learning center Staff


Point Loma

Trish Padgett


Trish is a Professionally Certified Educational Therapist, holds a Dyslexia Certificate, and has a master's degree in education. Before joining forces with Banyan Tree, Trish founded Foundations for Reading and Learning in Carlsbad and created the Writing Adventures curriculum, a structured and systematic writing program for grades K-12. Trish's passion is professional development, and she has traveled the country training in literacy development.

Nanci Engle


Nanci is our founder and fearless leader in providing literacy intervention and educational therapies to build foundations for learning. She has a master's degree in education, a special education teaching credential, and is a licensed Educational Therapist. Nanci's dedication to serving students in the San Diego area has built a strong reputation for Banyan Tree as a premier provider of educational services.

Heidi Schmidt

Assistant Director

Heidi recently joined BT, moving from New Mexico. She holds a special education teaching credential as well as a master's degree in special education, a post-graduate Professional Certificate in Educational Diagnostics, and an elementary teaching credential. Heidi is a learning and dyslexia specialist, trained in various Orton Gillingham-based programs. She is a Certified Language Practitioner through ALTA. Her passion is to educate, support and advocate for bright children who don’t fit into the traditional education mold.

Kay MacIsaac

Assistant Director

Kay has been with Banyan Tree almost from the very beginning! She joined forces with Nanci in 1999 as Reading Specialist, Program Director, and Learning Specialist. Kay has a both a teaching credential and master's degree in special education from Point Loma Nazarene University, as well as an autism authorization. She also has a multiple subject teaching credential. Kay's heart and commitment to students is unmatched!