Christopher Columbus High School

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

October 2020 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

It is so good to see our students actively involved in school, activities, and competitive sports. I must commend our faculty, staff, guidance counselors, campus ministers, coaches, and mentors for going above and beyond the call of a Marist Educator to ensure the academic, social, and spiritual development of our young men. I also want to thank our parents for their unwavering support and understanding.
We continue to follow all COVID-19 protocol established in our Return to School Plan. To date, we have no known on-campus exposures resulting in a positive test, nor have we had any campus outbreaks. We have worked hard to mitigate any spread of this virus on campus.  We are thankful to our community for abiding by the policies and following our strict guidelines. This week, we will be re-evaluating the situation with our task force and a decision will be made of whether we are able to pivot from Scenario 2. Once we have made that decision, it will be communicated to our entire community.
While we navigate through this pandemic, please understand that some things are within our control, but many things are not. We will not put our school in a vulnerable position; we will continue to make responsible decisions; and we will always do what is in the best interest of Christopher Columbus High School.
Shaping Remarkable  
Spread the Word – Columbus' Virtual Open House is Nov. 14th
We urge you to tell your friends and family members who may be interested in Columbus to attend our Virtual Open House on November 14th.  Registration is required at: 
Due to limited capacity this year, our in-person Open House Sessions that day are full, but the virtual option is a great way to connect with our Columbus family and learn about all our programs and facilities.  Please contact our Admissions Director, Mr. Michael Marinelli, with any questions at
Florida Supreme Court Justice John Couriel ’96 Inspired Our Business Law Students
Ms. Rayneri’s Business Law Class took a virtual tour of the Florida Supreme Court and were given a unique opportunity to engage with Justice John Couriel '96.  Justice Couriel challenged them to find another high school that has had two alumni hold Supreme Court Justice positions like Columbus. He said that it was an incredible privilege to be a Columbus student and shared how proud he is to be an Explorer. 

Football Season Starts Oct. 23rd as the Explorers Take on the Cougars
No Fans Permitted / Game to be Live Streamed by CCNN Live
Our football season’s opening game will be very different this year with no fans, no cheerleaders, and no bands.  However, the team is excited to take to the field and play against the Killian Cougars tomorrow, October 23rd, at 7:00pm at Tropical Park.   You can watch the game live through the NFHS Network ($10 steaming fee for month of October).  Good luck to Coach Dunn and our reigning state championship football team.  Go Explorers!
Ryan Rodriguez Honored as a 2021 All-American
Ryan Rodriguez '21, a University of Miami commit, was officially honored as a 2021 during a virtual jersey presentation as part of NBC Sports Road to the Dome digital series. Having been selected to play in the 21st All-American Bowl, Rodriguez will play in the annual East vs. West matchup inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The Bowl will be nationally televised, live on NBC, and will feature the nation’s top 100 high school football players.
Golf Team Captures Districts, Advances to State Championship
The Golf Team played their best round of the year on Columbus Day in Stuart, FL to capture the 2020 3A District 8 championship. The spectacular sophomore class led the way again with Andres Atrio (73), Hans Risvaer (73), Max Fonseca (74), Christian Figueredo (76).  Senior Justin Rodriguez also had a nice round coming in fifth (79).   This marks the Golf Program’s 22nd district championship. The team advanced to play in the state championship competition.  Congratulations Coach Marinelli and all the golfers.  
Swim Team Wins Meet Against Westminster
The Swim Team came away with a victory against Westminster (94-73). The Explorers gave a great performance while dealing with many restrictions. Congratulations to Coach Dukes and the swimmers.  
Cross Country Enters Post Season
The Hellion Cross Country team raced in Jupiter and in Bunnell, Florida this month.  The varsity runners competed in Northern Florida against most of the top 4A teams and were victorious. The team handily beat their rivals for critical wins that send them into the post season.  Chris and Nick Ivonnet placed 1st and 2nd followed by Alvaro Canarte and Adrian Bichara.  Thank you Coach Pino.
Guidance Department News:
The Guidance Department continues to visit classes, hold Zoom sessions and have face-to-face appointments with students of all grade levels.  In October, the department featured over 50 colleges and universities on Zoom webinars.  Harvard, Yale, Fordham, University of Notre Dame, University of Florida, Tulane, UChicago, Villanova, Vanderbilt, Syracuse, Boston College, UMass Amherst, UMichigan, Miami Dade Honors College, Clemson, and Barry were just some of the schools that were featured. We will continue to offer college showcases throughout November and will also host a Financial Aid Workshop on November 9th at 6:00pm.
Supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month
In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we sold several “Think Pink” items including ties, masks, gaiters, and socks for our students and faculty to wear throughout the month.  All proceeds of the “Think Pink” drive benefitted Castaways Against Cancer.
Columbus Connects Digital Series Featured FL State Rep. Daniel Perez
The Columbus Connects Digital Speaker Series hosted its first Webinar of the 2020-2021 school year on October 7th with Florida State Representative Daniel Perez '05.  He guided students on his career path from graduation at Columbus through law school and then into public service.  Just in time for Election day, he described the process of running a campaign to being an elected official in the State of Florida.  Mr. Perez  was engaging and entertaining and we really appreciate him taking the time to talk with our students!   Special thanks to Mrs. Anderson.
October Testing - CollegeBoard
During the month of October, we tested all grade levels with over a 90% attendance rate for each exam. These exams are important as they help us measure the academic development of our young men and foster their preparation for college.   Underclassmen took the PSAT exam while the seniors took the SAT.  
SAC Hosted Spirit Week
Ms. Brown, Mr. Connell, and the SAC Committee brought us a fun-filled Spirit week where the Columbus family was able to dress-up according to daily themes like Miami Teams Monday, Twining Tuesday, Way Back Wednesday (60s 70s 80s attire), Favorite Team Thursday, and Frontier Friday (Cow Boy Boots/Hats, western gear).  Thank you to all those who participated.
Astronomy Students Took Control of 850,000 lb. Telescope
Students in Mr. Rodriguez’ Astronomy Class had the opportunity to take control of Deep Space Station 28 (an 850,000 lb., 112 foot radio telescope) from their classroom through the Goldstone Apple Valley Radio Telescope Program.  The program partners with scientists and other observatories from around the world.  
Film Club Wins Best Sci-Film at Melbourne Independent Filmakers Festival
Mr. Diaz and the Film Club won Best Sci-Fi Film for their short film Alien Influx.  This is an especially significant honor for our students because the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival is not a student film festival, but a true professional film festival.  Watch Alien Influx Here
Yearbook Earns Highest Award at FSPA Competition
“Be the Light,” Columbus’ 2019/20 Yearbook earned All-Florida recognition, the highest award given by the Florida Scholastic Press Association.  This means that our Yearbook Program, led by Mrs. Kathryn Essig, is considered a model program of excellence for other schools to follow. Congratulations to the Yearbook Staff.
Vendor Cyber Security Advisory
Blackbaud (NASDAQ: BLKB), a leading provider of cloud-based accounting and fundraising software used by Columbus and thousands of other schools and organizations, informed us that it discovered and stopped a ransomware attack against its systems. Blackbaud worked with security experts and law enforcement to respond to the ransom threat and reports to have received confirmation that the stolen data was destroyed and not used.
At Columbus, we take the protection and proper use of your information very seriously and wanted to inform you of this incident only as a precautionary measure. Although we determined that some personal information such as name, addresses, phone numbers, email and birthdays may have been accessible, Blackbaud has confirmed that no credit card information, bank information, or Social Security number of any CCHS constituent was accessed or compromised, and information stored in Blackbaud’s Tuition Management™ (also known as Smart Tuition), Financial Aid Management™ (also known as Smart Aid), and OnCampus modules was not affected by this security incident. Blackbaud reports that it has no reason to believe that any data went beyond the cybercriminal, was or will be misused, or will be disseminated or otherwise made available publicly. Although Blackbaud suggests that the security incident was well contained and managed, we encourage all of you to remain vigilant and promptly report any suspicious online or financial activity to law enforcement.  Here are two helpful resources from the FTC: Five Ways to Help Protect Against Identity Theft and Warning Signs of identity Theft. Please email our IT department at with any questions.

