Christopher Columbus High School

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

November 2019 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!   Let us not forget to give thanks and praise for all that we have at Christopher Columbus High School! Our young men are receiving a Catholic, Marist education in a faith-filled environment. They are being educated by dedicated and caring teachers who also mentor and guide them in making good decisions.

We are thankful for our Marist Brothers, faculty, staff, and administration who work together to carry out the Marist mission of "making Jesus Christ known and loved."   We are also thankful for our parents, alumni, and all those who continue to support our entire school community. 

May God bless you and your family!
NO SCHOOL ON DECEMBER 13th - Let's Support Explorer Football at the State Championship Game! 
Congratulations to Coach Dunn and the varsity football team as they get ready to play for the FHSAA Class 8A State Championship at Daytona Stadium on December 13th.  This will be a rematch of the 2014 Class 8A State Championship game in which Apopka defeated Columbus 30-23.  In an effort to accommodate and support our entire school community, President Kruczek has declared December 13th as Columbus Explorer Day and there will be no school that day. Let's make plans to attend the game and support our Explorers!  GAME/BUS DETAILS HERE 

State Championship Shirts Still Available
If you haven’t already gotten your Football State Championship Shirt, they are still available online at There will be New State Championship merchandise (kids shirts, women's V-neck tops, hats, visors) on sale at the Pig Roast on Feb. 8
Coming Together to Give Thanks
We made sure to gather together schoolwide for a Thanksgiving Prayer Service in the gym before starting our break.  Thank you, Campus Ministry, for bringing these spiritual experiences to our school family.

Squires Thanksgiving Service Project
Thanks to the efforts of Br. Eladio and The Squires with the help of the Knights of Columbus and the Cuban Alumni Association, approximately 62 families from St. Brendan Church, St. James Church and St. John the Baptist Mission received food and a gift certificate.  Special thanks to Mary McCullagh, Rho Kappa, the Spanish Honor Society, Br. Steve Kappas.   

Friendsgiving with the Children of Great Heights Academy
Once again, we hosted our friends from Great Heights Academy for our Best Buddies Friendsgiving. Thank you for allowing our young men the opportunity to take part in this event which served 85 children with special needs. Special thanks to Mrs. Martinez and Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas.  
Columbus Turkey Drive Collects 416 Turkeys
Thank you for your generosity in our Turkey Drive! In total, 416 turkeys were donated and given to the Miami-Dade Police Department for their distribution this holiday season.
Spanish Club Celebrates “AmigosGiving”
After prayer and an opportunity for sharing what they are thankful for, Spanish Club Members enjoyed an Amigosgiving (Friendsgiving) over delicious pastries. Thank you Dr. Folch.
No Shave November Extended to Dec. 6th
The bearded Explorers have taken over as our students raise money and awareness for male cancer and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. So far, $1,000 has been raised.

Honoring our Veterans
On November 8th, we honored our alumni veterans and all the men and women who serve our great nation at a special ceremony held at our Patriot Plaza.  Our special guest speaker was retired U.S. Navy Petty Officer and U.S. Army Sergeant Otto Mastrapa ' 91.  Thank you to Dr. Burrus and The Patriot Club for organizing the event. 

Northeast College Tour
There were 37 Explorers who participated on a five-day, eight college tour throughout the Northeast United States with stops in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. The colleges visited were: Johns Hopkins, Villanova, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Columbia, NYU, SUNY Maritime, and Fordham. Among the highlights of the trip was a visit to the New York Stock Exchange and a dinner in NYC with Fortune 500 CEO and Columbus alum Carlos Rodriguez.  Thank you to the event organizers and chaperones:  Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Cibran, Mrs. Anderson, Mr. Nunez and all the different alumni that met with our Explorers along the way. 
Guidance News
Our college counselors have been busy sending letters of recommendations and transcripts for our 345 seniors that have applied to a multitude of colleges and universities around the country. We were also able to host Marymount University's president, Irma Becerra, and her admissions team on campus.

Open House Showcase
We opened our doors and showcased our outstanding facilities and programs to prospective families at our annual open house. Thank you to admissions director Mr. Marinelli and the entire faculty and staff for representing Columbus well. Special thanks to senior Cameron Payne for addressing the participants and sharing his Columbus experience.

