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Program to keep young stars in school

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Izellah Connelly, Year 6, is a busy young lady, she’s been the lead role in Tim Minchin’s musical Matilda, performed in three other stage productions and is touted as the country’s next pop princess. And she’s still a good student thanks to an innovative new program.

She attends St Hilda’s School on the Gold Coast who have firmed up their new Athena Program which lets students with exceptional extra-curricular lives keep up with their schoolwork.

Izellah’s father, Rahman Connelly says “St Hilda’s support of Izellah has been wonderful. It’s great to see a school having such a forward-thinking approach in valuing more than just academic performance.”

“There is the challenge of how to keep up-to-date with the academic curriculum when Izellah has commitments that take her away from school, but the Athena Program gives us the unique opportunity to work Izellah’s schedule and passions in with her education.

“Izellah has really benefited from being able to stay in school and maintain her friendships and it has helped her to feel grounded in an industry which is often not.”

St Hilda’s Director of Pre-Preparatory and Head of Athena, Lisa Cleverly, is proud the school offers a program that helps students balance their schooling with other commitments.

“We are passionate about supporting our girls and believe there should be no barriers to achieving both academic and extra-curricular success,” Cleverly said.

“Eligible students, particularly those competing in elite sports or performing arts programs, benefit from the program’s personalised flexible learning plans, extra pastoral care and support for parents.

“Being able to support Izellah in her academics, and pastorally, to manage her commitments to her performance opportunities and schooling has been very rewarding. Izellah has such an amazing talent – proving to all that age is no limit.”

Izellah Connelly’s new single, If Every Day Was Christmas, will be released on the 29 November and proceeds of the pre-sale are being donated to the Starlight Children’s Foundation which assists in brightening the lives of seriously ill and hospitalised children.

Pre-sales for Izellah’s new holiday single If Every Day Was Christmas is available now at or go to iTunes and search “Izellah”.

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