Jane Podrazhansky

GACA student Jane Podrazhansky

Jane Podrazhansky is a middle school student who enrolled in Georgia Connections Academy in 2019. The school seemed like a good fit, and the curriculum looked impressive, with the same state standards and testing offered at her local public school.

At the beginning of the school year, Jane was recovering from surgery. She was born with a unilateral cleft lip, which requires a series of surgeries as she grows. Due to the nature of her surgical procedure, Jane wouldn’t have been able to attend her local public school during her recovery and could’ve fallen behind. But as a Georgia Connections Academy student, she was able to continue her schoolwork at home.

Jane has a passion for horseback riding and trains with her horse in the English Hunter style. She rides six days a week and has riding lessons on four to six of those days. Jane competes in horse shows regularly and takes part on an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) team.

As training has progressed, a pony named Miley became part of her family, and Jane began to compete in more local horse shows and show at the elite level. Jane and Miley earned champion status at several horse shows and continued to compete in higher divisions. Eventually, a horse named Lexington joined the family, and they became a team.

Jane’s riding and training have increasingly become more demanding, with horse shows usually involving travel. The show weekend includes Friday as a show day, which means Thursdays are often travel days. With online school, Jane has a more flexible school schedule, so she can work with her Georgia Connections Academy teachers to plan her schoolwork around shows. She can also watch recordings of any LiveLesson® sessions she has missed. In a brick-and-mortar school, attending these shows would’ve been counted as absences.

The Georgia Connections Academy teachers are encouraging and supportive of Jane’s riding. The teachers’ availability and instruction through LiveLesson sessions makes the school a unique way to learn. Jane enjoys school for the first time and feels that she has good communication with her teachers. The flexibility Georgia Connections Academy offers works well with her intense equestrian training.

Jane and Lexington qualified for the United States Equestrian Federation Junior Hunter National Championship this summer. Jane also qualified to compete in IEA Nationals this year.

With high school in the near future, Jane plans to continue training and competing at the elite level while at Georgia Connections Academy. She also has a series of surgeries ahead of her. Thanks to the support and flexibility at Georgia Connections Academy, Jane will be able to continue her education during her recovery time and also train in a sport she loves.