Christopher Columbus High School

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

September 2020 Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Hybrid Learning Off to a Good Start
On September 21st, Columbus re-opened campus for Hybrid Learning (Scenario 2) with students attending classes on campus for two consecutive days per week while the cohort of remote students participate concurrently in synchronous online eLearning.  Pictured is Mr. Moro engaging in live instruction, while also teaching to students on-line. Local station NBC6 stopped by to see how the new method was working and how our school prepared for the reopening.  See NBC6 Video.

Virtual Kick-Off Mass Celebrated by Rev. Andrew Tomonto ‘09  
As is the tradition, we gathered as one Marist family to kick-off the school year and celebrated Mass together. Although we wished it could have been in person, our YouTube Channel allowed us to connect.  It was a special night where we had the opportunity to pray for our intentions through A Shared Vision and Faith. Special thanks to Rev. Andrew Tomonto ’09, Mr. Gonzalez and the Campus Ministry Team.   
20 Seniors Earned Recognition in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program
Christopher de la Viesca and Luis Victores are Semifinalists
Congratulations to the Semifinalists, Commended Students and those who were recognized by the College Board in the National African-American and Hispanic Recognition Programs:  Christopher de la Viesca (semifinalist), Luis Victores (semifinalist), Darrick Baboun, Lukas Bleichner, Luis Caporale, Omar Caraballo, Diego Espinosa, Patrick Garcia, Mathew Greenwood, Christopher Jose, Pablo Martinez,  Dawson Mays, Raphael Perez, Pedro Portela, Francisco Ribas, Jaden Sproul, Connor Smith, William Trueba, Christopher Valdes, and Rodrigo Velazco.
Over 87% of Seniors Took the SAT on September 23rd
In an effort to provide the senior class with a convenient opportunity to meet their college admission requirements, the SAT college-admission test was administered on campus, during the school day.  
National Honor Society Held Blood Drive
Precisely because of the community health crisis that our country is facing, we decided to offer our annual blood drive on campus. We thank the 34 Columbus family members, including students, faculty & staff, alumni, parents and grandparents who participated.  Special thanks to National Honor Society Moderator, Mrs. Cofresi, and the new NHS officers (Lukas Bleichner, Rodrigo Velazco, Daniel Armesto, and Patrick Garcia) for organizing the event and donating blood. 
Principal Pugh Donated Plasma During Blood Drive
The blood drive was also an opportunity for the Columbus family to donate plasma.  Principal Pugh, who developed COVID-19 antibodies during the summer, is thankful to have been able to give back to the community and donate his plasma.  He encourages everyone in the same situation to give back and help save lives.
Campus Underwent MicroBiostatic Cleaning
During the weekend of September 26th, the Columbus campus underwent a Microbiostatic Cleaning which killed viruses from high touch surfaces and protected them from microbes for up to 90 days.  The system that was used is an EPA registered antimicrobial technology.   To be safe, the school plans to have the procedure done to the entire campus every 70 – 75 days. 

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.  
President Kruczek & Principal Pugh Lectures
Columbus leaders, President Kruczek and Principal Pugh, both gave lectures virtually to Mr. Corazon’s Business Leadership Class this month.   
In Honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, Gold Ties Purchases Benefitted Sofia’s Hope
Gold Ties were made available in support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Pictured is Adrian Leonard and Marcelo Varela wearing their golden ties.   
Virtual Club Fair Week
Our virtual “Club Fair Week” allowed for club and honor society moderators to hold individualized Zoom Information Sessions for our student body. Students were able to learn about the many extra-curricular activities that Columbus has to offer and how to join our many different clubs, many of which are meeting virtually on a regular basis.  Special thanks to SAC moderators Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell
Marist Youth Launched In-Person Meetings on Campus
We are pleased to announce that our coed student faith community, Marist Youth, started meeting in person on September 15th.  The group, made up of Columbus Explorers and high school students from local schools, will meet every Tuesday from 7:00 – 8:30pm in the cafeteria.  This is a great opportunity for young people to socialize, share life experiences, pray, and have fun.  Going forward, face masks are required to participate, and social distancing guidelines will be carefully observed. Remote access to the group via Zoom will be available to students who choose not to participate in person.   Special thanks to Marist Youth co-rectors Andrew Hernandez and Daniel Van Arman, the other student leaders, and moderators Mr. David Isenberg and Brother Tom.
Mas Family Program Starts College Snap Sessions
The Mas Family Program has started to offer Senior College Snap Sessions and hopes to expand them to the entire senior class. Some of the topics included in the first sessions were:  Finalizing the College List, The Main Essay, The Why Us Essay, The Common App, and Recommendations Letters.  Thank you, Mrs. Galvez-Cuesta and Mrs. Amador.   
Debate Society Competed Virtually
The Debate Society competed in this year’s Grapevine Invitational which turned out to be the largest ever virtual tournament held on the National Speech and Debate Association platform.  There were 177 schools and 1,086 students from 31 different states (plus a Taiwanese team) who participated.  Two Explorers advanced to elimination rounds and another three missed quarter finals by tiebreaker (Nicholas Gonzalez and Noah Sastoque).  Thank you to our new Debate Coach Mr. De Tuya.
“La Cafetera” Came to Campus as a Gift from Parents
On the Friday after the first week of Hybrid Learning, our faculty and staff received a surprise treat when “La Cafetera” pulled up to campus.  The cafecito was truly appreciated at the end of the long work-week.  Pictured is Attendance Dean Mrs. Fernandez with her café con leche.  Special thanks to the Northcutt, Concepcion, and Ryan families as well as Ms. LLerena.
Explorers Doing Good
Gabriel Leon ‘24, Julian Fresen ‘24 and Adrian Fresen '24 handed out pizzas through the kids volunteer task force, Pack of Dogs.  The organization assists charities and is committed to providing volunteer opportunities at a young age.     

