Christopher Columbus High School

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

November / December 2020 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

It is hard to believe that we have completed one semester of school, meaning that half of our school year is officially over. I realize that it hasn’t been easy, but together, we are moving forward. In these last two months, I have been especially thankful for your support, understanding, and dedication to Columbus.   Your resilience as a school community has been an inspiration to us all. Our students remain engaged in our various learning platforms, representing us well in athletics, and participating in so many school activities. Our continued success, even throughout a pandemic, is a testament to the hard work of our teachers, staff members, parents, and students.  
We know that our Marist community is strong and determined, but I am most proud of our generosity and willingness to give back to those families in our South Florida community who are less fortunate. Thank you for your donations of gift cards, turkeys, toys, food, clothing, and medical supplies. Even during these most difficult times, we continue to live our mission.  
Wishing you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
New Protocols to Begin January 4th
Upon our return to school on January 4th, our new A Week and B Week Rotation will be implemented.  VIEW UPDATED CALENDAR AND SCHEDULE.
If you have traveled for the holidays by plane, you must follow the PROTOCOL FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL & RETURN TO  SCHOOL.
During the A Week, students whose last names begin with (A-L) will be on campus Monday thru Wednesday, and those with last names (M-Z) will be on campus Thursday and Friday. 
During the B Week, students whose last names begin with (M-Z) will be on campus Monday thru Wednesday, and those with last names (A-L) will be on campus Thursday and Friday. 
Also, be reminded that students will be required to wear a Columbus mask or any solid color mask. No other facial covering will be acceptable, including the gaiter/buff.
Christmas Toy Drive-By / Drop Off
SAC and the Columbus Car Club joined forces to host a Toy Drive-By/Drop-Off to benefit needy children during the holidays.  It was a successful effort that brought in a great abundance of toys; 100 collected from the Class of 1992 alone.  The SAC Team donated the toys to the NBC6/Telemundo's Caravan of Joy, the Leadership Learning Center at San Juan Bosco, and the Miami-Dade Police Department.  Special thanks to Ms. Brown, Mr. Connell and Mrs. Gonzalez.
Explorers Helped “Stop the Rumbling” During the Holidays
Anthony Garcia helped organize the opportunity for students to gain service hours for food bundles through the “Stop the Rumbling” organization which is aimed to end child hunger during Christmas.     Thank you to all the students and faculty members who helped in the effort, especially Mr. Corazon and Mr. Machado.   
Turkey Drive Collected 371 Turkeys
In keeping with tradition, our turkey drive enabled many families to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal.  Amid a pandemic, the Columbus family answers the call of service as together we make Jesus Christ known and loved. Special thanks to Mr. Staiano, Dr. Folch, Mr. Amador, and Mrs. Reynaldo. 

