February 12, 2009


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After 20 years and 3 kids, back to school
Nationwide awards for photographer who urges:
‘Follow your dream!’

In May, 2008, Rankin graduated from Antonelli Photography School in Erdenheim with a 4.0 GPA and an Associate in Specialized Technology Degree.

Sharon Rankin never gave up on her dream of becoming a professional photographer. Throughout her jobs as a general contractor, a hazardous waste environmental manager, a contract administrator, a personnel administrator and a mother of three children, Rankin took pictures. But it wasn’t until 2006 that the Dresher resident decided to scale back on her numerous responsibilities, including volunteering for her children’s schools’ parent committees and fundraisers, and see where her passion could take her. That fall, Rankin visited Antonelli Institute in Erdenheim to see about taking classes. She returned the next day with a completed application and was immediately shown to her first class.

It had been 20 years since Rankin attended school as an undergraduate majoring in science. Many of her fellow students in Antonelli’s photography program were 18-year-old high school graduates, which gave Rankin insight to the teenage life her three children were then entering. (When asked her own age, Sharon, a native of Southern California, replied, “Mature.”) Alec, now 16; Robby, now 14, and Melanie, now 13, served as muses as well as “reluctant models” for her numerous homework assignments.

Newsletter and blog counter negative impression of Jenks

Vanessa Yingling, author of the Jenks parent newsletter and blog, is seen with her partner Rob Gabriel, daughter Alex, 6, and son Nicolas. 3. (Photo by Paula M. Riley)

When Vanessa Yingling, Ph.D., moved to Philadelphia from Brooklyn with her partner Rob Gabriel and their two small children, they sought out a strong neighborhood community. When they came to Chestnut Hill, they knew they found a home.

The growing family enjoys many walks along the Avenue and visiting the shops and bakeries near their home. When it was time to send their daughter to preschool, they chose Miquon.

“I have always been a believer in public schools,” says Yingling. “It is what makes America different.” When she and her children walked by Jenks or played on the community playground at Jenks, she often felt conflicted that her kids would not attend the community public school.

Last year when Jenks held its open house, Yingling decided to attend. “We loved Miquon and were totally satisfied there. I went to the open house to assuage my guilt for not sending my children there.”


Motorists take a licking, but PPA keeps on ticketing

Before I get too far ahead of myself, let me get one thing out of the way: The civil servants who work for the Philadelphia Parking Authority are hard-working professionals who provide a valuable municipal service.

Call Action News! Mike’s wife actually got pregnant!

We’d been trying to get pregnant for almost exactly one year. Well, technically, my wife Kara had been trying to get pregnant, but I was pitching in as best I knew how. As the months passed, I’d empty the trash can in our bathroom and occasionally dump out a used pregnancy test or two, the disappointing results of which Kara had stopped reporting to me long ago. This is how it goes for people who actually want to have a baby.