Guidance Department Launched a Virtual College Showcase Series
The Guidance Department hosted over 30 colleges and universities as part of their new Virtual College Showcase Series.  Some of the colleges that participated in these Zoom Webinars for students were:  Georgetown, Wake Forest, Southern Methodist University, Johns Hopkins, and our United States Service Academies, to name a few.  There will be several more colleges participating throughout the months of October and November.  The links will be available in the TOPICS section of the GUIDANCE PAGE in OnCampus.
Cross Country Dominated Naples Race
Our Cross-Country teams kicked off their season in Naples with an outstanding showing.  In the Varsity race, Chris Ivonnet was the individual champion, followed closely by Donato Scarcello, Nick Ivonnet and Alvaro Canarte, whom all finished within seven seconds of each other. The Varsity team took 7 of the top 11 spots in the race to dominate their competition.  The JV team accounted for the first 19 runners to cross the finish line.  The individual winner was Gio Armas, followed closely behind by Danny A. Garcia. The Hellions also placed 2nd at the FLrunners Invitational Race of Champions, placing 6 of its 10 runners in the top 30 in a race that had over 150 competitors.  Thank you Coach Pino.
Golf Team Wins First Match Against Ransom Everglades
The Varsity Golf Team got off to a great start, picking up their first win over a very tough Ransom Everglades team. Hans Risvaer, Andres Atrio, Max Fonseca, and Christian Figueredo led the team.  Thank you Coach Marinelli.
Honor Society Installation Ceremonies Go Virtual
The Br. Edmund Sheehan Chapter of the National Honor Society, the Spanish Honor Society, and the French Honor Society all offered virtual installation ceremonies this month. CONGRATULATIONS to all the honorary new members! Special thanks to Mrs. Cofresi, Dr. Folch, and Ms. Vessiere.
Mrs. Insua Named Distinguished Broadcast Advisor of the Year
Our English teacher and CCNN Live moderator, Mrs. Christina Insua, was named Distinguished Broadcast Advisor of the Year by the Journalism Education Association. The Columbus community is very proud of Mrs. Insua and all the hard work she puts into journalism. She is an inspiration to our students.

President Kruczek Named a Power Leader in Education
Our school president, Mr. Thomas Kruczek, was named to the 2020 South Florida Business Journal's Power Leaders in Education. He is one of 24 educational leaders on the list that includes several South Florida university presidents.  Congratulations President Kruczek!  View Article Here (must be a SFBJ subscriber to view)
Br. Kevin’s Store  - New Gear Will Be in Stock on October 15th
Browse our complete selection of officially licensed Christopher Columbus High School apparel and merchandise at Br. Kevin’s Store on campus and on ColumbusExplorers.Shop. Check out our Columbus apparel, Nike Authentic line, accessories and game day SWAG to make sure you’re ready to cheer on the Explorers.
Upcoming  October Dates to Remember:

10/7:                  Digital Speaker Series with State Rep. Daniel Perez ‘05
10/12:                Columbus Day Holiday (No School)
10/14:                PSAT/NMSQT (Juniors Only)
10/28:                Online Parent/Teacher Meetings (by appointment)
10/29:                PSAT/NMSQT Exam (Sophomores Only)
*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
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.