Student Life

In addition to a balanced curriculum of academics, arts and athletics, Shady Side offers a wide array of extracurricular activities and clubs that allow students to explore most any interest under the sun. Develop your leadership skills as a student council officer, department associate, admissions ambassador, dorm prefect or club president. Join like-minded students in one or more of our 50+ student clubs – or start your own! – from service learning to speech & debate to diversity to finance.

These experiences are overseen by the Senior School Student Life Office, a team of faculty members devoted to helping students grow to their full potential while being shaped by our Guiding Principles.

Leadership Opportunities

Academic Policy Committee Members
Students are elected by their peers to serve as voting members of the APC, which is comprised of senior administrators and academic department chairs, and engages in discussions about academic policy, curriculum, schedule and pedagogy.

Admission Ambassadors
Selected juniors and seniors give tours to prospective families, assist with admissions open houses and events, and write for the Student Voices Blog.

Class Officers
Peer-elected leaders organize class events, build school spirit, fundraise and address issues facing the class. Class officers run monthly class meetings.

Club Heads
Students lead a variety of clubs.

Community Builders
Selected juniors and seniors mentor younger students and educate them about school-wide issues and the five Guiding Principles: Honesty, Kindness, Responsibility, Respect and Safety.

Community Unity Pride (CUP) Captains
Selected seniors lead one of four CUP teams – Aiken, Morewood, Bayard and Ellsworth – and help organize three CUP days throughout the year.

Departmental Associates
Selected students participate as members of academic departments, and attend monthly meetings to discuss curricular issues germaine to the department and the Academy.

Discipline Committee Members
Selected seniors hear disciplinary cases and decide on an appropriate response together with faculty members.

Diversity Leadership Council Members
Selected juniors and seniors discuss issues of diversity that affect the Senior School and plan activities.

Dorm Prefects
Selected juniors and seniors serve as a link between the boarders and the dorm parents, help create a sense of community by planning feeds and activities, and help boarders enjoy their boarding experience.

Sports Captains
Elected athletes lead their respective team by encouraging each player to do his/her best, to model and encourage good sportsmanship, and to build team unity.

Student Council Officers
Elected officers from each grade comprise Shady Side’s student government. They work together to organize CUP events, dances and fundraisers, and they consult with and advise the faculty and administration on issues related to student life.

Untucked Committee Members
Selected students plan and organize the annual Untucked benefit music festival while fundraising and participating in community service with the beneficiary organization.

Student Clubs

Student Clubs

The SSA yearbook records, photographs and documents the happenings of the year through the production of a full color yearbook with the special purpose of honoring the senior class. Faculty advisor Ms. Batchelar.

ACS Chem Club
Faculty advisor Mr. Landreth.

Faculty advisor Dr. Hoffman.

Amnesty International
The SSA chapter exists to spotlight injustice at home and abroad and provide opportunities, mainly in the form of letter-writing campaigns, for students to help give hope to the hopeless and a voice to those who have been silenced in their struggle for justice, dignity and human freedom. Faculty advisor Mr. Weiss

SSA’s nonfiction magazine, featuring student memoir, essays and poetry in an end-of-year publication. Faculty advisor Ms. Garvey.

Asian Student Union
The purpose of ASU is to cultivate the livelihood of different Asian cultures through culinary experiences, music, arts, literature and pop dances. Faculty advisor Ms. Hallgren.

Black Student Union
The goal of BSU is to empower black voices by fostering and supporting individuals in a safe environment for the discussion of issues facing the black community in SSA, Pittsburgh and the country. Faculty advisor Mr. Driver.

Chess Club
The club allows students to build their lateral and strategic thinking through playing chess. The club hosts intra-school tournaments and competes in inter-school tournaments in the broader Pittsburgh community. Faculty advisor Mr. Proulx.

Chiapas Club
The club educates members about the Tzotil-Maya community in Chiapas, Mexico, and fundraises so that more of its children have the possibility of continuing in their elementary and secondary education. Faculty advisor Dr. McGreevy-Morales.

Chinese Club
The club promotes Chinese language and culture. Faculty advisor Mr. Lamb.

Christian Fellowship
This is a place for Christians and those curious about Christianity to come and converse about faith and religion, and how they play out in our daily lives. It’s an open place for open minds. Faculty advisors Mr. Haytock and Mr. Nevola.

Community Builders
Faculty advisors Ms. Lau and Mr. Runnette.

Desi Club
The Indian Student Union's main goal is to raise awareness of their cultural values at Shady Side by celebrating certain holidays, raising money for different Indian charities and more. Faculty advisor Ms. McCool.

Diversity Leadership Council
The DLC develops programming and promotes discussion about issues and concerns related to students of various racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, gendered and sexual orientation backgrounds. Faculty advisor Ms. Boehm.

SSA's online literary magazine is created by soliciting, choosing and editing submissions from throughout the school, creating an engaging design and building a website. Faculty advisor Ms. Joseph.

Entrepreneurship and Finance Club
Members discuss various aspects of personal finance and actively manage an investment fund of over $25,000. Faculty advisor Mr. Giuntini.

Environmental Club
Members spread awareness of the environmental concerns for the world through videos, in school activities and out-of-school service projects. Faculty advisor Ms. Powers.

Eye to Eye
This nationwide organization brings together students who have different types of learning disabilities (LD) to discuss the experiences, good and bad, that they endure due to their LD. The second component to the club is one-on-one upperclassman mentoring to help students with an LD build their confidence.

Fill the Shelves
Members collect food and raise money for the shelves of Catholic Charities, supplying food to the poor. Faculty advisor Mrs. Krauland.

Film/Video Production
Faculty advisor Mr. Jay Deal '09.

