In a June 13, 2018, ceremony, Carnegie Hero Matthew John Kalafat, center, received the Carnegie Medal presented by Westfield Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Dolan, left, and school principal Mary Asfendis, right, in his classroom at Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield, N.J.
In September 2016, Kalafat, a 46-year-old teacher of Scotch Plains, N.J., saved a 26-year-old woman from drowning at Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. Kalafat entered the water to find the woman face-down and unconscious.
Kalafat grasped her around the waist and fought large waves and unwadable water until ultimately reaching a point of safety. There, others took the woman and began efforts to resuscitate her.
“Out of 325 million Americans, the Commission chose 18 heroes, and your teacher is one of them,” Dolan told Kalafat’s students as they applauded.
Photo courtesy of Westfield Public Schools.