The Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) will recognize Phil Leonard as the 2020 Amelia Riou award recipient this coming May.

MAHPERD, which is dedicated to providing professional development opportunities, promoting leadership, and advocating for quality programs in the Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance fields, presents this award to recognize an outstanding hands-on practitioner who has made valuable contributions in the area of Adapted Physical Education.

Leonard has been with The New England Center for Children (NECC) since 2005, working now as the Assistant Director of Adapted Physical Education. During his time at NECC, he has completed his master’s degree in Kinesiology at Bridgewater State and also been an active member of MAHPERD. His work within MAHPERD includes a three-year term on the organization’s Executive Board from 2012-2015.

“I am truly honored and humbled to receive this award,” says Leonard, “To be recognized by peers at this level is very gratifying. We have a great Adapted Physical Education program for our students at The New England Center for Children and I am very proud to have played a part in its development. I look forward to many more years working to positively impact the lives of students on the autism spectrum through physical education and physical fitness.”

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians have transformed the lives of thousands of children with autism worldwide through education, research, and technology. The Center provides comprehensive services to maximize independence: home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, the ACE® ABA Software System (www.acenecc.org), teacher professional development, and research on educational best practices.

NECC is committed to staff professional development, partnering with local colleges to provide on-site graduate training and degrees at little to no cost to the NECC teacher. The result is a growing pool of exceptional teachers trained in best-in-class methodologies, whether they continue their careers at NECC or move on to public schools or private agencies. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at www.necc.org.

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