Rankine resigns from DDA, starts new chapter as RHS instructor

Sunday Times Newspapers

WYANDOTTE – Natalie Rankine, the former director of the  Downtown Development Authority, started a new chapter of her career as a instructor  of architecture and drafting at Roosevelt High School Sept. 8.

“It’s a really good opportunity to do something I’m really passionate about,” said Rankine, who has two bachelor’s degrees in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University.

While serving as director, she  also sat on the CTE Drafting and Advisory committee and maintained her certifications.  It was through this committee that she learned of the opportunity  to teach at Roosevelt.  One of the professors who had taught her architecture and drafting years ago at Roosevelt was retiring. Rankine applied and  found out she had the position on Aug. 28. She then submitted her resignation to the City Council at its Aug. 31 meeting.

“Unfortunately I was giving very short notice that I received the job and I  was not able to give the  city of Wyandotte and the DDA the proper two-week notice  I would have liked to,” said Rankine.

Because of the short notice, she told City Council that she would be working on the weekends and after school to “tie up any loose ends,” and to “help train her replacement.”

She is not eligible to stay on as a committee member because she does not live in the downtown area  or own a business in the city.

Rankine has two children, and the teaching opportunity  allows her time to be with them.

“I always knew I would get back into architecture in some way, and this just allowed me a way to have a family as well,” she said.  “As a mother it is hard to find a position in architecture that allows for a family life.”

Rankine is  one of five children and the fourth to go into to teaching. Her brother teaches at Notre Dame,  and her sisters teach at Cabrini High School and Center for Creative Studies.

“I hope to encourage kids and inspire girls to go into these types of fields,” said  Rankine, who was the  only girl in her high school drafting class.  “It’s something I’m super passionate about.”

Rankine teaches six hours a day at Roosevelt. Her classes include both advanced and intermediate architecture, and drafting.  She is pursuing a teaching certificate at Wayne State University, but only needs a occupational certificate to teach  a vocational field.

(Charity B. Smith can be reached at charitybsmith@yahoo.com.)