March 9, 2023

Ashley Leonardi, MSEd, began her career at The New England Center for Children (NECC) as an intern in 2012 and is now an education coordinator for the Intensive Instructional Program (IIP). She was nominated by a colleague because she is “so dedicated and hard working. She is always thinking of how to best support her students and their teachers. Cohort D is so lucky to have her, and she truly is amazing!”

How long have you worked for NECC?

While finishing my undergrad, I was hired as an intern on the IIP in 2012. Following my graduation in 2013, I worked as a teacher on the Home-based program. I transferred back to the IIP to complete my master’s degree work through Simmons. Currently, I am in my second contract year as an education coordination for the IIP.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Having worked with students of all ages, my favorite part of the job is seeing the progress and gains the students make. I have enjoyed being part of a team and working alongside other NECC staff as well. Being part of a team allows you the opportunity to learn from both staff and students.

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism? Why NECC?

I have always enjoyed working with children. While at Framingham State University, where I was finishing my undergrad in psychology, I interned at NECC. I enjoyed working with the students so much that I applied and began my career at NECC.

Have you taken advantage of any of the grad programs or teacher training at NECC? If so, how has it affected your teaching style?

Yes, I completed the master’s program through Simmons University. Completing the Simmons program helped me gain new tools that I use to help my students learn and be successful.

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?

I enjoy cooking and crafting!