches for the poor, collected turkeys for Thanksgiving, and provided food and gift certificates to over 50 families in our South Florida community. On Veteran's Day, we gave thanks to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom while recognizing those individuals who continue to serve our great Country.  We welcomed our friends from Great Heights Academy for a special day of fun and activities. We were even able to show our appreciation in a special way for Brother Eugene, as we celebrated his 90th birthday!  
This is a special place, a giving place, a compassionate place…. and for that, I am thankful!
Turkey Drive Collects Over 400 Turkeys 
Campus Ministry student leaders, led by Daniel Barrenechea, '19, Paul Signori, '19, and the Spanish Honor Society coordinated the Annual Turkey Drive. Miami-Dade and City of Opa Locka Police Departments distributed the turkeys. Thank you Columbus Family!  With your help, 402 families were able to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.  Special thanks to Mr. Gonzalez and Br. Eladio.
Feed The Hungry Club Organized Sandwich Making
Br. John and the newly formed Feed The Hungry Club, with the help of students and faculty, made 250 sandwiches which were delivered to the Overtown Community Center.       
The Squires’ Food Collection & Delivery
The Squires were also able to collect and deliver food and gift certificates to 56 needy families from St. Brendan Church, St. James Church and to Saint John the Baptist Mission.  Special thanks to Br. Eladio who organized this service project with the help of Mr. Hill, Mr. Staiano, the Knights of Columbus, the Cuban Alumni Association, Rho Kappa, Key Club and our parents and friends.   

Honoring our Veterans
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we held a special ceremony at our Patriot Plaza to recognize all the Columbus alumni who have served in our armed forces. U.S. Navy Commander, Manuel J. Pardo ’96, gave the key note address. Special thanks to Michael Carriarte ’59 and his family whose support has made our Patriot Plaza and Veteran’s Day events possible. Thank you also to the Patriot Club, led by Dr. Burrus.

Sharing What We Are Thankful For
Members of the Columbus family wrote messages about what they are thankful for and these messages were offered at our Thanksgiving Day Prayer Service.  Thank you, Mr. Garcia-Casals. Also, after the service Mrs. Aycart’s classes shared what they are thankful for with each other.

Br. Eugene Turned 90!
On November 15th, we gathered to celebrate Br. Eugene's 90th birthday at Br. Eugene Plaza!  Our school community is so thankful for the presence and support of Br. Eugene on campus. He has served as a Marist Brother for over 70 years and has served Columbus for over 50 of those years and he is still going strong.  May God bless you Br. Eugene!      
Football Going to State Championship Game
The Explorers defeated Deerfield Beach in the Class 8A State Semi-Final Game on November 30th, 49-21. With this win, the Explorers have advanced to the state championship game for the fourth time in school history.  Congratulations to Coach Merritt and the entire team.  The big game will be held on December 8th at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Tickets can be purchased via Ticketmaster and the game will be live streamed on Boxcast.TV. To read more about the semi-final game,  VIEW HERALD ARTICLE HERE.
Cross Country Finished 8th at States
The Cross-Country team, led by Malcolm Brown and Kevin Ker Jean, finished the year with an 8th place finish at the State Meet.  Anthony Bergnes also gave a stellar performance.   The Hellions were the best placed team out of Dade County in the 4A race.  Congratulations to Coach Pino and the entire team. 
Gabriel Velazquez Advanced to State Championship in Swimming
Gabriel Velazquez represented Columbus at FHSAA Swimming State Championship where he advanced to the state championship in the 100-yard Butterfly. Congratulations to Gabriel who achieved one of his goals of making it to the state meet and thank you to Coach Dukes.
No Shave November Benefitted Male Cancer Awareness
Thank you to all the students who participated in No Shave November,
a national effort which aims to grow cancer awareness by embracing and growing our hair, which many cancer patients lose.  The winners of our No Shave Contest were Orlando Diaz (1st Place) and Daniel Roque (2nd Place).
Basketball Teams are Undefeated
The Varsity, JV, and Freshman teams had a great start of the season and are all currently undefeated.  Keep up the good work Explorers!
Intramural Basketball Champions
Congratulations to our Intramural Basketball Champions: 11th/12 Grade Champions: Triple Threat (Anthony Rivada, Sean Serrano and Anthony Rodriguez-Mira); 9th/10th Grade Champions: Big Boys (Marcelo Andrew, Pedro Cangas and Matthew Barinaga).
Thank you to moderator Mr. Moritz.
Principal’s Achievement Breakfast
Through the Principal’s Achievement Breakfast, we recognized those students that achieved great academic success, led clubs and activities, and provided exceptional community service.  Congratulations to all the outstanding students who received awards.

