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.
Academic Policy Committee (APC) 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.
Selected juniors and seniors give tours to prospective families and assist the admissions open houses and events.
Peer-elected leaders organize class events, build school spirit, raise funds and address issues facing the class. Class officers run monthly class meetings.
Students lead a variety of clubs.
Selected students participate as members of academic departments, and attend monthly meetings to discuss curricular issues germane 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.
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.
Peer to Peer Leaders
Selected juniors and seniors assist freshmen in transitioning to high school and ensure they are equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed. They are also the stewards of SSA's participation in the Making Caring Common Project, a national initiative to promote kindness and a commitment to the public good.
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.
The yearbook club is responsible for collecting and consolidating photographs and information from the school year to create a fun and memorable yearbook.
ACE Dance Club
The dance club is a place for experienced dancers to practice their dance, teach others, or even try out new genres with other students. Students who have no prior experience in dance are welcome!
Anime Drawing Club
Students learn drawing techniques of anime.
Asian Student Union
The Asian Student Union's mission is to promote and educate the student body about Asian culture on campus and serve the SSA Asian community, and to enhance the public's viewpoint of Asian ethnic values and traditions of different Asian countries. People of all nationalities, races and ethnicities are invited to join and embrace Asian culture together.
The Astrophysics Club is a friendly place for curious minds to gather and discuss exciting advances and breath-taking phenomena in astronomy, physics or anything in between. For those interested in the mathematics of astronomy and physics, the club also prepares students for various academic competitions such as F=ma, Physics Bowl and National Astronomy Olympiad.
Bible Study Club
The Bible Study Club is a safe space for all to study God's Word and engage in open fellowship. Everyone is welcome, no matter their faith. The mission of this club is to learn and grow spiritually while strengthening relationships with peers.
Big Art Club
The Big Art Club is an overarching club that collaborates with the spring festival art show, fashion design/Warhol Youth Invasion club, and the Anime Art Club. It strives to encourage artistic creativity and cultivate a community of artists within SSA.
Black Student Union (BSU)
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.
The Book Club reads and discusses a variety of diverse literature, both fiction and nonfiction. Its mission is to expand perspectives while promoting a love of reading for pleasure.
The Bulldog Bellas is SSA's all-female a cappella singing group.
Club for Animal Respect and Education (CARE)
CARE encourages students to help and care about animals by organizing fundraisers for local animal shelters and planning trips to shelters to help in any way they can.
The Chess Club teaches new players and expands the skills of experienced players.
The Chiapas Club sponsors several children in Chiapas, Mexico, and organizes fundraisers to cover educational costs such as books, supplies, transportation and more.
The Children of Steel
The SSA chapter of The Children of Steel pairs Senior School students with Country Day and Junior School students for weekly Zoom tutoring and enrichment sessions.
Chinese Language and Culture Club
This club provides students studying Chinese with a tutoring program and additional cultural activities. The goal is to give students an in-depth understanding of Chinese language and cultures.
The Cycling Club’s mission is to promote school spirit and physical fitness and to pursue volunteer opportunities through cycling events. Rides for all levels of comfort are organized around the greater Pittsburgh area. If you love being outside, getting exercise, and riding your bike, this club is for you!
Democratic Student Union
The Democratic Student Union aims to raise awareness of current events through student-led discussions, political activism and on-campus activities. The club works to stay aware and practice civil discourse skills, and commits to being open-minded to all political affiliations, ideas and identities.
The DnD Club plays Dungeons and Dragons, a fascinating fantasy role-playing game.
East Asian Media Studies Club
Media such as drama, comics and animation reflect many aspects of Asian culture and allow people from all walks of life to discover and explore the language, social norms, politics, etc. of East Asia. The club invites everyone to discover East Asian culture through the study of visual and audible media together, and most importantly, to have fun!
The Ecology Club explores the campus of Shady Side Academy with a focus on the appreciation and preservation of nature.
