Christopher Columbus High School

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

October 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!
National Bullying Prevention Month
The month of October was National Bullying Prevention Month and at Christopher Columbus High School, we take this issue very seriously. Sadly, continued reports of bullying and the abuse of children and young people, as well as vulnerable adults, within our Church and communities (nationally and globally) are constant reminders of the need to continually safeguard life and recommit ourselves to ensuring a safe environment. The Marist Brothers and Christopher Columbus High School stand firm in this effort through our policies and practices. As a force for good, we are and remain committed to zero tolerance of bullying, physical, or sexual abuse of any any-kind. Our goal is to ensure that every student is respected and feels safe from harm. If you ever have any issue or concern in this regard, please feel free to contact me ( or the Marist Brothers’ Provincial Office (718-480-1306). Also, to join our chapter of Stand for the Silent, or to find additional information on this club, please contact Mr. Rick Pelegrin at
Open House Ad Campaign:  A Brotherhood For Good
We turn our attention to our Open House event on November 17th, when we proudly display our vision of "A Brotherhood for Good." This event is a great opportunity for us to acknowledge, display, and celebrate 60 years of excellence in the classroom, the field, and the community, “making Jesus Christ known and loved,  especially among the most vulnerable or neediest.” Our vision of "A Brotherhood for Good" accentuates and reinforces our Marist educational philosophy of developing well-rounded young men to benefit society. Our Marist values always aim to instill selflessness, humility, compassion, and discipline – qualities very much needed in today’s world. We continue to shape young men of integrity in lasting bonds of brotherhood.  

 Please encourage your friends and family members to attend our Open House on the 17th.    
Spirit Week and Homecoming
The week of October 15th was a spirted week where our students celebrated with themed days in preparation for Homecoming. They wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, represented their Hispanic heritage, favorite sports team, and neon nation. The week ended with the Homecoming Dance at the Marriott Miami Dadeland. Special congratulations to the Homecoming Crowned King and Queen: Nicolás Aixala and Natalia Chamorro and
Prince and Princess: Gus Alfonso and Vanessa María Argüello. Thank you to our incredible SAC moderators, Ms. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez, for making it all happen.
Robotics Club Claimed First Place at Ransom Everglades Tournament
The Robotics Club opened up the season at Ransom Everglades High School in a thrilling season opener that attracted 50 teams from schools all over south Florida. The Explorers finished first and were invited to participate in the state competition. Congratulations to Daniel Saez '20 Gabriel Paz '20, Daniel Luna '20, and Anthony Alonso '20. Special thanks to moderators Mr. Larrubia and Mr. Rodriguez.
CCNN Live Wins Three More Emmys
With three more National Student Production Emmy Awards won this year, our CCNN Live Broadcast Journalism Program now has a grand total of 21 regional and five national Emmys. Additionally, at the FSPA’s Journalism Day, our team won three 1st Places, one 2nd Place, & one 3rd Place in our district, a Silver classification for a film, and a Gold Classification for our weekly show. We commend the work of Ms. Insua and Mr. Delgado in ensuring that this signature Columbus program continues to develop and succeed.
Debate Team News:
At the Oxford Ole Miss Invitational, the team reached the finals in Varsity Lincoln-Douglas and Student Congressional Debate. Jesus Capo finished 3rd and William Duval finished 2nd. In Congressional Debate, JP Gutierrez advanced to finals and finished in the top 10 ranking. At the Holy Cross Invitational, the Explorers had 16 wins with Andrew Castro finishing as the 3rd best speaker in the Varsity Lincoln Douglas division. At the Florida Blue Key Invitational at the University of Florida, our team competed with over 1200 students representing 11 states. The stars of the squad were the freshmen duo of Nicolas Morels and Phillip Castro who made it to the final round and were the second seed overall in the novice division while our varsity policy debate team of Nicolas Sosa and Sebastian Lasaga came away with the 6th overall place finish in the division. We ended the month with a visit from the national champion debate team from Rwanda who held a demo debate with our students about a country's obligation to provide reparations to victims of historical injustice. Special thanks to club moderators Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca for leading the team during these past six weeks of intense competition.
40th Annual Scholastic Olympics for 8th Graders
Special thanks to all the competitors, teachers, and principals who participated from 19 different Catholic schools at our 40th Annual Scholastic Olympics for 8th Graders.  Overall, the winning schools by division were:  Mother of Christ (Div. 1), St. Kevin (Div. 2), and St. Theresa (Div. 3). Thank you to all the administrators and teachers whom helped make it a success,.  I would like to especially recognize the hard work of Mr. Moro who for the last 12 years has done a fantastic job leading this event.    
Guidance News:
The Guidance Department hosted the annual College Fair on campus with the participation of over 100 universities from throughout the United States.  This was a great opportunity for students to meet with the admissions directors and counselors from the schools they are interested in.  The department hosted tours to several local Miami colleges, including Florida International University and The University of Miami.  Also, a group of students visted Barry University, the latest university to partner with our Dual Enrollment Program.  Thank you to Ms. Vinson and her team of counselors.

