• Barre woman honored by Canada
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     | February 13,2013
     
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    Leslie Broun Mastrianni meets actor Dan Aykroyd at a gala in Toronto last week where he presented her the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

    BARRE — A local resident who was born north of the border was recently recognized for “significant achievement and remarkable service to Canada.”

    Though Leslie Broun Mastrianni now lives in Barre, she spent more than three decades in Ontario becoming a leader in autism spectrum education.

    Mastrianni, an educator and author, received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal at a formal gala Feb. 6 in Toronto. Canadian actor and comedian Dan Aykroyd presented the award.

    “This is a thrilling and humbling honor that renews my commitment to studying, researching and writing about developmental disabilities and sharing this information with others,” Mastrianni said in a statement.

    The medal was created to mark the 2012 celebrations of the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne as queen of Canada. It also serves to recognize Canadians from all walks of life who have made significant contributions to Canada or whose achievements abroad have brought credit to Canada.

    The award was the latest for Mastrianni, who is recognized as an innovator in teaching reading to children with Down syndrome and applying the same sight reading method to teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. In 2006 she was awarded the Ontario Council for Exceptional Children President’s Award, and in 2008 she was the recipient of The Gerry Bloomfield Professional Award for outstanding contributions to the field of autism spectrum disorders.

    Mastrianni is working as a consultant for several school districts in Washington and Chittenden counties. She works with parents and teachers of students with Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders.

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