Christopher Columbus High School

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

September 2021 Principal's Newsletter

From the Office of Principal David Pugh

Fostering the Bonds of Brotherhood while Strengthening our Relationship with God 
Many great memories were made in the month of September. In just our second month back to school, the Columbus spirit is alive and well! We have been engaging our young men academically, spiritually, and physically through retreats, field days, and Mass. Holding true to our rich history and traditions, we are enjoying the festivities in support of our Walk-a-thon, now in its 28th year, and also celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month.  Our young men have had fun participating in a variety of activities.
The entire school community has been cooperative as we continue to abide by our COVID guidelines. Our task force meets regularly and makes recommendations to help ensure that we are always up to date with protocol that mitigates the spread of the virus on campus. With a low positivity rate, we continue to achieve our goals, creating a safe environment and keeping our students in the classroom.   Adelante!
COVID Protocol Change - Students With Symptoms Must Obtain a Nasal PCR Test 
With the commencement of October, we made a minor adjustment to our COVID protocol.  Students experiencing any COVID symptoms, regardless of vaccination status, must obtain a nasopharyngeal COVID-19 test before returning to school. If the nasopharyngeal COVID-19 test result is negative, the student may return to school if he is fever-free (no temp >100.4). As you are aware, with parental permission, our school nurse can administer the test.
Students Must Bring Their Own Masks
Although masks can be purchased in the main office, we need students to always be prepared by bringing their masks from home.  They also need to make sure that they are always wearing their mask properly throughout the school day.
National Merit Scholarship Semi-Finalists & Commended Students
Eleven seniors have been recognized in the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. Alexander Cooper and Michael Remy have been named semifinalists for being among Florida's highest scorers on the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT test and will continue in the competition.  In addition, the following seniors received letters of commendation in recognition of their outstanding academic promise:  Justin Aguiar, Jan Andretta, Andres Arguello, Hans Bendixen, Christian Ebo, Ryan Hidalgo, Gustavo Jimenez, Bryan Martinez, and Gabriel Sengelmann.   We congratulate not only these exceptional students but also our dedicated team of Marist educators who have helped in their preparation.
140 Explorers Named Scholars in the College Board National Recognition Programs
The Recognition Programs included the Hispanic, African American and Indigenous Programs which create pathways to college for students from underrepresented communities by awarding them academic honors and connecting them with universities across the country.  To view the names of all these scholar-students, CLICK HERE.
Mass & Field Day Celebrations Kicked-Off the Year
Each class celebrated a Mass or Prayer Service together followed by a day of fun activities and sports.  It was a wonderful way for our students to start the school year, re-connecting with their school family.  For the Class of 2025 it was a time to meet their classmates and make meaningful connections.
Class of 2024 Enjoying Some Basketball During Field Day
The field days included both outdoor and indoor activities.  Here are members of the Class of 2024 playing a friendly game of basketball in the gym.
Class of 2023 Prayer Service
Each of the Masses and prayer services were celebrated in honor of St. Joseph.  Students played an active role and served as lectors, speakers and alter servers. 
Class of 2022 at Field Day
The Seniors were overjoyed to have athletic time together outdoors.  Several activities took place on the baseball field in front of the new Blue Monster.  Adelante!   
Celebrating Hispanic Heritage
We continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month (Sep. 15 – Oct. 15).  This year the World Languages Team has brought a lineup of food trucks to Columbus during lunch time so our students could sample a variety foods from different Latin-American countries.  Argentina,  Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, and Peru have all been represented and the faculty has shared in the spirit as well.  Special thanks to Mrs. Alonso.  
Club Fair
A successful Club Fair was held in the cafeteria.  Students were encouraged to sign up for one of our many clubs and activities.  There are currently over 50 diverse clubs at Columbus.  Pictured are members of the Robotics Club showing off their robots at the Fair.  Participating in clubs are a great way to make new friends while exploring one’s interests. Thank you to Ms. Brown and Mr. Connell for coordinating the event.     
College Reps Visit Columbus
Our Director of College & Career Services, Mrs. Martinez, has been hosting College Rep Visits in the Lawrence Bell Center (in-person and virtually).  All  upperclassmen and Mas Program Sophomores are invited to attend.  Some of the colleges that have participated thus far are:  Boston University, The Catholic University of America,  St. Thomas, Ohio State, Dartmouth,  Nova Southeastern,  UChicago, Vanderbilt University, University of Dallas, Miami Dade College-Honors, University of Alabama, Purdue, Alabama State, and Washington University-St. Louis.
Squires Club Led a Back to School Supply Drive
We thank Nicholas Gonzalez and the Squires Club for leading a Back to School Supply Drive that benefitted needy children in our community.  Special thanks to Br. Eladio, The Knights of Columbus, The Cuban Alumni Association, and to all the Explorers and families that participated.
