Christopher Columbus High School

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

September 2019 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

October  2019 Newsletter
At Christopher Columbus High School, the weather was not the only thing that remained hot in October. Our clubs, activities, and athletic teams have been on fire. We pride ourselves on having an active calendar and it really is amazing how we accomplished so much in just 31 days.

Let me start by thanking our parents! We appreciate your continued support and understand the sacrifice you make to send your son to this great school! We not only met our Walk-a-thon goal but exceeded it by raising a record-breaking $148,000. This is the only school fundraiser of the year and we can attribute its success to our parents, teachers, and students. Everyone who participated had a great time and the money raised will go right back into our school facilities, classrooms, charities, and development.

Remembering Danny Quesada ‘19
A prayer service was held in honor of our beloved Danny Quesada the day after his passing where many shared their favorite DQ stories. The Cross Country Team wore their “Press On DQ” shirts and afterwards ran the distance of 26 minutes and 27 seconds in remembrance of DQ’s best time at the 5K distance while running for the team. Danny’s infectious smile and spirit will live-on among us.
Anglers Club Bahama Relief Drive
The Anglers Club worked diligently in September to gather nonperishable items for the people of the Bahamas.  All items were delivered directly to those affected by Hurricane Dorian by our SeaHunter Boats family.  Thank you to all the Columbus families who helped the cause.  The Club also held their 5th Annual Boaters Safety Course, in conjunction with the Monica Burguera Foundation and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary.  Thank you Coach Dukes.

Thomas Kruczek Installed as President
On September 10th, we held a Mass to celebrate the installation of Thomas Kruczek as the second president of the school. Presided by alumnus Fr. Alejandro Rodriguez-Artola, the Mass was attended by the entire student body, faculty, staff, and school board members, as well as members of Mr. Kruczek’s family. Brother Patrick McNamara, Marist Brothers USA Provincial, was on-hand to present Mr. Kruczek with a special medallion that was created for the occasion.  It was a wonderful way to introduce and welcome our new President.
25 Seniors Recognized by the National Merit Scholarship Program
There were 25 Explorers who earned recognition in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program for their outstanding performance on the PSAT/NMSQT (National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test).  Michael Berry, Holt Boink, Jared Coleman and Albert Sanchez, were named NMSP Semifinalists. 

In addition to the semifinalists, the other Explorers who received national Hispanic recognition and/or a Commended standing are: Alessio Amor, Adolfo Anzola, Mikel Barbeite, Salvador Blanco, , Julio Brea, Kevin Cejas, David Diaz, Nicolas Fernandez, Carlos Gutierrez, Alejandro Lambert, Daniel Luna, Thomas Mackle, Alfred Martinez, Dennis Martinez, Jose Osorio, Andres Perez, Joaquin Real, Joseph Rodriguez, Anthony Rodriguez-Mira, , Ethan Trueba, and Patrick Valerius.  Our excellent faculty and staff deserve great credit for their tremendous work in preparing the students for the rigorous, national exams.
Introducing Our New STEM Logo
With new efforts underway to develop an interdisciplinary curriculum in STEM education and achieve AdvanceEd STEM certification, a new logo was launched at the beginning of this school year with the help of Macias Creative. The logo features a mix of the school’s primary and secondary colors and conforms to brand standards. It will be used to represent the Columbus STEM program and has been adapted for all our different STEM related clubs and activities.
Support Walk-a-Thon
Walk-a-thon is a 27-year tradition at Christopher Columbus High School. We will be entering the third and final week as we look forward to our walk around Tropical Park on Friday, October 11th. Please encourage your son to participate. It is the only school fund raiser of the year and all proceeds are used for school projects and charities. To participate, he only needs to bring in a total of $80. This is a fun event and it is embedded in our history and tradition!
Robotics Team – Champions at Best in Southwest Tournament
The Robotics Club started the season in Naples, competing in the "Best in Southwest" tournament where they won the Excellence Award, the highest award presented in the VEX Robotics Competition, the Robot Skills Champion Award, and the Tournament Champion Award. Congratulations to the team and moderators Mr. Larrubia, Mr. Rodriguez, and Mr. Diaz.
Active Shooter Training for Faculty and Staff
An active shooter preparedness presentation was held for all faculty and staff.  The presentation, given by alum and retired officer Daniel Villanueva, focused on a  "whole community" approach and provided tools and resources to help prepare for and respond to an active shooter incident. In considering the randomness and unpredictability of active shooter incidents, we cannot approach the issue assuming it won’t happen here.  It is our responsibility to take precautions to protect the Columbus community at all times.  In addition to the faculty training, we also conducted a fire drill and presented a lockdown video to students.