Faculty advisor Mr. Goodwin.

Flag Club
The club teaches and upholds the traditions associated with the flag and raises money to support causes for veterans. Faculty advisor Mr. Szlachetka.

French Club
The club promotes the knowledge and excitement about French culture outside of class with viewings of French media and out-of-school trips to French restaurants. Faculty advisor Dr. McGreevy-Morales and Ms. Schneider.

Friendship Circle Mentor Club
Faculty advisor Mr. Hendershot.

Gargoyle Society and Theater Club
The club provides both on- and off-stage opportunities for students to experience firsthand what it is like to be part of a theatrical production. Faculty advisors Mr. Davidheiser and Ms. Hardy-Bingham.

Gay-Straight Alliance
The GSA creates an environment in which LGBT students and faculty can feel safe and to promote acceptance and knowledge. Faculty advisors Ms. Kovach and Ms. Myers.

German Club
The club teaches and celebrates the history and cultures of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Faculty advisor Ms. Burgard.

Guitar Club
Members strive to share their knowledge as guitar players and help others learn to play the guitar. Faculty advisor Mr. Coyne.

Hillman Volunteer Ushers
This proud corps of volunteers supports the arts by assisting the patrons at the Hillman Center for the Performing Arts. Faculty advisor Mrs. Burneff.

History Club

Hockey Helps
The club provides disadvantaged and disabled children the opportunity to play ice hockey and to undertake other hockey related volunteer opportunities such as equipment drives. Faculty advisor Mr. Johnson.

Jewish Student Union
Faculty advisor Mr. Weiss.

Junior Statesmen of America
Faculty advisors Ms. McCool and Mr. Smith.

Latin Club
Members explore Latin culture through games and out-of-class activities. Faculty advisor Ms. Belles.

Library Associates
This club promotes the joys of reading, as well as the wonderful library on campus. The library hosts annual holiday parties, book clubs and National Library Week, while also preparing a team for the Carnegie Library’s Battle of the Books. Faculty advisor Ms. Myers.

Math Team
The team competes against other local schools in regular mathematics competitions. Faculty advisor Dr. Hoffman.

Meals on Wheels
Faculty advisor Ms. Ament.

Miracle Baseball Club
Members raise money and support the Southwestern PA Miracle League through fundraisers and hold an annual fall clinic at the Miracle League Field in Cranberry to benefit children with disabilities. Faculty advisor Mr. Miller.

Mock Trial
Members gain experience in a professional field while still in high school, and increase public speaking and argument-building skills. The team participates in the statewide mock trial competition of the Pa. Bar Association. Faculty advisor Mr. Coyne.

Model U.N.
The club prepares students for Model U.N. conferences, in which the working of the United Nations is replicated. There are three conferences a year. Faculty advisor Mr. Solomon.

Open Studio
Faculty advisor Ms. Zentgraf.

Performing Arts Club
Members help to spread the performing arts around the SSA community. Faculty advisor Dr. Brill.

Portfolio Art Club
This club nurtures a strong personal interest in the visual arts. Faculty advisor Mr. Goodwin.

Pre-Med Club
The club engages as many people in the medical field as possible to expose the student body to what a career in, or pertaining to, health care has to offer. Faculty advisor Ms. Hayes-Rowan.

Quiz Bowl Team
The team competes in local and regional tournaments and prepare for general knowledge trivia. Faculty advisor Ms. Fani.

Robotics Club
The club works on robotic projects and robotic competitions, including the US FIRST robotics competition. Faculty advisor Mr. Wizzard.

Runners for the Cure
Faculty advisor Mr. Colt.

Science Olympiad
The team prepares students to compete in four or five Science Olympiad tournaments, consisting of 23 science, technology and engineering events. Faculty advisors Ms. Hayes-Rowan and Mr. Martens.

Service Learning
Members work to make our world a better place by engaging in community service that both locally and globally. Faculty advisor Ms. Ament. Visit the Service Learning Club page to learn more.

Ski Club
Faculty advisor Mr. Proulx.

Spanish Club
The club enriches students' understanding of Hispanic culture. Students visit local Hispanic restaurants, celebrate Hispanic holidays and fundraise. Faculty advisor Ms. Alvarez.

Speech & Debate Team
The team learns, practices and competes in tournaments locally, statewide and nationally. Students learn to speak in front of audiences, to compose and deliver their own speeches and/or argue on both sides of a current event topic. Faculty advisor Ms. Krauland.

Shady Side News
This in-house publication written by and for the Senior School student body as a venue for reporting school news, creative features and student opinions. Faculty advisor Ms. Joseph.

SSA Farm
The farm is a large garden plot on the far fields that grows crops for sale at the Fox Chapel Farmers Market and for use in the dining hall. Faculty advisor Mr. Nussbaum Wagler. Visit the SSA Farm page to learn more.

Student Council
Faculty advisor Mr. Elkins.

Technical Theater
Faculty advisor Mr. Davidheiser.

Teens Teach Tech
Faculty advisor Mr. Wizzard.

This club supports local charities while providing a fun-filled community music festival each spring. The goal for members is to forge a lasting relationship with and raise awareness of the charitable organization of their choosing. Faculty advisors Ms. Burgard, Ms. Kovach, Mr. Proulx. Visit the Untucked page to learn more.

World Quest
The team promotes global knowledge by participating in an annual world trivia competition with 60 other high schools. Faculty advisor Mr. Colt.

Writing Center
This peer tutoring center is staffed by student scribes. Our motto is: We make better writers, not just better papers. Faculty advisor Ms. Garvey.

Youth Humanist
Faculty advisor Mr. Giuntini.

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