Gold and Pink Ties Available Year Round In Support of Pediatric & Breast Cancer Awareness
Our Explorers have been wearing Gold Ties in support of Pediatric Cancer Awareness and Pink Ties in support of Breast Cancer Awareness.  The ties can be purchased on campus and be worn throughout the year. 
Freshman Scavenger Hunt
The freshman class participated in the annual scavenger hunt through their Communications Methodology classes. They were tasked with finding key places and people within the school using clues provided. They had a great time while learning a little bit more about their new home. In this picture the students found our Dean of Students Mr. Trujillo.  Thank you to Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas.
Golf Team on a Roll!
Mr. Marinelli and the Golf Team, led by Hans Risvaer, Sebastian Kawas, Max Fonseca, Christian Figueredo and Andres Atrio have been on a roll, winning three important tournaments in September.  These included the Maverick Invitational Tournament where they shot a 291, defeating 13 teams from Dade/ Broward as well as the South Florida PGA West Tournament and the Dade County Youth Fair Tournament where they won by a landslide.   They also travelled to Arizona and Bradenton for the Arizona Pin and  Lakewood Ranch Invitationals. 
Swim Team’s Senior Day
Coach Dukes and Swim Team shared special  moments together during their last home meet against Palmetto.  The seniors read heart-filled messages of thanks to their parents.  Earlier in the month, the team had a solid showing versus the Coral Gables. The 200 relay teams came in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Mateo Silva placed  1st place in the 200 Medley. Zachary DePass placed 1st in the 50 Free, Matthew Ryan and Oliver Herrero placed 2nd and 3rd. In the 100 Free, Marc Dabby placed 1st and Bradley Euster placed 2nd. In the 500 free Mateo Silva placed 1st and in the 100 Backstroke David Grenier placed 1st while Michael Grenier placed 1st in the 100 breast stroke.
Hellions Wayback Wednesdays
The Cross Country team has started a “Wayback Wednesday Series” where team members have the opportunity to hear from former alumni Hellions who share their experiences and give motivational speeches.  Steve Frigo ‘99 who serves as the program's historian and statistician and Brian Palmer ‘13, a recent law school graduate, have both participated.
STEM Students Visit the Kennedy Space Center
Students from our Engineering and Astronomy classes as well as for those in our  Aviation, Robotics and STEM Clubs toured the Kennedy Space this month.  They had the opportunity to visit the Apollo-Saturn V and Atlantis exhibits.  Thank you Mr. Rodriguez.
Guillermo Rodriguez Served at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France
Senior Guillermo Rodriguez participated in a service activity at the Sanctuary Our Lady of Lourdes in France with the Hospitalité de Miami, Archdiocese of Miami. He had the opportunity to take part in the Rosary at the Lourdes Torchlight Procession.
Bundles of Joy Baby Food Collection Drive
The Bundles of Joy Baby Food Collection Drive was a great success.  Our Explorers collected and delivered baby food, supplies and snacks to low-income, singles mothers in the Little Havana and Hialeah areas, through the Lotus House Women’s Shelter.  Special thanks to the Gabriel Perez and the Cooking Club students who led the effort and to all the students and their families who participated. The transportation was generously provided by Ryder Inc.
Juniors and Seniors Experienced "Encounter"
The "Encounter" retreat for Juniors and Seniors took place over the course of two-and-a-half-days and involved a series of peer- and adult-facilitated experiences.  This year, President Kruczek, Ms. Vinson, Ms. Fernandez, and Dr. Burrus all visited.  Special thanks also to Mr. Gonzalez, Ms. Rodriguez and Mr. Croke.
Constitution was Day Celebrated on September 17th
Ms. McCullagh's Government Classes celebrated Constitution Day on September 17th with the Bill of Rights Institute's Juan D'Arce who was streamed into the classes.   
Brian Martinez Completed his Eagle Scout Project
Brian Martinez may be only a freshman but he has already completed his Eagle Scout Project which involved building bird feeders at his middle school Devon Aire K-8 Center.  Congratulations Brian!
Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas Honored with Compass Award
The Columbus Compass Awards acknowledges the creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and dedication of our teachers in leading students to excellence. The 2020/21 Compass Award went to our teacher extraordinaire,  Mrs. Jeannette Gonzalez-Rojas.  In addition to teaching full-time, Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas moderates the "Best Buddies Club" which works to create awareness, respect, and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.   She was also recently recognized at a University of Miami football game as part of their Extra Yard for Teachers Program.  Congratulations Mrs. Gonzalez-Rojas!
President Thomas Kruczek Named "Power Leader in Education" for a 2nd Year by the SFBJ
We congratulate our president Thomas Kruczek for being named a Power Leader in Education again this year by the South Florida Business Journal.
Upcoming October Dates to Remember:
10/12 – 10/15:  Homecoming Spirit Week
10/13:  Senior FAFSA Workshop (6:00pm, Café)
10/14:  Homecoming Football Game (7:00pm, Field)
10/15:  Homecoming Dance (7:00pm, Jungle Island)
10/19:  College Fair (7:00pm, Café/Gym)
10/26:  Senior College Financial Aid Meeting (Virtual, 7:00pm)
Marist Youth takes place every Tuesday from 7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Chapel and 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.