Gabriel Merheb Accepted to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year Campaign
Gabriel Merheb was accepted as a candidate in The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s 2021 Students of the Year Campaign Annual Scholarship and Fundraising Challenge.  He was nominated for his amazing leadership, and involvement in the community and passion to find a cure for blood cancers.  To get involved or learn more about the campaign, please visit
Benjamin Cure ’22  -  Inter Miami CF’s New Digital Host
Congratulations to Junior Benjamin Cure who was chosen by Major League Soccer's   Inter Miami CF’s  to be their new Digital Host.  Benjamin serves as CCNN Live’s Social Media Director.
Mr. Marinelli '03 - Inter Miami CF’s New Public Address Announcer
Columbus’ Admissions Director and Golf Coach, Mr. Michael Marinelli, has also taken on a communications role at Inter Miami CF as the team’s Public Address (PA) Announcer.
Virtual Hispanic Trivia Contest – Oct. 28
The World Languages Department is hosting a Hispanic Festival Virtual Trivia Contest. Students can compete in this Kahoot game about Hispanic Culture and win cash prizes.  The contest will take place on Wednesday, October 28 at 2:30 PM., scan code to register.

Br. Kevin’s Store & ColumbusExplorers.Shop  
Browse our complete selection of officially licensed Christopher Columbus High School apparel and merchandise both at the newly remodeled  Br. Kevin’s Store on campus and n ColumbusExplorers.Shop.  You’ll find lots of men’s women’s and children’s apparel, gifts, accessories, masks, gaiters, and more. New items have just been added including crewneck sweaters, ladies’ tops, a camo hat and more.
TAD (Temperature Alert Device) Available at the Online Store 
For your convenience and safety, the Columbus Online Store is currently selling the TAD, temperature alert device.  The device monitors a person's temperature throughout the day and alerts them if a fever is detected.  
Upcoming November Dates to Remember:

11/10:                Veteran’s Day Event (8:00am - Patriot Plaza)
11/11:                Veteran’s Day Holiday (No School)
11/14:                Columbus Open House
11/23 – 11/27   Thanksgiving Holiday (No School)
*Marist Youth takes place every Tuesday at 7:00pm (in cafeteria & virtually) 
Christopher Columbus High School | 3000 SW 87 Avenue | Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 223-5650
Brotherhood, Faith, and Scholarship define the Marist Brothers Catholic education at Christopher Columbus High School.  By making Jesus Christ known and loved and creating an inspiring academic and extracurricular environment, we prepare young men for higher learning and a life-long commitment to leadership and service through Gospel and Marist values.

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.