December 20, 2006
Andrew Ferdinandi, Assistant Professor in the Department of
Human Services and Counseling in The School of
Education at St. John’s University, was humbled by all the
attention as third and fifth grade students from PS 205 and PS 224
gathered for a school assembly before the holidays to honor him for
saving one of their own.
A fifth grader at the school named Antonio had been rescued by
Ferdinandi one fateful day on November 9 as he lay motionless on
Bell Boulevard just 100 yards from his school. Ferdinandi, in the
right place at the right time, jumped out of his car and
administered CPR to the boy to resuscitate him before emergency
medical attention arrived.
“Mr. Ferdinandi is an angel,” said Ann Re, one of Antonio’s
special education teachers at PS 224. “God bless him. Antonio is
family here and now Mr. Ferdinandi will be a part of our family
forever with his wonderful act of heroism.”
Principal Susan Sherer of PS 205, the grammar school which
houses the special education facility (PS 224) at 7525 Bell
Boulevard, hosted the event and was joined by Assemblyman Mark
Weprin, several school officials and students.
Weprin presented Ferdinandi with a framed proclamation for his
service to the community and act of bravery.
“Sometimes you don’t know where heroes come from and how they’re
able to step in willingly and save a life,” Weprin noted in his
speech to the school assembly. “Mr. Ferdinandi is a positive role
model that all students can look up to for his wonderful deed.”
Ferdinandi was emotional and by his own words “a little
embarrassed” at the attention throughout the event as he listened
to praise from school officials and one teacher who had a special
word of thanks from Antonio’s mother who was unable to attend. “She
thanks you a thousand times over and owes you a debt of gratitude
for saving her son’s life,” the teacher explained.
Ferdinandi was accompanied by his wife Vatt, his daughters
Jennifer and Lexi and his son Alexander (former student at PS 205)
at the school assembly.