Christopher Columbus High School

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

September 2017 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

The month of September will be remembered by the natural disasters that affected people in Texas, South Florida, Puerto Rico and so many other islands of the Caribbean.  I am thankful that our Columbus community continues to provide unity and compassion in times of need and despair.  We have teamed up with a state representative from the Lower Keys to help the many displaced residents and from October 10th through the 20th there will be a drop of area on campus for needed supplies.  We hope that you will consider contributing to the Columbus Hurricane Relief DriveCLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

Calendar Changes Due to Hurricane Irma:
Due to the seven school days that we lost because of Hurricane Irma, it was necessary to make the following changes to our school calendar:
     ▪ End of the first marking period was moved to 10/20
     ▪ Walk-A-Thon and related activities were postponed (new date planned for March 16th)
     ▪ Parent-teacher conferences scheduled for 10/25 were moved to 11/2 at 6pm
     ▪ 11/2 was changed to a 12noon dismissal schedule with a Thanksgiving Prayer Service

Be sure to check our website’s school calendar on a regular basis to learn about all of our important events, meetings, and activities.
Seniors Recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program
The following ten seniors have recently been recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program for their qualification as a Commended Student and/or National Hispanic Recognition honoree: Alejandro Rodriguez, Gregory Valerius, Gregory Mesa, David Trueba, Javier Figueroa;  Stefan Hengartner, Ygnacio Garcia-Saladrigas, Julian Lazcano, Lucas Rodriguez, Jonathan Manrique (not pictured)

Special congratulations to Stefan M. Hengartner who was named a semifinalist in the 63rd Annual National Merit Scholarship Program. Stefan is among 16,000 semifinalists nationwide competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $32 million in total. He was selected for scoring among the highest in the state on the PSAT in 11th grade.
Freshman Field Day
At Freshman Field Day, students were able to bond, compete, end enjoy fun activities together. 
Coach Staiano, seniors, freshman teachers and counselors always make it a day to remember.  Some of the indoor and outdoor activities included basketball, soccer, and tug of war games.
Congratulations to homeroom 9C and Mr. Rodriguez for winning the field day activity and pizza party.
Childhood Cancer Awareness Presentations – SebastianStrong & Sophia’s Hope 
In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, special presentations were made to the senior class by Oscar Ortiz ’88, founder of the SebastianStrong  Foundation, Marta Blanco, founder of the  Sophia’s Hope Foundation, and pediatric oncologist Dr. Maggie Fader.
Mr. Ortiz is the father of Explorer Sebastian Ortiz who passed away last December.  We especially thank him for sharing Sebastian's story with his classmates.  Thank you Mrs. Martinez for organizing the event.
Marc Mero's "Be Against Destructive Decisions (BADD) Tour " Stopped at Columbus
Our Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program, with the support of our Guidance Department and the Miami Dade Police Department, provided our freshmen class with an opportunity to engage with Marc Mero, a national motivational speaker and creator of Champion of Choices.   The discussion was inspirational, motivational, and educational.  We must encourage our young men to make good decisions! 
At Columbus, we expect our students to make good choices and to represent our school in a respectful and positive way.  We also accept the responsibility of helping to raise young men throughout their formative years, which is why I have provided the link below with information pertaining to the negative effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain.  We cannot afford to ignore societal issues, which is why we continually educate them through our drug and alcohol prevention program.  Drug testing is also part of our commitment to providing a drug free environment. Negative Effects of Alcohol On The Adolescent Brain 
NASA Representative Presented to Explorers
Mike Lucas, former airline pilot and representative of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, spoke to Explorers on the epic journey of Apollo 11. 

Mr. Lucas presented still pictures, video and models of the launch vehicles and spacecraft and narrated the story of the early years of NASA’s formation and the birth of the space race.  
Thank you to Dr. Burrus for coordinating the presentation.  
Club Fair Showcased Columbus’ Many Activities
The Students Activities Committee hosted a great Club Fair in the cafeteria which gave Explorers an opportunity to learn about the over 60 clubs and organizations that are offered at Columbus. 

Our organizations, which cover a broad range of interests, provide opportunities for enriching experiences and making new friends.  We hope you encourage your sons to get involved.
Thank you to SAC moderators Mrs. Cedeno and Mrs. Gonzalez.
Angler’s Club Held Third Annual Boating Safety Course
The Anglers Club held their third annual Boating Safety Course at Columbus with 33 students. 