Thanksgiving Meals For Veterans Made Possible by the Patriot Club  
Dr. Burrus and the Patriot Club helped raise money for the purchase and delivery of Thanksgiving meals to Veteran families that otherwise would not have a meal on this significant day.  Pictured is Columbus mother,  Mrs. Ivette Romero, receiving the check for The Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP). 
Helping our Troops Overseas During the Holidays
The Patriots Club also collaborated with the Mas Family Program, RHO KAPPA and the History Club to fundraise for our troops overseas during the holidays.  Over $3,000 in gift cards were collected.  Special thanks to Dr. Burrus, Ms. McCullagh and Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta.  
Advent Reflection:  Hope, Peace, Joy, Love
The Advent Reflection: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love was presented by Br.  Brady, Nicholas Portu '14, and Mr. González via the Columbus YouTube Channel. It was a great way to start the Christmas season.  VIEW MASS
Mass Celebrated to Commemorate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
On December 8th, we gathered with families via our YouTube Channel to celebrate Mass, The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the repose of the soul of + Br. Eugene Trzecieski, F.M.S. and for the intentions of his family.  Rev. Alejandro Rodriguez Artola, '81 was the principal celebrant. He was assisted by Dcn. James Dugard of the Theology Faculty.  Special thanks to Br. Peter, Mr. Cooper, Robert Gomez '22, Jose Acosta '21, Diego de Atienza.
Christmas Spirit Week
We haven’t let social distancing stop our Christmas spirit.  Many of us have been dressing in festive Christmas attire (including those ugly sweaters) whether we are on campus or virtual. Thank you SAC!
Br. Kevin’s Store Grand Re-Opening
The Grand Re-Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of Br. Kevin’s Store took place on October 22nd.  The newly refurbished store is now more spacious with colorful branding visuals on the walls and new merchandise offerings, making for an improved shopping experience.  Br. Kevin was on hand at the event autographing posters.  We thank the project team led by  Ana Perez-Abreu, Nancy Vento, and Melissa Marti as well as all the alumni who came out to celebrate.  
Veteran’s Day Celebration
We held our annual Veterans Day Celebration on the lawn in front of Patriot Plaza. Joseph Lavelle '99 (Former Lieutenant, U.S. Naval Academy Graduate - Special Agent FBI) was the Keynote Speaker. Special thanks to Michael A. Carricarte ’59 – Retired Colonel, U.S. Army – Ranger, Decorated Green Berets, Andrew Carricarte ’97 Former Captain, U.S. Army Ranger 82nd Airborne, Lane Jackson ’00 – Former Lieutenant U.S. Navy Academy Graduate – Navy SEAL, Dr. Burrus and the Patriot Club.
Columbus Partners with the Revolutionary Peer Tutoring Services App – YTeach
Through a partnership with the new peer tutoring services and scheduling app, Y Teach, Columbus now has a student network in place to help the academic success of our school community in an organized and safe manner.  Over 50 students in the Mas Family Program and the Columbus Honor Society who are motivated to serve their classmates have joined the platform and the app has been downloaded on every Explorer’s iPad. Instructions on how to create an account and access a tutor can be found on Campus under the Guidance Topics tab. Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta.
CCNN Live Received 9 NATAS Emmy Nominations / Wins STN Challenge
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced their nominations for the 2019/20 Student Production Awards.  CCNN Live has nine nominated productions:   General Assignment - Light News (Kevin Reyes, Marcus Callegari, Juan Pablo Garcia-Casals, Christopher Gomez, Alexander Someillan, Lukas Guerra, Gianmarco Maestri); Short Form - Non-Fiction (Sabores De España:  David Perez, Juan Pablo Garcia-Casals); Sports (Bowler Overcomes Adversity: Julian Corrales, Lukas Guerra, Alexander Someillan); Sports Program (The Ship Oct. Edition: Neo Gaitan, Benjamin Cure, Emmanuel Naccarato, Kevin Reyes, Alexander Someillan, Christopher Gomez); Public Affairs/Community Service (Love, Hope, Music: Jason Corbett, Giancarlos Miguel, Kevin Angueira); Director – (Spotters: Kevin Reyes); Editor (Spotters: Kevin Reyes, David Perez); Talent News: (Christopher Gomez);  Talent Reel (Christopher Gomez); Talent News (Marcus Callegari ); Talent Reel (Marcus Callegari).  In addition, CCNN Live won the Student Television Network Fall Challenge in both the Sports Feature and How To categories.  Thank you to Mr. Delgado and Mrs. Insua.  VIEW WINNING PIECES
Cross Country Wins 5th State Championship in School History
It’s Championship number five for the Hellion's Cross-Country program.  Tied for the lead at the mile mark, the runners persisted to a 2-point lead at the 2-mile mark and refused to concede in that last mile.  Congratulations to the following Hellions:  Chris Ivonnet-8th, Alvaro Canarte-12th, Nick Ivonnet-18th, Donato Scarcello-32nd, Malcolm Brown-34th, Adrian Bichara-35th, and Marcus Mata-43rd.  Thank you to Head Coach Pino and Assistant Coaches Areces and Ventura.   VIEW ARTICLE
Golf Finished 8th in State Tournament
Congratulations to Coach Marinelli and the Golf Team for winning a regional title and finishing in 8th place at the 3A State Tournament.  The young core of players will all be back next year. 

Football Signing Day at Columbus
Four of our student-athletes on the Explorer Varsity Football Team signed their national letter of intent and locked down their college scholarship offer on the first day of the early signing period (December 16th).   We celebrated them along with their families at Br. Eugene Plaza as members of the media interviewed them.  The signees were:  Francisco Castro (University of Arkansas Razorbacks), Jabari Ishmael (University of Miami Hurricanes), Augustus (Gus) McGee (San Diego State University Aztecs) and Ryan Rodriguez (University of Miami Hurricanes).  VIEW HERALD ARTICLE.  We wish our signees, Coach Dunn and the entire football team good luck as they play the Deerfield Beach Bucks at Traz Powell Stadium this Saturday at 7:00pm for the 8A Gold Division Tri-County Championship!