Explorers Learn Business Etiquette at the Biltmore
The Mas Family Program freshmen attended a business etiquette seminar at the Biltmore Hotel where they learned invaluable lessons that will serve them throughout their high school journey and beyond. They concluded the day with a three-course meal that put into practice their recently learned table manners. Thank you Mrs. Galvez Cuesta, Mrs. Amador, and Mrs. Cibran.

CCNN Live Nominated for 7 Emmys/Named NSPA Pacemaker Finalist
CCNN Live was nominated for seven Student Production Emmy Awards in the categories of Newscast, News: General Assignment (Light News), Short Form (Non-Fiction), Sports Program, Director and two for Sports. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced that the awards would be streamed live on November 1st.  “The future journalists, analysts, correspondents and entertainers of the next generation will be found among these talented young nominees,” said Adam Sharp, President & CEO, NATAS. CCNN Live was also named a Pacemaker award finalist for both their Daily Show and their weekly show by the National Scholastic Press Association. Congratulations Mrs. Insua, Mr. Delgado, and all the CCNN Live students.
6th Annual CCNN Live Media Excellence Awards
CCNN Live also hosted their 6th Annual Media Excellence Awards which counted on the attendance of close to 20 media professionals.  Emmy award winning television news reporter Laurie Jennings was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event as was radio and TV personality Joe Ferrero for his work helping children with autism. For the first time, this year the event collaborated with a charity partner and raised over $3,000 for Autism Speaks. Special thanks to the event committee, Mrs. Insua, Mr. Delgado, Mrs. Branas, and Mrs. Cruz and alumni co-chairs Alfred Caballero and Manny Gaunard from the class of 1988 and Mick Maspons ’81.
Debate Society News
The Debate Society had a great season opener at G. Holmes Braddock High School. In Lincoln Douglas Debate, Alan Munschy went undefeated, wining first place. Nicholas Gonzalez placed second, Adrian Alfonso placed third, Emmanuel Cartelle placed 5th and Lucas Hurley placed 6th.   Eddy Lamazares placed first in Extemporaneous Speaking. In Public Forum, Zakk Gilley & Matthew Monroy finished in 4th place.   Andres Cornide & Oliver Callava placed fifth. Adrian Griner placed sixth in Student Congress. The team also competed in the World Schools Debating format for the first time in New Orleans at the Loyola College of Law campus at the Delores Taylor Arthur World Schools Invitational.   Thank you Mr. Martinez and Mr. Ciocca.
Yearbook Earned Gold at FSPA Competition
At the recent Florida Scholastic Press Association competitions, our 2018-2019 Yearbook earned a Gold Medal.  Congratulations to Mrs. Essig and our yearbook club. 