The Senior School's literary magazine, The Egerian is a compilation of students' creative writing and illustrations that is published throughout the school year. Its mission is to engage the community in artistic endeavors and encourage students to share their work. The club also hosts creative writing workshops.
The Environmental Club works to promote healthy practices on campus such as recycling and composting, and participates in volunteer work on and off campus to reduce our carbon footprint as a community.
The SSA eSports Team is a place where all students can represent Shady Side in one of the many organized Western PA eSports leagues. These leagues host a number of competitive games like League of Legends, Overwatch and many more.
Families of Haiti Club
The Families of Haiti Club works with Work for Haiti, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit organization. Various fundraisers and Zoom discussions with students in Haiti are planned throughout the year.
Film Studies Club
The Film Studies Club watches and analyzes movies bi-monthly, discussing themes throughout different genres of movies, and identifying different types of cinematography. The club's mission is to spread a true appreciation of cinema while having a good time.
Gargoyle Society/Drama Club
All are invited to hang out with creative, spontaneous theater students for fun theater games! No theater experience is necessary, and you don't have to be involved with the school productions to be part of the club!
Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
The Gender and Sexuality Alliance is focused on the support and education surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. The club promotes inclusivity and equality among members and the LGBTQ+ community and its allies.
The German Club explores German culture and language through fun activities and field trips.
Girls Who Code
Girls Who Code is an organization whose mission is to get girls involved and interested in STEM and to help them gain more knowledge about coding. Each year, the club chooses a computer science project that will support our community.
The Intonations is SSA's all-male a cappella singing group.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club
This club strives to provide an all encompassing space for business-minded students to learn the basics of business, work with others in a casual and competitive environment, and compete in business-related events such as DECA and FBLA.
Jewish Student Union
The Jewish Student Union is a place where students can explore, discuss, and celebrate Jewish culture, and have meaningful discussions about Jewish holidays and current events.
The Kpop Club teaches students how to dance Kpop. This club is a space to dance and bond over favorite artists and dances. Anyone is free to join!
Magic the Gathering
This club serves to help students interact with the community by playing popular card game Magic the Gathering.
Makers Making Change
Makers Making Change is an organization that connects people with disabilities to volunteers who design and build assistive technologies.
Manos a la Obra
This club open to anyone who wants to practice their Spanish, regardless of experience, through engaging activities such as cooking, painting, music, sports, film and literature.
The Math Club (formerly Math Team) is a place for students to meet and talk about math and participate in math competitions.
Mental Health Awareness Club
The purpose of this club is to spread awareness surrounding mental health and related issues, and to "break the stigma" through school-wide activities, fundraisers, assemblies, and more. The club is open to everyone interested in learning more about mental health.
The Mentoring Program pairs Senior School students with Junior and Country Day School students to be mentors, friends, and homework helpers. Students meet with their buddies via Zoom about twice a month.
The purpose of this club is to help fulfill the emotional and financial needs of veterans and active military members by working within the SSA community and student body and by partnering with outside organizations.
Mock Trial is a national-level league that promotes an understanding and appreciation of the American judicial system for high school students. In this club, students have the opportunity to participate in simulated trials before practicing judges and juries. Participants will expand their knowledge of American civil and criminal law and gain practical experiences in the courtroom.
Model UN is a club for students interested in pursuing law, policy or international relations. The club travels to universities to compete and have fun with thousands of students around the globe in interactive simulations of the United Nations.
Music Production Club
The Music Production Club helps students of all skill levels learn to begin recording music and to play guitar, bass, drums or other skills for music production.
The Outdoors Club strives to get students excited about the beauty of nature through hikes, environmental projects and more. Students practice outdoors skills and have discussions about topics related to appreciating the environment. Anyone with an interest in hiking or nature is welcome to join.
The Pep Band cheers on SSA sports teams, whether at home or away games.
