Rising to the occasion, alumna Weintraub returns as Special Education teacher


Ava Ellis

New student support services teacher and ARHS alumna Sarah Weintraub works at her desk on Nov. 7, 2022.

Jaclyn Faulconer, Staff Writer

Algonquin Class of 2012 alumna Sarah Weintraub has dedication and passion for her role as a new special education teacher and liaison for the RISE Program. 

Weintraub graduated from Boston University with a degree in occupational therapy. She earned her master’s in special education with a specialization in Autism from Simmons University, and went on to teach for six years at the New England Center for Children. After graduating from Simmons, Weintraub completed coursework and clinical hours to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) from Western New England University and eventually made her way back to her alma mater. 

I kind of landed in teaching accidentally,” Weintraub said. “I went to school for occupational therapy and that’s what I graduated with, but I ended up taking a gap year six years ago and I worked at a school for occupational autism. I ended up falling in love with the work that I did there, so I changed my entire career in a gap year to pursue teaching in special education.”

According to Weintraub, RISE is a program that offers specific help to special education students as well as additional academic and therapeutic support. 

 “[The RISE program] was modeled very differently last year, so this year it’s been a learning curve of how as a new teacher how can I set up a repertoire for my students but at the same time get my job done,” Weintraub said.

Weintraub begins each new day with a positive attitude and willingness to teach.

“Every day’s a new day in terms of I don’t know what it’s going to look like,” Weintraub said. “I’m mentally preparing myself for the curve balls that are thrown. With any student, sometimes teachers forget they have bad days; they have challenges, so navigating that along with the challenges you’re having.”

Along with helping students navigate challenges, Weintraub has learned to focus on creating a healthy balance between her work and personal life.. 

“I love coming to work every day because of the students; they have a huge impact on me, whether they know it or not, because it models how my day goes,” Weintraub said. 

Weintraub enjoys connecting with her students while helping them work through challenges.

“If a student is going to have a bad day it’s going to be a more challenging day for me because I need to figure out the best way to help them,” Weintraub said. “The students that take the time to get to know me and are receptive to me getting to know them, I think we form a really nice relationship.”

Although Weintraub didn’t expect to return to Algonquin, she enjoys her new role and looks forward to the upcoming years. When she’s not teaching, she enjoys spending time outside doing activities such as bike riding and hiking. 

“I didn’t think I would come back to Northborough…once I graduated,” Weintraub said. “I said, ‘I’m never coming back,’ but I’m glad I did and I absolutely love it here and I hope to continue.”