Club Fair Showcases Columbus Activities
Student Activity Director, Ms. Brown and Assistant Director, Mr. (Cowboy) Connell have gotten off to a great start this year offering the ever-popular “club fair.” It was a wonderful and well attended event that showcased all of Columbus’ clubs and activities, over 60 in all. We encourage students to take advantage of the variety of extracurricular programs and join at least one of the many professional, international, religious, and special interest organizations offered by the school.  
Spirit Week and Homecoming
In preparation for Homecoming, students celebrated with themed days, wearing pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and shirts with camouflage and their favorite sports teams and movie/tv shows.  Columbus won the homecoming football game against Miami High (45 – 18).  Special congratulations to the Homecoming Crowned King and Queen Gustavo Alfonso and Sophia Quinoa and Prince and Princess Marc Rodriguez and Brittany Penichet.  The homecoming dance at the Marriott Miami Dadeland was celebrated with a “Roaring Twenties” theme.  Thank you again Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell for putting together a fun-filled week.
ESPN’s SportsCenter Honored Henry Parrish
On September 13th, ESPN was on campus to celebrate and commemorate our hometown football star Henry Parrish Jr. for his achievement in making it into SportsCenter’s iconic Top 10 plays list. It was Henry’s incredible play at the August 21st game against Belen where he barreled over or faked out nearly half of the defenders on the field for a touchdown that earned his place on the list. Henry rushed for 324 yards and scored three touchdowns to help win the game for Columbus 41-7.  A custom designed installation that pays homage to his incredible viral play was unveiled to Henry as he was surrounded by his family, teammates and coaches. He was one of only 10 athletes from across the nation that ESPN honored locally. A profile on Henry will air nationally on ESPN on October 10th. Special thanks to Mrs. Arteaga-Marti .    View ESPN VIDEO
Golf Team Wins Miami-Dade County Youth Fair
The varsity golf team came in 1st place at the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair, defeating every school in Miami-Dade with a golf program. Our top round came from freshman Andres Atrio who shot a final round of 71. Junior Justin Rodriguez shot a 75, senior David Ragan shot a 76, and freshman Hans Risvaer, shot a 78 to give the team a total score of 300. Thank you Coach Marinelli.
Jersey of Sebastian Ortiz is Retired at King of the Hill 5K Race
Before the King of the Hill 5K Race (hosted by CCHS Cross Country), Coach Pino took a special moment to retire the No. 35 jersey of Sebastian Ortiz ’18 and present it to his family. His parents addressed the audience about their son, his legacy and their foundation – SebastianStrong. Sebastian’s jersey will now hang in the Wellness Center with the four other retired uniforms of Explorers that passed away during their time at Columbus. The team went on to place 3rd in the race. Later in the month, they won first place at the Spanish River Invitational. 
Guidance News
Guidance Counselors, under the leadership of Ms. Vinson, have been busy meeting with parents and students and welcoming colleges and universities to campus (13 in total for September). They have also provided our students with educational workshops given by local and national guest speakers, including Captain Lucas Dahl of West Point U.S. Military Academy. The deadline to register for the Spring College Tour is October 8th.   We especially thank our counselors who have also provided comfort and support to our students at difficult times throughout the year. 
Adolescent Substance Abuse & Vaping Presentation
The guidance department hosted a presentation by Dr. Elisa Trucco (Director of the Research on Adolescent and Child Health at FIU) and Brigitte Madan (Senior Research Assistant).  They spoke to our freshman class about the ACE Project (The Antecedents and Consequences of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems Project).
Freshmen Participated in the “Get to Know Scavenger Hunt”
Freshman Methodology Class students participated in a scavenger hunt that helped them get to know key places and people on campus. Thank you, Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas.

