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 consolidating all photographs and information from the school year into a fun and memorable book.
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. We hope to enhance the public's viewpoint of Asian ethnic values and traditions among different Asian countries. We invite poeple of all nationalities, races and ethnicities to come 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 you for various academic competitions such as F=ma, Physics Bowl and National Astronomy Olympiad.
Book Club reads and discusses a variety of diverse literature, both fiction and nonfiction. Our mission is to expand our perspective while promoting a love of reading for pleasure.
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 your faith. The mission of this club is to learn and grow spiritually while strengthening relationships with peers.
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.
Club for Animal Respect and Education (CARE)
For students interested in improving the welfare of animals globally while learning about injustices in practice and how to create change. This club does this and more. Each half term helping an endangered species, the club also looks for opportunities to help create change and help local animals in Fox Chapel and Pittsburgh.
This club teaches new players and expands the skills of experienced players.
The club brainstorms and carries out fundraisers to raise $1,600 each year to support the schooling of five Maya children from Chiapas, Mexico.
This club engages students in hands-on activities, primarily focused on knitting, soap-making and embroidery. Members will try different ideas from students as long as they are practical to implement.
DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. The club prepares members for a business competition extending all the way up to interational levels, along with preparing them for future careers and volunteering in the community.
Democratic Student Union
The Democratic Student Union aims to promote liberal ideals through student-led discussion and political activism.
The DnD Club plays Dungeons and Dragons, a fascinating fantasy role-playing game.
Both print and online, Shady Side's literary magazine features writing, art, music, film and more. The Egerian also hosts writing workshops and poetry slams to foster the Academy's writing community. Anyone is welcome to submit work and attend/participate in slams and workshops throughout the year.
The mission of this club is to empower students by giving them the opportunity to innovate and explore opportunities in entrepreneurship and design. Students will have the option to explore the business world as well as meet and learn from experienced leaders and students.
The Environmental Club works to promote healthy practices on campus stuch as recycling and composting. We also participate in volunteer work on and off campus in our local environments. We strive to reduce our carbon footprint as an entire community.
Families of Haiti
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.
The Federalist Society
The Federalist Society is a club that is centered around members having civil discourse about politics and current events in the United States. The club is aimed to promote discussion between our members, and the main goal of the club is to allow members to have a safe space to share their thoughts on things that are happening in our society.
This club is similar to book club, but with movies. Every week or every other week we will met to talk about the movie we just watched.
Friendship Circle Club
The mission of this club is to bring values of inclusion and acceptance maintained at the Friendship Circle to our school community through conversation and activites.
Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA)
The purpose of this club is to develop business leadership skills through career-oriented programs. This is an extension of the Personal Finance Club.
Gargoyle Society/Drama Club
Come and hang out with the creative, spontaneous theater students for fun theater games! No prior 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)
GSA, the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, is a group 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.
Girls Who Code
This club is STEM-based and its mission is to get girls involved in STEM.
Go Club is a place for anyone who wants to play or would like to learn.
The Intonations is SSA's all-male a cappella singing group.
Jewish Student Union
This group supports and ensures the acceptance of our wonderful Jewish community at Shady Side. The club is open to all who want to learn or celebrate thier heritage and talk about current issues in the Jewish community world wide.
LatinX Student Union
This club provides a place to discuss Latin American and Hispanic culture in the context of both modern and past times. Members also discuss issues that affect the Latinx community, and anyone is welcome to join, whether it be to educate others or learn themselves.
Manos a la Obra!
This club is open to anyone who wants to practice their Spanish by interaction, hands-on activities and the exploration of different cultures and vocabulary. Members will participate in cooking, painting, music, sports, film and literature.
Marine Biology and Conservation Club
This club provides students with opportunities to discuss recent advances, issues and concepts relating to the ocean and its conservation. The goal is to learn more about different career paths and research opportunities and find ways we can make an impact as high schoolers in marine conservation efforts.
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 and Research Club
The club is about raising awareness for topics surrounding mental health, in specific mental disorders and understanding them more thoroughly through research and discussions.
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 will have the opportunity to participate in simulated trials before practicing judges and juries. The club participants will expand their knowledge of American civil and criminal laws 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.
The Perspectives Club is a sanctuary for the discussions that aren't always easy to talk about. Every week, the members will talk about a controversial topic. The mission is to promote discussion throughout Shady Side.
Personal Finance Club
The Personal Finance Club is an organization for students with an interest in finance and/or entrepreneurship. In the club, you can take FBLA tests and manage a real portfolio of stocks.
The club's goal is to expose the student body to what a career in, or pertaining to, healthcare has to offer through presentations given by professionals in various medical fields. Members also have a chance to volunteer and interact with children being treated for cancer.
Quiz Bowl Team
Quizbowl is a club that focuses on trivia and meets in order to prepare for regional tournaments. This group competes in trivia competitions with other schools, including on KDKA's Hometown 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. Join us at the new robotics arena inside the Glimcher Tech & Design Hub!
This club meets to design, build and launch rockets, and share the wonders of model rocketry.
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, We host volunteer opportunities, open to all students, on and off campus throughout the year. Visit the Service Learning Club page to learn more.
Setting for Success
Setting for Success aims to create a fun and enjoyable environment in which members can become familiar with the sport. Students will build strong relationships with their teammates and coaches, along with learning proper volleyball techniques. The club promotes skill development through practice and an encouraging atmosphere.
SSA eSports Club
The SSA eSports Club is a place where all students can team up and 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.
SSA 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.
SSA Merch Revamped
The role of this club is to increase school spirit while simultaneously funding the Senior Class Gift by designing and selling Shady Side Academy merchandise to our community.
SSA Military/Veterans Club
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.
Shady Side's primary outlet for student journalism, featuring academy news, student life features and opinion pieces. The club designs the newspaper, writes and edits articles, takes photos and helps with mailings.
SSA Speaker Series
The SSA Speaker Series invites a different teacher to each meeting to speak about their life experiences. The teachers' presentations can range from a big decision that shaped their life to a small hobby that has been of value to them. Students who attend may leave the presentation with a better understanding of what they would like to do with their future, with a new interest or at least a closer bond to a faculty member at our school. The goal is to strengthen the bond between students and teachers while also providing students with valuable stories that may help them to understand life a little better.
SSA Spikeball Club
This club provides a place for students to have fun and play spikeball after school.
Speech and Debate Team
This team competes locally, nationally, and internationally while preparing students with the real-world skill of public speaking Speech events make excellent opportunities for actors, and debate offers an analytic view of current events and issues.
This club deals with all technical theater aspects of the Hillman Visual Arts Center, including student shows, rentals and school events.
The UNICEF Club serves to raise awareness and funds for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.
Visual Arts Club
This club is a community of students with an interest in Visual Arts.
Who Run the World
This club is a place to discuss the role that women play at Shady Side, Pittsburgh and the world.
Students in this club create short films and recorded skits with students to help foster community at SSA.