Our Staff

Banyan School Administrative Team

Wendy McNeill


Since 2017, Mrs. Wendy McNeill has served as Director of Banyan School, responsible for the Elementary School, High School and LIFE Academy.  She joined Banyan School in 2014 as Principal of the Elementary School after a 38-year career in the Little Falls Public School system.

Prior to joining Banyan School, Mrs. McNeill was the Director of Special Services in Little Falls for over 13 years.  In this capacity, she oversaw the academic needs of all students requiring special education, as well as the supervision and oversight of staff, operations, and budget.  Before becoming Director of Special Services, she was a Learning Disabilities-Teacher Consultant/Case Manager on the Child Study Team and a Special Education Teacher. Mrs. McNeill is a past-President of the Passaic County Association of Special Services Administrators.

In her time at Banyan School, Mrs. McNeill has been privileged to work with a highly-skilled and compassionate staff, while working to further develop and refine a sound educational program. She is extremely proud of the specialized and prescriptive program that is offered for our student population, of becoming an accredited Wilson® Partner School, and of implementing research proven strategies and best practices in Special Education.

Banyan High School

Janet Blanchard


Mrs. Janet Blanchard joined the administration of the Banyan Schools in 2022.  Mrs. Blanchard serves as the high school and LIFE academy principal. She joined the staff after a career of 31 years in public education.

Prior to joining Banyan, Mrs. Blanchard served as the Director of Curriculum and Ridgefield Memorial High School Principal for the Ridgefield Public School System.  The Ridgefield Public Schools served the academic needs of students with a magnet school program for students who required special education services.  Mrs. Blanchard was responsible for the oversight of the daily operation of the high school, as well as the academic curriculum for the district for grades K – 12.  Prior to her service as an administrator, Mrs. Blanchard was a teacher for students with disabilities.

Mrs. Blanchard is a mentor through the NJ Leaders to Leaders program and a member of the Alliance of Private Special Education Schools of Northern NJ.  It is truly a privilege to be working with the families at the Banyan Schools.

Rachel Lott

Assistant Principal

Ms. Rachel Lott is the assistant principal at Banyan High School. Ms. Lott graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Health & Physical Education and Teacher of Special Education, along with a Masters Degree in Teaching. She also has a certificate in Supervision and Educational Assessment and is planning on finishing a Master of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University this May. Ms. Lott joined the Banyan High School community as a Health and Physical Education teacher in September 2017. After leaving Banyan briefly to work in the public school system, Ms. Lott returned to Banyan High School as Supervisor of Instruction and Work Based Learning Coordinator. 

Ms. Lott believes that dreams can come true and that all students can achieve their goals in life.  She is here to support our students both in school and in the work environment to become active school and community members.

Margaret Kiwior

Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Ms. Margaret Kiwior is the Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction at Banyan High School.  Margaret graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Later in life, she again attended Montclair State for her initial teaching certificate. At Caldwell University, she received her M.A. in Special Education and Certificate as a Teacher of Students with Learning Disabilities. A few years later, Margaret completed her Reading Specialist Post-master’s certification, followed by an Administrative Supervisor Certificate in 2019 from  Montclair State University. She has her Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I & II certifications at the Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist level and is a Wilson® Credentialed Trainer. Margaret has been a teacher at Banyan School since 2007, a Parent Teacher Liaison at BHS PTSO since 2014, and a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction at Banyan High School since 2019.

Banyan Elementary School

Ron Lieberman


Mr. Ron Lieberman is the Principal of Banyan Elementary School.  He began this position in April of 2022 and has over 28 years of experience in the field of education, serving in three public school districts during that time period.  His experience includes the following roles: Special Education Teacher, Learning Disabilities Teacher-Consultant/Case Manager, Supervisor of Special Education, Elementary School Principal and Director of Special Education.

Mr. Lieberman feels that he has found his dream job in becoming part of the Banyan family.  He looks forward to facilitating the Elementary School’s continued growth in the implementation of research based practices in meeting the needs of our students’ educational challenges, as well as providing a place where every child can develop into well-rounded individuals ready to move onto the next phase of their educational journey.

Patricia Walters-DiGiaimo

Assistant Principal & Admissions Coordinator

Ms. Patricia Walters-DiGiaimo is the Assistant Principal and Admissions Coordinator of Banyan Elementary School.  Pat has filled a multitude of positions during her career that covers over 40 years.  Within the public education sector, she has served in the following roles: Preschool Consultant, LDTC, Supervisor, and Director.  During her tenure within public schools, she was recruited by the State Department to consult with schools in Bergen, Passaic, Hudson and Morris counties to assist in improving special education programs for schools identified as in need of improvement.  As for her work with private schools, she served as a teacher and consultant.  Since 2016, Banyan has been fortunate to have her serve in the role of Assistant Principal.

While Pat has multiple responsibilities within Banyan Elementary, her most important role is to walk families through the intake process and becoming a part of the Banyan family.  She takes great pride in guiding our potential families and districts through this process, ensuring that all are supported throughout the intake.

Jennifer Kempton Sansone

Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Ms. Jennifer Kempton Sansone is one of the Supervisors of Curriculum & Instruction at Banyan Elementary School.  Jennifer holds certifications as a Reading Specialist, Teacher of Students with Disabilities, Elementary Education Teacher, and Supervisor. Jennifer worked at Banyan School as a Reading Specialist and Special Education Teacher for eight years and as a Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction for the past two years. Jennifer graduated from Rider University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. Jennifer completed a dual Master’s degree program in Childhood Education and Literacy at Long Island University. She continued her educational career by obtaining additional post-master’s degree credits at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Fitchburg State University, and Rowan University. Jennifer holds her Wilson Reading System® (WRS) Level I & II certifications at the Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist level and is a Wilson® Credentialed Trainer. As a trainer, Jennifer is able to provide the following professional learning opportunities for Banyan and public teachers: WRS Introductory Course, WRS Level I Certification, WRS Advanced Strategies for MSL Group Instruction, and WRS Level II Certification. Also, Jennifer is a Fundations® Facilitator & Presenter and Just Words® Facilitator & Presenter.

Emily Perkins

Supervisor of Curriculum & Instruction

Mrs. Emily Perkins is one of the Supervisors of Curriculum & Instruction at Banyan Elementary School.  Emily earned a BA degree in Elementary Education from Lesley University and a Master’s degree in Special Education from Hunter College.  She is state certified in both Elementary and Special Education.  Additionally, Emily earned her Supervisor, Principal and Teacher-Leader Certification from the Foundation for Education and Administration NJEXCEL program.  She is a Wilson® Dyslexia Therapist and has been a special educator since 2003.  Emily taught and supported teachers and administrators in a variety of special education settings in Massachusetts, New York City, and New Jersey. She is trained and qualified to teach using a variety of methodologies including Multi-Sensory Math, Lindamood-Bell’s Visualizing & Verbalizing, Comprehensive Orton-Gillingham Training, Thinking Maps Training, Reading Rescue, Instructional Rounds Facilitator Training, Behavior Intervention Plan Training, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Tier I Training, Training for Co-Teaching and Differentiated Instruction and Columbia Teachers College Inclusive Classrooms Project 2012-2014.  Emily has a passion for improving instruction for students with disabilities and increasing the learning outcomes for all students. 

Current Students

Years Established

Our HIB Specialists are: 

Nancy DiSalvo for the Elementary School

Angela Randion, LCSW for the High School & LIFE Academy

Faculty & Staff

Districts Served

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