Michael Jordan and other NBA Greats Visit Columbus
In preparation for this year's NBA draft, CCHS Head Basketball Coach/ Miami Hoops School Founder, Coach Andrew Moran, helped train several NBA draft picks and hosted some NBA team owners in the Columbus gym.  One of those owners was the legendary NBA player and Charlotte Hornets owner, Michael Jordan.   
EMT Students Receive CPR Certification
Mr. Chica’s EMT Class completed their CPR certification.  Next quarter plans call for the EMT students to ride alongside firefighters and paramedics to get hands on experience in the field. 
Open House  - Socially Distanced
This year’s Open House was quite different with three smaller sessions and no large gathering in the gym as to abide by social distancing.  However, even with facial coverings, our Columbus, Marist spirt was fully on display and our love and passion for our school shined through.  It was a tremendous team effort.  Thank you to all the faculty and staff and especially our Admissions Director Mr. Marinelli.

Novice Debaters Show Huge Promise
Our novice debaters competed at the Isadore Newman’s Annual Invitational and the South Florida Catholic Forensic League. Several students did well and showed huge promise, especially Bruno Barreiro, Mathew Calviño, Michael Martinez, Javier Rodriguez, Ben Corral, Phil Castro, Alan Munschy and Nick Gonzalez. In Student Congress, Michael Alvarez finished in first place and Derrick Hart placed 5th. Special thanks to Mr. De Tuya and Mr. Ciocca.
Marist Youth – A Coed Student Faith Community – Meeting Weekly
Sponsored by CCHS Campus Ministry, Marist Youth is  a coed student faith community open to all Columbus students and students from other high schools.  The group meets Tuesday evenings from 7:00pm - 8:30pm in the cafeteria to socialize, share faith and life experiences, pray, and have fun.  Social distancing protocols are followed and remote access is also available via Zoom.  For more information, CLICK HERE   
Hansel Heres Awarded the QuestBridge Scholarship to Duke University
Congratulations to senior Mas Scholar Hansel Heres for being awarded the QuestBridge Scholarship, one of the country's premiere scholarships that connects the nation's brightest students from low-income backgrounds with leading institutions of higher education and further opportunities.   His scholarship includes full tuition for four years plus travel, food and books.  Hansel matched at Duke University and was recently profiled in a Univision23 news story for his accomplishment.  VIEW UNIVISION STORY.
Jake Gaunaurd Chosen for the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference
Congratulations to sophomore Jake Gaunaurd for being chosen to attend the Hugh O'Brien Youth Leadership Conference in May.
Daniel Guzman Partnered with the Miami Rescue Mission
Daniel Guzman '24 prepared a complete turkey dinner and delivered it the Miami Rescue Mission to feed those less fortunate. We are proud of you Daniel!.   

The Columbus Family Mourned the Passing of Br. Eugene Trzecieski  
The loss of Br. Eugene was deeply felt among our school community.  Br. Eugene mentored thousands of young men and served as a friend to hundreds of faculty and staff members during his 52-year career at Columbus.  Over the years, he served as Academic Dean, Treasurer, and Teacher of Latin, Philosophy, Humanities, and English.  He was the founder of the Student Activities Committee, the Columbus Arts Society for Adults and the Erasmus Culture Club for students.  He moderated the National Honor Society for twenty-five years and was a proud member of our school’s hall of fame.  He is most remembered by his former students for his famous 12th grade “Philosophy of Being” class, which he taught for 43 years straight as well as for his life’s motto - “A mind made noble, leads a noble life.”  Although he is no longer with us, his charism and hard-working spirit lives among us and we take comfort in knowing that Br. Eugene Plaza will forever remind Explorers of the great Marist Brother and educator that he was.  He passed away peacefully on October 26th at the age of 91.  VIEW HERALD OBITUARY
Mr. Pelegrin Leaving Columbus for Tennessee
Long-time English teacher, Mr. Rick Pelegrin, has left Columbus to relocate to Tennessee with his family.  We wish him and his family the best in their new endeavors.  Adelante!
Important January Dates To Remember:
12/18 – 1/3:     Christmas Vacation (No School)
1/4:                   Classes Resume
1/7:                   Junior Parents Meeting (Via Webinar, 7:00 – 7:00pm)
1/13:                 Sophomore Parents Meeting (Via Webinar, 6:00 – 7:00pm)
1/14:                 Freshman Parents Meeting (Via Webinar, 6:00 – 7:00pm)
1/18:                 Martin Luther King Holiday (No School)

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.