Xzavier Henderson Selected for Army All-American Bowl
Four-star athlete Xzavier Henderson was presented with an Army All-American Bowl jersey in the presence of his family, coaches and teammates.  The selection committee, comprised of 247Sports and All-American Games, evaluates thousands of the nation’s top prospects on an annual basis from the time they enter high school. The evaluations lead to the selection of the 100 best senior football players in the country.  The Army All-American Bowl is the most prestigious and highest rated televised high school sporting event. The game will be held January 4th at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Cross Country Finished 7th at States
The Hellions finished off the season in impressive fashion in Tallahassee against the stiffest competition the State has seen in almost a decade. They finished in 7th place and had their top six runners finish the 5K course under 17:03 which positions them as the fastest team CCHS has had since 2011. The team was led by Chris Ivonnet and Adrian Bichara, followed closely behind (30 seconds) by Malcolm Brown, Alvaro Canarte, Donato Scarcello, Marc Dabby, and Nick Ivonnet. Special thanks to Coach Pino.
Bowling Finished 9th at States
Congratulations to Mr. Scholer and the bowling team on finishing 9th in state, out of 32 teams.  Sophomore Marlon Ruiz finished 3rd in state out of over 185 bowlers.  This Florida High School Athletic Association State Tournament was a marathon of a competition and our young men represented Columbus well with excellent sportsmanship
Basketball Team Defeats Miami High and Miami Christian
Our Basketball Team defeated Miami Christian at the Palmetto Pre-Season Classic, 86-77.   
Their first season game was also a victory with a score of  70 – 49 against Miami High.  Junior Hubertas Pivorius led the team with 16 points. Scotty Middleton added 15 points and 5 rebounds as well as senior Brendan Golden chipping in with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blks. Senior Alex Perez ran the show with 8 points and 10 assists. The Explorers look to improve to 2-0 on Thursday when they take on district rival Coral Gables at home. Congratulations to Coach Moran and the entire team!
Science Fair
Thank you to Mrs. Aycart and the science department for putting on the annual science fair. This year 250 students completed a long term research experiment based on their area of interest.  Four projects placed first and were selected to compete at the South Florida Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Congratulations to Marcelo Andreu, Anthony Mallafre, Brian MacDonald, and Nathaniel Ramirez.   

Robotics Wins Tournament Championship at Coral Park H.S.
The Robotics Team won their biggest match of the season at Coral Park High School, finishing  with a perfect 10 - 0 record and taking the tournament championship.  Congratulations to the team comprised of Marcelo Varela, Daniel Saez, Gabriel Paz, Daniel Luna, Javier Lopez, Anthony Alonso, Aiden Kennedy, Caden Serrato, Victor Valero, and Nicolas Guzman.  Special thanks to Mr. Larrubia and Mr. Rodriguez.

Sophomore Serve Retreat
Sophomores visited the Marian Center during the Serve Retreat.  Thanks to Mrs. Eyda Alegret, Mr. Richard Amador, Mr. Andres Aviles, and the Campus Ministry student leaders.