The course, which included a review of required boating equipment, water way rules, boat docking, and emergency procedures, was presented by the United Coast Auxiliary and was sponsored by the Monica Burguera Foundation.  This event is one of the three activities that the club offers to the entire student body. 
Special thanks to club moderator Mr. Dukes. 
CCNN Live Named Finalist for Pacemaker Award/Nominated for Three National Student Production Awards (Emmys)
For a 4th straight year, CCNN Live has been named one of the nation’s top scholastic broadcast news programs and a finalist (out of 55 entries) for the Pacemaker Competition by the National Scholastic Press Association.
Also in September, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences nominated CCNN Live for three Student Production Awards (Emmys).  The nominations were for the following three categories:General Assignment – Light News: Charlie’s Path (Christopher Ahrendt, Christopher Vazquez, Anthony Martinez, Antonio Castellanos); Long Form – Non-Fiction: Proof of Life: A Documentary (Christopher Ahrendt, Antonio Castellanos, Alejandro Basalo, Christopher Vazquez, Anthony Martinez, Danyel DeVilliers, Jose Fernandez) and Talent Demo Reel:  Gonzalo Londoño.  Special thanks to Mrs. Insua and Mr. Delgado.
Novice/JV Debaters Kick Off Season at Flying L Invitational
The Debate Team competed against schools from all over the tri-county area at Ft. Lauderdale High School.  In total, 26 Explorers competed in six events, 22 of them competed for the first time.  Congratulations to Mr. Martinez and all the winners.
Some of the highlights of the tournament include:
-Carlos Gutierrez finished in 1st place as the only undefeated debater in the tournament.
-The Novice LD Squad all finished with 2-2 records.
-New comer, Ryan Yglesias, finished in 6th place in Novice LD.
-Matt Rockwell made his debating debut, finishing in 2nd place in Novice Mixed Extemporaneous Speaking.
-In Novice Policy debate, Andrew Castro and Giancarlos Miguel had an outstanding tournament, finishing in 3rd place with a 2-2 record.
-In Varsity policy debate, Andres Perez and Marcos finished in 5th place overall.   
-In Big Questions debate, Michael Denis and Fernando Mendoza made it to the top 6.
-In Original Oratory, Caden Serrato wrote a touching piece tackling the Healthcare crisis in America and finished one of his rounds in 2nd place. 
Football Defeats Belen in Annual Rivalry Game (marking 13 straight victories)
Wins First District Game against Miami High
The Columbus Explorers dominated the annual rivalry football game against the Belen Wolverines, ending with a 39-3 win at a sold out Tropical Park Stadium. 

The team also won its first district game against Miami High (21-20) and then defeated perennial powerhouse Booker T. Washington (21-19).  The Explorers (5-1) next host Lake Gibson Friday afternoon on campus. Congratulations to all the coaches and players!
Golf Team Off to a Red-Hot Start
The Columbus varsity golf team is off to a red-hot start, having finished first or second in nearly every tournament to date, including winning the Westminster Christian/Columbus Invitational and finishing runner up at the Maverick Invitational. 
The Explorers have been led by Roberto Nieves, Sharif Amastha, David Ragan IV, Luis Suarez and Jose Perez.  Special thanks to Golf coach Mr. Marinelli.
Cross Country Finished 2nd at Spanish River Invitational/Deshay Fernandes is Champion for 2nd Year
The varsity Cross Country Team finished second at the 35th Annual Spanish River Invitational and senior Deshay Fernandes was the overall champion for the second straight year with a 5k time of 15:50.
The Hellions also finished third place in the Race of Champions at FLRunners18.  Deshay Fernandes finished 4th followed by freshman Alvaro Canarte, who finished in the top 20.
Swim Team Defeats St. Brendan 
After not training for over a month due to Hurricane Irma and after a narrow loss to Doral Academy, the Columbus Swim Team was able to make a comeback and shut out the St. Brendan Sabres at their pool.  

September College Visits
September was a busy month for college visits and we have many more planned for October.  These are great opportunities for Columbus students to meet with the Admission Directors and Counselors from a wide variety of our nation's top colleges and universities. Some of the colleges that visited were:  Florida International University, Florida State University, Boston University, Providence College, Ohio State University, NOVA Southeaster University, University of Alabama, Florida SouthWestern State College, The University of Mississippi, Tulane University, University of Colorado, and Hult International Business School.

Thank you to Mrs. Vinson, Mrs. Raful, and Mr. Mendoza for arranging for these important visits. 

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

August 16: Seniors Report to Purchase Parking Permits (9:00am – 12:00noon, Room A-12)
August 17: Orientation for Freshman (in Gym) and Transfer Students (in Café), 7:45am – 12noon
August 18: New Parents Reception (7:00 – 9:00pm, Cafe)
August 20: First Day of Classes - All students report (7:45am – 2:45pm, regular full day)
August 21: New Parents Meeting A-L (6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 22: Picture Day for all students
August 22: New Parents Meeting M-Z (6:30 – 8:30pm, Cafeteria)
August 24: Beach Bash, school dance (7:00pm – 11:00pm)
August 28: Back to School Night (9th & 10th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 29: Back to School Night (11th & 12th grades, 6:00 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
August 30: 60th Anniversary Opening Mass with Archbishop (8:00 – 9:30am, Gym)
August 31: Freshman Field Day (7:45am – 2:45pm)
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.