About Heather Rathbun

“I was a weather journalist and I thought that’s what I wanted to do,” said Heather Rathbun, who joined the editorial team at AccuWeather right out of college. 

Her position at AccuWeather was part time though, so she also worked at a preschool. 

“That’s when I started veering a little,” she said. “I was like, ‘I love working with these kids, I want to go back to school for it.’”

After moving from Pennsylvania to the Albany area with her husband, Heather decided to return to school for an Education degree.

Still a journalist at heart, she conducted a lot of research into graduate programs. 

“Sage’s program was perfect because it had the dual certification and the residency,” she said, referring to the Classroom Academy.

The Classroom Academy allows candidates for a Master of Science in Childhood/Special Education at Russell Sage College to apply for paid, full-time, two-year residencies with experienced teachers, instead of traditional seven-week student-teaching placements.

“Normally with student teaching, it’s a snippet in time,” said Heather, a teaching resident in a first grade classroom in nearby Glens Falls. “I get to see the day-to-day. I get to see the progression of the school year and the academic growth of students, which has been awesome.” 

Her classes at Sage complement her Classroom Academy experience. 

“I took Intro to Special Education over the summer and everything I learned in that class has been brought up in school already,” she said.

And while it’s not an official part of the curriculum, ever since a sunshower disrupted one afternoon’s recess, she’s had fun sharing weather facts with the kids. 

“I still love the weather,” said Heather. “When I had to go to two jobs, I just enjoyed going where the kids were a little more.”


“Sage’s program was perfect because it had the dual certification and the residency.”

Heather Rathbun