Freshman and Sophomore Honors Assemblies
At the Freshman and Sophomore Honors Assemblies, we also recognized those students on the Principal’s List and those who received first and second honors. Thank you to our guidance department for being on hand to discuss college preparation and course rigor.
Robotics Wins Tournament Championship for the 2nd Time This Year
The Robotics Team once again came home as tournament champions. This time, the team added 3 more robots to the competition. Two of their four robots made it to the finals to compete against each other. Congratulations to: Daniel Saez, Gabriel Paz, Daniel Luna, Caden Serrato, Simon Cura, Nicholas Elgarresta, Charles Shelton, Adrian Barbosa, Aiden Kennedy, and Lawrence Henriques. Earlier in the month, the team competed at the
Orange Bowl VEX Competition where they finished first heading into the playoffs and made it to the semi-finals rounds. Thank you Mr. Larrubia and Mr. Rodriguez for all their hard work preparing our students in the area of STEM.
Coding Club Placed in Top 5 in Programming Series
The Coding Club placed in the top 5 (among 40 teams) in a FHSPS Florida High School Programming Series. Congratulations to David Perez and Justin Parrando as well as moderator Mr. Larrubia.
83 Explorers Received the Sacrament of Confirmation
On November 6th, Auxiliary Bishop Enrique Delgado celebrated the sacrament of Confirmation at a beautiful liturgy held at St. Brendan Church. He confirmed 83 Columbus students who were ready to receive the fullness of Christian initiation. Catechists, Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Rayneri, Mr. Croke, Mr. Rodriguez and Mrs. Alegret have been mentoring our young men since the beginning of the school year.
Retreat Experiences
Juniors and Seniors went on the Encounter Retreat while the Freshmen participated in the Kerygma Retreat. Thank you to our Campus Ministry Team (Mr. Gonzalez, Br. Brady, Br. Tom and Mrs. Alegret), the many Campus Ministry student leaders, as well as Ms. Reynaldo, Mr. Isenberg, Mr. Fallon, Mr. Staiano, Mr. Diaz.
The Anglers Club Held Their Annual Fishing Trip
The Anglers Club members headed south to Islamorada for their annual fishing trip at Bud N’ Mary’s Marina aboard the Miss Islamorada. They caught many types of fish which they brought home for their families to feast on. Thank you Mr. Dukes.
Blood Drive Collected 67 Pints – 201 Lives Saved!
The Fall Blood Drive, in partnership with the Oneblood organization, was able to collect 67 pints of blood which has the potential to save 201 lives. Students, faculty and staff participated. Thank you to Mrs. Cofresi and Mrs. Pugh who helped organize the endeavor.
The next blood drive will take place on March 22, 2019 and the entire Columbus community is welcome to participate.
The Drama Club’s Polar Twilight Production Scores Excellent
The Drama Club received a score of Excellent on their show Polar Twilight at the District Competition. Luis Vergara won the coveted All-Star Cast Award for his flawless comedic performance. Congratulations to the troupe and to moderator Mrs. McGrath.
Guest Speakers Visit Mr. Corazon’s Leadership Class
Adrian Alfonso ’98 (CPA and Partner with Kaufman Rossin) and Danny Martinez ’89 (Executive Vice President with Professional Bank) spoke to Mr. Corazon’s Business Leadership Class.  They spoke about leadership styles and their own life-stories.  

Business Club Participated in FIU’s Business Pitch Summit
Members of the CCHS Business Club attended a business pitch summit at FIU where they were paired with students from other local schools. Their topic was: how do bring the internet to every citizen of the world. The team of Leonardo Cruz placed 3rd out of 66 teams. Congratulations to the following students: Andrew Castro, Sean Buechele, Alec Faraldo, Daniel Rodriguez, Dean Tapia, Marco Trillo, Manuel Gaunaurd, Leonardo Cruz, Justin Frias, Andres Celis, Andres Miranda, David Febles, and Konstantino Dimitrakis. Thank you to moderator Mr. Corazon.
Band Played at the Miami Beach Veteran’s Day Parade 
The CCHS  Band performed at the Miami Beach Veteran’s Day Parade. VIEW VIDEO HERE.  Thank you to Music Director Mr. Cooper and to CCHS parents John Aleman (Miami Beach Commissioner) and JB Aleman ’84 for helping to making the performance possible. The Band also made appearances at the Columbus vs. Gables Football Playoff Game, the St. Timothy Fair, and at Arbetter’s for the annual Dr. Burrus Day.
Columbus Innovation Group Hosted FIU’s CIO, Robert Grillo
Our new Columbus Innovation Group held their kickoff event which was attended by students, alumni, and faculty. Robert Grillo ‘87, Vice President & Chief Information Officer for Florida International University, gave the key note address. The group hopes to offer many more events in the future, all with the goal of growing the network of Columbus IT professionals. 
Pre-Law Club Visited the Courts
Br. John and the Pre-Law Club once again visited the court of Judge Joe Fernandez ’81 to learn about our criminal justice system in Miami-Dade County. Special thanks to Dr. Burrus.
Pre-Med Club Hosted Dr. Julio Rodriguez ‘87
The Pre-Med Club hosted Dr. Julio Rodriguez ’87 of Dental Arts of Sunset.  His insights for college and career paths were invaluable for our Explorers.
French Club Bake Sale
Mrs. Pugh and the French Club held a French pastry bake sale in benefit of Haitian fundraising projects. Also, students in French 1 made some delicious "Croque-Monsieur.”
Columbus Science Fair
All sophomore and junior students in honors science classes presented their science fair projects at the annual Columbus Science Fair. The projects of the following students were selected to compete in the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair: Pablo Martinez, Tyler Serrato, Manny Modrono, Ryan Iglesias, Marco Navarro, Sebastian Vergara, Jesus Capo, and Chris de la Viesca. Thank you to Science Department Chair, Mrs. Sanchez.
CCNN Live’s David Perez Named Young Arts Finalist
Congratulations are in order for CCNN Live's David Perez for being named a Young Arts 2019 Finalist in Cinematic Arts. The Young Arts Competition is open to students from across the United States. The winners receive financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors.
Columbus Hosts the Children of Great Heights Academy
Columbus students hosted a day of learning and fun for the children of Great Heights Academy, a school which serves students with intellectual and development disabilities.   It was a great day for everyone involved.  Special thanks to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas for organizing the event. 