Congratulations to the Newly Confirmed Explorers
Congratulations to the 93 Columbus students who were Confirmed by Archbishop Thomas Wenski. Thank you the team of Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Rayneri, Mr. Croke, and Mr. Rodriguez who helped prepare them to receive the Sacrament.
Prayer Service for Confirmation Candidates
In preparation for their Confirmation, students participated in a special prayer service with their sponsors, parents, and family.  
Marist Youth Group Meets Weekly
Marist Youth, a coed student faith community, meets every Tuesday night.  Pictured leading a meditation is Theology instructor Mr. Alberto Rodriguez, '15.  Thanks to Br. Tom Long, Mr. David Isenberg, Mr. Fernando Machado, Mr. Alberto Rodriguez and the student leaders.
Students Attend Marist Encounter in Esopus, NY
Gabriel Aragon, William Rivera, Nicholas Molina, Alejandro Barrios and Ms. Rayneri represented Columbus at the Marist Encounter at Esopus, New York. President Kruczek sent them off at the MIA airport to wish them well. 
NFTE Innovation Summit
Members of the Business Club attended a business pitch summit at FIU earlier this month. The students were paired with students from other schools in Miami-Dade County. Congratulations goes out to Sebastian Pereira and Austin Bermudez who placed in the top ten out of 80 teams that participated.  Special thanks to Mr. Corazon.
Club Purple is formed for Epilepsy Awareness Month
November is Epilepsy Awareness Month and students established Club Purple to support the cause. The club aims to works to end the stigma surrounding the disorder and generate compassion and understanding for people who live with epilepsy.  The executive board consists of  Anthony Avila, Fabrizio Cisternino, Javier Logreira and  Javier Ramos. The club had its first meeting this week and over 30 students attended.
Theater Program Competed at District Championship and Qualified for States 
The Columbus Theater Troupe qualified seven pieces for the state championship. They competed at the Miami Art Studio against hundreds of students. Gabriel Perez was one of 30 students to make the district improv team out of over 150 students who auditioned. Here is how our students scored:
Superior in Ensemble A- Chris Wilson, Gus Mendez, David Figueredo, Tobi Reyes, Matthew Gory, Aidan Pasantes, Luis Vergara, Jake Trout, Justyn Rubio
Superior in Solo A- Gabriel Perez
Superior in Solo C- Matthew Gory
Superior in Dialogue B- Chris Wilson and Mikel Barbeite
Superior in Dialogue A- Marc Rudnick and Kevin Cordero
Superior in Dialogue C- Aidan Pasantes and Alex Buonocore
Superior in Costume Design B- Chris Ramos
Excellent in Costume Design B- Alex Diaz-Herrera
Excellent in Ensemble B- Luca Buonocore, Marc Rudnick, Mikel Barbeite
Debate Traveled to Mississippi for Ole Miss Invitational / Placed First at Miami Arts Studio @ Zelda Glaser School
Columbus Debate participated in the 20th annual Ole Miss Invitational Tournament in Oxford Mississippi with 14 Explorers and reached the semifinals in three events. Leading the way, senior Marcel Van Hemert made it to the semi-finals in Varsity Extemporaneous Speaking. In Novice Extemp, Junior and first time debate traveler, Daniel Montoto also made it to the semi-final round. In the first World Schools competition both the Columbus red and white teams made it to the semifinals (Gabriel Llerena, Phillip Castro, Lucas Hurley, Emmanuel Cartelle, Eddy Lamazares, and Nicolas Sosa). Earlier in the month, The Debate Society won first place in Lincoln Douglas Debate and Informative Speaking at the Miami Arts Studio at Zelda Glaser School. Thank you Mr. Martinez.  
Squires Club Hosts Spelling Bee
Br. Eladio and The Squires Club hosted its annual Spelling Bee and we thank the English Department and all the students who participated. 

Mrs. McGrath Offered Theater Assistant Position at NYU
Our Drama Teacher, Mrs. McGrath, was offered a Theater Assistant position at NYU Steinhardt for Summer, 2020. She will be assisting her mentor with her classes and will get acquainted with other theater directors for possible performance opportunities.
Columbus Supports Arbetters
Columbus and Arbetters both have a long history in Westchester.   Explorers have been enjoying their famous hot dogs for decades. On November 11th, many members of the Columbus family came out to celebrate the local eatery's 60th Anniversary, including President Tom Kruczek and Br. Kevin. CCNN Live interviewed newly inducted Arbetters Hall of Fame inductee and Community Papers Publisher, Grant Miller at the event and our own Dr. Carter Burrus won the Bench Press competition.
Calling all Explorers to Donate Toys
With the Christmas season quickly approaching, it is important for us to remember all that we have to be thankful for and give back to those in need. We are calling for all Explorers to participate in our Toy Drive by donating a new, unwrapped toy.  We are currently collecting toys to donate to NBC6/Telemundo’s Caravan of Joy and also for the Miami-Dade Police Department. Students can drop off their toys in the SAC office through December 12th.
Food and Wine Festival
Thank you to all those who came out to our annual Food & Wine Festival. For the first time, this year's event featured a "Silent Party" and guests danced with headphones to their favorite music. Thank you to event chair Anthony Petisco, alumni director Barbara Branas, the alumni association board and all the restaurants, sponsors, and volunteers. Special thanks to Columbus parent Manny Gaunaurd and his company Creative Home and Kitchen for donating the commemorative Columbus branded wine glasses.
Advent Reflection For Parents
Columbus is hosting an Advent Reflection for Parents.  We hope you will consider participating.  Sometimes it’s the small things that help us find Jesus during the Christmas season! 

2/3:                       Walk-a-thon Holiday (No School)
2/8:                       Family Picnic & Pig Roast (12noon – 5:00pm, Field)
2/13:                    Mas Program Junior Parents Meeting (7:00pm – 9:00pm, LBC)
2/17:                    President’s Day Holiday (No School)
2/20:                    Junior Ring Ceremony (7:00pm, Gym/Café)
2/20 & 21            Sophomore Serve Retreat (Morningstar Renewal Center)
2/22:                    Freshman Class Trip (Universal Studios)

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.