Golf Team Wins Regional Championship
The Columbus varsity golf team captured the Region 8-3A golf championship. Justin Rodríguez came in tied for second place overall to lead the way with a 75. David Ragan posted a 79, Jose Perez, Luis Suarez and Ryan Cano all had solid rounds as well. Congratulations to Coach Marinelli and the entire team.
Cross Country Wins Regional Championship
We also congratulate our Regional Championship Cross Country Team, led by Coach Pino. Earlier in the month, the Hellions also secured their 20th GMAC championship, marking the most in conference history.
Swim Team - District Winners
The swim team finished their regular season 6-1 and won the district championships. We wish Coach Dukes and the squad the best in the post season.
Congratulations Intramural Basketball Champions
11th/12th Grade Champions (Triple Threat): Anthony Rivada/Sean Serrano/Anthony Rodriguez-Mira
9th/10th Grade Champions (Big Boys): Marcelo Andrew/Pedro Cangas/Matthew Barinaga
Thank you Mr. Moritz for heading our Intramural Sports Program at Columbus which offers friendly competition in various sports among all class levels.
October is the Month of the Rosary
Br. Eladio and the Squires Club held a special rosary prayer service in the chapel this month.
Class Speakers
We are very fortunate to have a dedicated and impressive alumni base who is always willing to mentor our students.  Various alumni lectured  in Mr. Corazon's new Honors Leadership Techniques class:  Mick Maspons ’81 (Maspons Sellek, Partner),  Lou de la Aguilera ’77 (U.S. Century Bank CEO), and Daniel Perez ’05 (FL State Representative).  Also, the Pre-Law Club welcomed attorneys Jorge Piedra ’88 and Gabe Garay '00. 

Visit from FBI Alumni
We also received a special visit from seven members of the FBI who are Columbus alumni, including the Special Agent in Charge of the Miami Division, Robert Lasky ’85.  They spoke about the different disciplines of the FBI and all the different requirements needed to start employment with the organization. Thank you to Dr. Burrus and members of the Patriot Club for making the visit possible.  
Hispanic Heritage Festival
The Hispanic Heritage Festival helps to educate our student body on the different Hispanic cultures, food, and traditions.  Thank you to Mrs. Nadia Khan-Roberts and the entire World Languages Department for putting it together.

2nd Annual All-or-Nothing Bass Fishing Tournament
The Anglers Club, led by Mr. Dukes, hosted its 2nd Annual All-or-Nothing Bass Fishing Tournament.  The winners were: Ethan Rebozo (Freshman Peacock Division), Giovanni Adrian (Freshman Largemouth Division), Tobis Castillo (Sophomore Peacock Division), Kenneth Romeu (Sophomore Largemouth Division), Alexander Planas (Junior Peacock/Largemouth Divisions), Nicholas Farach (Senior Largemouth Division).

Patriot Club Honored Veterans
Dr. Burrus
and the Patriots Club participated in the Meals With Memories Luncheon which honored our veterans at the U.S. Coast Guard Air Station in Opa Locka
Halloween Party for Underprivileged Children
The Mas Scholar Program and National Honor Society hosted their 4th Annual Halloween Party for underprivileged children on campus.   Over 200 children from the San Juan Bosco Learning Center in Little Havana were provide with a Halloween experience they will never forget. The group partnered with Our Lady of Lourdes Academy for the amazing event. Thank you to all the students and faculty who volunteered their time and donated candy, costumes and decorations.   Special thanks to Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta, Mrs. Aimee Cibran, Mrs. Suellen Sastoque, Mrs. Coleen Anderson, and Mrs. Cofresi .
Student Body Hears from National Speaker, Bobby Petrocelli
Our new chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and the James Villa Foundation helped to bring national speaker Bobby Petrocelli to Columbus.  Mr. Petrocelli, a teacher/coach who lost his wife to a drunk driver and became a leading motivational speaker and author, spoke to our entire student body.     
Daniel Hjelm’s Film was Screened in NYC
The film produced by senior Daniel Hjelm was chosen for the All-American High School Film Festival. Daniel is pictured at the AMC in Times Square where the festival took place.
Mr. Rodriguez Spoke at the Museum of Discovery & Science
Our Engineering Teacher and NASA Solar System Ambassador, Mr. Armando Rodriguez, was chosen to speak at the Museum of Discovery and Science about the history and future of lunar exploration.
Columbus in the News:
Herald Article on Br. Kevin Stepping Down as President

Columbus in the News:
Archdiocese of Miami Article on Columbus’ 60th Anniversary

Online Store – Football State Champions Shirts
Get your own Columbus Football 2019 State Championship victory shirts, available online at:  COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP.  You’ll always find 2-day shipping at our online store.  

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.