Shady Side Academy President Bart Griffith Jr. '93 has announced the appointment of Brad Davies as the Academy's next head of the Junior School, effective July 1, 2020.
"Brad brings a wealth of talent and experience to an already strong leadership team at Shady Side," said Griffith. "His personal warmth, extraordinary communication skills, strong support of faculty, and authentic love for elementary school children make him the perfect choice to lead our Junior School."
Davies currently serves as K-8 director and associate head of school at Dawson School, a K-12 independent day school in Lafayette, Colo., near Boulder. His responsibilities include administering all facets of the K-8 program, supporting more than 40 faculty and staff members, and leading a range of curricular innovations, including a comprehensive review of Dawson's K-12 math program and the lower school's implementation of both Responsive Classroom and the Lucy Calkins Reading and Writing Workshop.
Prior to his arrival at Dawson, Davies served as head of school at Evergreen Country Day School, a toddler through grade 8 independent day school in Evergreen, Colo., outside of Denver. There he supervised the successful development of signature programs in computer science, robotics and outdoor education, as well as launching Summit Learning, a K-8 learning support initiative serving students with enrichment needs and language-based learning differences. Davies also spent nine years at Louisville Collegiate School, a PK-12 independent day school in Louisville, Ky., where he served as acting head of school, assistant head of school, and head of both the upper and middle schools. A classroom teacher at heart, Davies has taught Spanish, design thinking and a course he created called You University. He also has coached soccer throughout his career, twice being named Kentucky's State Soccer Coach of the Year.
A native of Minnesota, Davies holds a B.A. in American studies from Stanford University, where he captained the men's soccer team, was class president and studied abroad in Ecuador, and a Master of Divinity from Duke University, where he was a Lilly Fellow.
"I am overjoyed to join the Junior School and Shady Side Academy community," said Davies. "During my campus visit, I was inspired by the faculty's and families' optimism for the future of the Academy and Pittsburgh. With an impressive national reputation and ambitions to innovate further alongside a city that is doing the same, leading SSA's Junior School presents a once-in-a-lifetime school leadership opportunity."
The appointment of Davies is the culmination of a national search for the successor to Ellen McConnell, who departed in June 2019 after seven years as Junior School head. Dr. Peter Mathis is currently serving as the interim head of school for the 2019-2020 school year and will return to his previous role as assistant head of school in 2020-2021.
Located on a seven-acre campus on South Braddock Ave. in Point Breeze, Shady Side Academy Junior School serves a coed population of 270 students in grades PK-5, with approximately 50 teachers and staff.