Br. Kevin Handibode was born in Astoria, Queens, New York and attended the Marist Brothers High School, St. Agnes, in New York City. It was at St. Agnes that Br. Kevin developed his great admiration for the Marist Brothers order and their mission of making Jesus known and loved among young people. He went on to study at the Marist Brothers Juniorate, Novitiate, and Marist College. He became a Marist Brother in 1957, when he was just 18 years old, and has dedicated his life to education ever since. 2017 is a jubilee year for Br. Kevin, marking his 60th anniversary as a Marist Brother.
His first assignment was at Archbishop Molloy High School (NY) where he served as a teacher and basketball coach from 1961-1966. For the majority of his life, 45 years and counting, he has served Christopher Columbus High School. No other person has worked in more capacities at Columbus than Br. Kevin who, since 1966, has held the positions of teacher, dean of discipline, varsity basketball coach, athletic director, development director, and principal. Today, he is the president of the school, a position he has held for the last 16 years, along with being the freshman basketball coach. He also served as principal at Marist High School (NJ) from 1993-1999.
In his early years at Columbus, students nicknamed him “The Shark” for his tough demeanor as a coach and dean. His distinct coaching style helped win his team a district championship in 1972 and a Southern Division Championship of the GMAC in 1976. In all, Br. Kevin coached varsity basketball at Columbus for 18 years and he only had 3 losing seasons. He retired as coach in 1988 to become principal.
Under Br. Edmund’s principalship, Br. Kevin was asked to start the Columbus development program in 1982. Due to Br. Kevin’s leadership and great fundraising abilities, the school has been able to grow tremendously over the years, adding new programs, facilities, as well as undergoing renovations. Devoted to the Marist principles of forming young people as good Christians and good citizens, Br. Kevin is also well known for his constant outreach and care for the young, especially for his efforts to provide educational opportunities to students of various economic levels through financial aid programs. Among his many honors, in 2008, Br. Kevin was bestowed the Papal Cross, the highest medal that can be awarded by the Papacy. He received the Papal Cross for his distinguished service to the church and for his devotion to Catholic education.
Br. Kevin has served on the school boards of Archbishop Molloy High School (NY), Mount St. Michael Academy (NY), Marist High School (IL), Marist High School (NJ), and St. Joseph’s Academy (TX). He holds a master's degree in education from Hunter College (NY) and a bachelor’s degree in Latin from Marist College (NY).
Often referred to as “the heart and soul of Columbus,” Br. Kevin is a real hero to the thousands of young men whose lives he has helped to shape. He works tirelessly to provide the best education possible to young men in Miami at Christopher Columbus High School.