Students Attend Mid-Atlantic College Tour
Forty-four of our Mas Program students had the opportunity to attend the five-day Mid Atlantic College Tour, visiting 11 colleges in the DC, Virginia and North Carolina areas. The Explorers witnessed the changing of the guard at Arlington Cemetery on Veterans Day and various other DC area memorials. They also met with two university presidents and various alums attending universities like Georgetown, Catholic University, University of Virginia, Wake Forrest, Duke, and UNC Chapel Hill. Special thanks to the members of our guidance department who chaperoned the trip: Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cibran, Ms. Vinson, and Mr. Nunez.
Columbus on Display at Open House
At Open House, we showcased our programs and facilities in an impressive way to the hundreds of students and their families in attendance.  The families were shown our NEW OPEN HOUSE VIDEO before they took the tour of campus.  We thank our students, faculty &  staff, parents and alumni for coming together to make it a spectacular day.  Special thanks to our Admissions Director, Mr. Marinelli, for coordinating the event and to Jose Mas '89 who spoke to the audience about how much Columbus means to him and his family.
Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s Honors Columbus on House Floor
In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of our school, Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s honored Columbus on the House Floor. View video of her remarks here.
Stay Informed
Parents, we appreciate you and it goes far beyond your financial obligation. Supporting our activities and programs is instrumental in the development of our young men. I encourage communication and acknowledge that a team effort is vital to maintain the safety and success of young adults in today’s society. While his desire for independence is normal, he still needs your guidance and direction to make good decisions. Talk to him about his day, his interests, and his aspirations. Encourage him to set attainable goals and then provide him the resources to make it happen. If you have questions and/or concerns, do not be afraid to reach out to his teachers, counselors, and administrators. Stay informed!
Vapor Use is a National Epidemic - New Devices Are on the Market - Be Aware
New vaping devices such as “the STIG” are being introduced to children in our South Florida Community. Vapor use is a National epidemic in our Country and has risen over 600% in the last year. We must work together to ensure that our young men are being educated and not influenced and pressured to engage in this bad behavior. I encourage you to discuss with your son the consequences of nicotine addiction and the ramifications of bringing these products to school. We strongly enforce our policies and we will continue to do our best to provide a drug and vapor free environment.  
Sign Up for Amazon Smile
Columbus Will Receive a Donation With Your Every Purchase
To sho
p Amazon Smile simply go to, login or create a new account and select “Christopher Columbus High School (Miami)” as your charitable organization. Every time you shop, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible Amazon Smile purchases to the school.
Pratt Institute Event: December 5th
Pratt Institute Alumni Association President, Cesar Santalo (CCHS class of ’89) has offered an invitation to our students, parents, faculty, and alumni to attend the “Meet Pratt’s New President” Event at Miami Dade College’s Animation and Gaming International Complex-MAGIC. CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

3/4 & 3/5:            Drama Spring Show (3:30pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)
3/6:                      Ash Wednesday Mass (8:00am, Gym)    
3/7 & 3/8:            Drama Spring Show (7:00pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)
Week of 3/11:     Spirit Week
3/13:                    Battle of the Sexes (7:00pm, Gym)
3/14:                    Students vs. Faculty Basketball Game (1:25, Gym)
3/18:                    Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
3/20:                    Mass in Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of St. Marcellin’s Canonization (8:00am, Gym)
3/22:                    Blood Drive (all day, cafeteria)
3/23                     60th Anniversary Gala (7:00pm, JW Marriot Marquis Miami)
3/27:                    Internships Seminar (1:30pm, Lawrence Bell Theater)

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.