Personal Finance Club
The objective of the PFC is to educate the student body on personal finance and investing through investing in a portfolio, providing a platform to discuss news in the world of finance, and teaching relevant lessons.
The Perspectives Club is a sanctuary for discussions that aren't always easy. The club provides a place for students to discuss current events and issues that directly affect SSA students, and ways to resolve these issues in the future.
Philosophy Club teaches members the history of philosophy and shares ideas of philosophers on different topics. Its mission is to explore big questions and find ways to understand the world and daily life.
Political Civil Discourse Society
The Political Civil Discourse Society is centered around engaging in civil discourse about politics and current events. The club aims to promote meaningful discussion and provide a safe space to share honest opinions on things happening in our society.
This club provides an educational and engaging environment for students seeking to learn different aspects of the field of medicine through observational surgeries, discussions, guest speakers, fundraisers and more.
Public Health Club
PHC is a club that strives to learn about different public health concerns, including COVID-19 and lack of clean water around the world. The club participates in various activities such as volunteering at nursing homes and raising money for organizations like UNICEF through bake sales.
Puzzle Club is for anyone who is a fan of things that are puzzling. From brain teasers to sudoku to crosswords, we do them all!
Quiz Bowl Team
Quiz Bowl is an academic trivia competition in which players answer questions in history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, sports and popular culture. The group competes in competitions with other schools, including on KDKA High-Q.
The Robotics Club works on the design, development and testing of both hardware and software of robots, and takes part in the annual FTC (First Tech Challenge) robotics competition.
This club designs, builds, and launches a rocket to compete in The American Rocketry Challenge against schools nationwide. Each year the competition rules change, including rocket parameters, payload, height, and duration of flight.
SCI (Spark, Connect, Inspire)
SCI is dedicated to revitalizing science and delivering new ways to discover and engage within this extraordinary subject, connecting scientific learning with the humanities. SCI provides a platform for career exploration and development through virtual speakers and forums for discussion, research and writing. SCI teaches students that science is all around us, not just as a school subject but as an intrinsic part of our daily lives.
Science Olympiad Team
Science Olympiad is a team competition of 23 different events. Teams bring up to 15 competitors to invitationals and regional/state/national tournaments. Team placement at a tournament is determined by the summation of 23 individual event placements.
Service Learning Club
Service Learning Club works to understand needs in our community and actively engages with various nonprofits to assist in fulfilling those needs, The club hosts volunteer opportunities, open to all students, on and off campus throughout the year.
The Shady Side News
The Shady Side News is the Senior School's primary outlet for student journalism, featuring news, features and opinion pieces. The club designs the monthly campus newspaper, writes and edits articles, takes photos and helps with mailings.
Speech & Debate Team
Speech and Debate is a place where students can express themselves and learn to communicate effectively. The team is open to all students of varying public speaking skills. It fosters unique ideas and perspectives to cultivate winning teams and individuals. The team is part of different leagues at the state and national levels, competing against many different schools.
The club provides students with the opportunity to have fun playing spikeball while meeting others. All are welcome regardless of experience or skill level.
Club members run the SSA Spirit Store during the day and sell merchandise during school events.
Stage Crew club serves SSA by working on scenery, lighting, sound, props and costumes for student performances as well as helping to run lighting and sound at assemblies and other school-wide events.
This club provides a space to discuss UNICEF (United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund), an organization that works in over 190 countries to save and improve children’s lives, and creates fundraisers to aid in its mission.
Virtue Mental Club
Virtue Mental is a nonprofit organization that provides free mental health resources to marginalized communities. The club's goal is to support the organization with the resources and finances they need to ensure members always have mental health support.
Who Run the World
This club is a place to discuss the role that women play at Shady Side, Pittsburgh and the world.
WSSA-TV Film Club
The mission of this club is to create a place for people to learn, share and make videos. This club does the WSSA-TV news videos shown at assemblies.