Ali Banchiere – Student Support Coordinator
Ali is originally from sunny Florida, and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL with a BA in Sociology.
During the summers while in college, she worked at Boggy Creek Gang Camp, a Paul Newman camp for terminally and chronically ill children. It was then that she knew she wanted to work with kids, and found herself especially drawn to those with special needs. After graduating, she headed to inner-city Orlando to The Boys and Girls Club. The Appalachian mountains kept calling to her, however, and she moved to western North Carolina in 2001.
She was employed in different social work situations: group homes, foster care, and at United Way. It was exciting and challenging. She loved her work, but she only saw children in crisis situations. Ali realized she wanted to work with them in a more nurturing environment and get to know them better as individuals. So, she headed back to school and earned her master’s in Special Education from Western Carolina University. After that, Ali worked in McDowell County for seven years, teaching and helping students with a wide range of challenges, from children with severe and profound needs to those with dyslexia.
She is now the coordinator of Student Support Services for Rainbow. Every day, the students and teachers amaze her and she feels like she’s continually learning and becoming a better person, teacher and mother. Ali definitely loves the challenge of working with so many wonderful people – students, parents and staff. She’s bubbly and approachable – her students know her for this.
Ali has two children, Sophia & Berk, and had the opportunity to stay home with them for five years. In her free time she enjoys gardening, sewing, and spending time with her family and friends.