Car Show Brings Together Explorers of all Ages
The Fall Car Show brought in over 80 cars of varying makes and models for our Columbus community to admire. Future and present Explorers along with alumni came together for a common interest. The club’s next event “Cars and Coffee” will take place on October 19th from 8:00-11:00 am with a sponsored breakfast from Frank Mederos of Kendall Ford. Thank you Mrs. Gonzalez.
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
Ms. Vessiere and the World Languages Department have celebrated Hispanic Heritage month with music, presentations, and food trucks. We continue to educate and create an environment that encourages the immersion of Spanish language and culture.
Retreat Experiences for Explorers of All Grade Levels
Our Campus Ministry team, under the leadership of Mr. Gonzalez, provided opportunities for our young men at every grade level to attend retreats at Morningstar Retreat Center. Special thanks to Mrs. Alegret, Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Larrubia, Mr. Croke, Mr. Machado, Mr. Baez, and Mr. Lorenzo. The team is now busy preparing students for the sacrament of confirmation.
Mother and Son Mass
Campus Ministry ended the month by offering the Mother & Son Breakfast and Mass in our gym.  Thank you Mr. Gonzalez and Ms. Tellechea for providing this wonderful bonding experience for our Explorers and their mothers.
9/11 Commemoration with Paul Ferretti
Ms. McCullagh
once again brought in speaker Paul Ferretti to commemorate the 18th Anniversary of 9/11. Mr. Ferretti was in a conference room in the North Tower of the World Trade Center working as a computer engineer on that tragic day.
Aviation Club Received Visit from Board Member Tom Byrne
Our Aviation Club received a visit from Tom Byrne ’77 who shared his experience in earning his private pilot license and enjoying the excitement of general aviation.  Thank you to club moderator Mr. Alberto Rodriguez.
John Lynskey Takes On Additional Development Role
Assistant Principal John Lynskey ’78 has assumed an additional role at Columbus in the area of development, working closely with President Thomas Kruczek and Associate Development Director Alfonso “Flash” Fernandez. He will keep all his current duties as Assistant Principal. Mr. Lynskey has spent 40 years at Columbus, counting his time as a student. Before becoming assistant principal, he was a social studies teacher for 30 years, a time during which he also coached varsity football, track, and served as a member of the campus ministry team.   He is one of the few Explorers who has been inducted into both the school’s main Hall of Fame and Athletic Hall of Fame.
Flu Season is Here – Take Precautions
The Influenza “flu” can cause serious illness. The best ways to protect yourself is to get vaccinated, cover your cough and sneezes, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and stay home if you are sick.
Social Media Presentation: October 9 (open to students & parents)
Public & Permanent: Keeping you Safe Online, What Everyone Should Know
We urge you and your children over 12 years old to attend this important presentation about online safety and the appropriate and inappropriate uses of social media and the consequences that exist.
Br. Kevin Adelante Fund Benefit – An Evening of Art & Jazz:   October 19
Through the generosity of artist Eric Maspons and the Maspons Family Foundation, Columbus will host “An Evening of Art and Jazz” to benefit the Br. Kevin Adelante Fund for tuition assistance. The event marks the launch of the Fund which helps families who value a Marist Catholic Education but whom without assistance would not be able to send their sons to Columbus. This free event will feature artwork for sale and auction, open bar, and Hors D’oeuvres by A-Z Catering.  
More Information/RSVP Here
Wear What Explorers Wear – Shop the Online Store
At COLUMBUSEXPLORERS.SHOP you’ll find 2-day shipping on the latest Columbus branded merchandise for men, women, and children. Be sure to check out the store and wear what Explorers wear!
Upcoming  October Dates to Remember:

10/5:                    Fall Sports Physicals (8:00am – 10:30am, Br. Herb’s Training Room)
10/7 & 8:             Parents Meeting – Financial Aid Workshop (6:30 – 8:00pm, Cafeteria)
10/9:                    Parents Meeting - Social Media Workshop (6:30 – 9:30pm, Cafeteria)
10/11:                  Walk-a-thon
10/14:                  Columbus Day Holiday (No School)
10:14:                   College Fair (6:00pm – 8:00pm, Gym/Café)
10/15:                  Hispanic Heritage Breakfast (7am – 7:45am, Br. Eugene Plaza)
10/15:                  Drama Fall Show (3:30pm – 5:00pm, LBC)
10/16:                  Academic Olympics for 8th Graders (1:30-5pm)
10/16:                  PSAT Testing
10/17:                  Discover Columbus Mothers’ Luncheon (9am – 1:30pm)
10/17 & 18:        Freshman Kerygma Retreat
10/17:                  Drama Fall Show (6:30-9:30, LBC)
10:18:                   Drama Fall Show (7:00-8:30, LBC)
10/19:                  Car Club’s Cars and Coffee (8am – 11am)
10/19:                  Br. Kevin Adelante Fund Benefit – An Evening of Art & Jazz (6:30 – 9:00pm, Café)
10/21:                  Drama Fall Show (3:30 – 6:30, LBC)
10/22:                  Screening of Operation Pedro Pan Documentary (6pm – 10pm, Café)
10/26:                  ACT Testing (7:30am – 1:30pm)
10/27:                  Father & Son Breakfast & Mass (10am – 12pm, Gym/Cafeteria)
10/28 & 29:        Junior/Senior Encounter Retreat (Morning Star Renewal Center)
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.