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.
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!
Amine 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. We hope to enhance the public's viewpoint of Asian ethnic values and traditions among different Asian countries. We invite people 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.
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.
Big Art Club
Big Art Club is an overarching club that collaborates with the Spring festival art show, fashion design/Warhol youth invasion club, and the anime/manga art club. We strive 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.
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.
The Bulldog Bellas is SSA's all-female a cappella singing group.
Care Club encourages students to help and care about animals. We organize fundraisers for local animals shelters and plan trips to shelters to help in any ways we can. We also often play with the residential life’s pets here on campus.
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.
Children of Steel
Children of Steel pairs SSA Senior School students with Country Day and Junior School students to serve as mentors, friends and homework helpers. Students meet with their buddies via Zoom about twice a month and participate in a variety of different activities, such as get-to-know-you games, homework, online games, or just chatting!
Chinese Language and Culture Club
This club provides students who are studying Chinese with a tutoring program and some additional cultural activities. Our goal is to give students an in-depth understanding of the Chinese language and cultures.
The club’s mission is to engage students and faculty to promote school spirit, to value physical fitness, and pursue volunteer opportunities by participating in cycling events.If you love being outside, getting exercise, and riding your bike, the Cycling Club is for you!
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.
East Asian Media Studies
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!
We explore the campus of Shady Side Academy with a focus on the appreciation and preservation of nature.
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 such 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
In German club we will explore German culture and language through fun activities and field trips.
Girls Who Code
This club is STEM-based and its mission is to get girls involved in STEM.
The Intonations is SSA's all-male a cappella singing group.
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Club
We strive to provide an all encompassing space for business-minded individuals to learn the basics of business, work with others in a casual and competitive environment, compete actively in business-related events. DECA and FBLA will be run jointly and members are welcome to compete in both.
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 their heritage and talk about current issues in the Jewish community world wide.
The K-pop Club teaches students how to dance K-pop! This club is a space to dance and bond over favorite artists and dances. This club also welcomes people who aren't dancers, 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.
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.
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.
The Outdoors Club strives to get SSA students excited about the beauty of nature by engaging them with hikes, environmental projects, and more. In addition, we give students the ability to practice their outdoors skills and to have discussions about topics related to appreciating the environment. We invite anyone who has an interest in hiking or nature to join us.
The SSA Pep Band cheers on our own sports teams, whether at home or away games.
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.
Philosophy Club serves all students, from those with no philosophical learning experience to masters of philosophy. The purpose of this club is to discover the details of the world and find another way to understand how the world or our daily life is running.
Political Civil Discourse Society
The Political Civil Discourse Society is centered around engaging in civil discourse about politics and current events in the United States. The club aims to promote meaningful discussion between members, and the main goal is to provide a safe space for members to share their honest opinions on things happening in our society.
The club's goal is to expose the student body to what a career in, or pertaining to, health care 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.
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
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.
SCI (Spark, Connect, Inspire)
SCI is dedicated to revitalizing science and delivering new ways to discover and engage within this extraordinary subject. Our unique approach connects scientific learning with the humanities. We provide a solid platform for career exploration and development through virtual speakers and structured 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, We host volunteer opportunities, open to all students, on and off campus throughout the year. Visit the Service Learning Club page to learn more.
Speech and Debate
Speech and Debate is a place where students can express themselves and learn to communicate effectively. The club is available to all students of varying public speaking skills. We foster unique ideas and perspectives to cultivate winning teams and individuals. The team is part of different leagues at the state and national levels, allowing us to compete against many different schools.
This club provides a place for students to have fun and play Spikeball after school.
Club members run the SSA Spirit Store during the day and sell merchandise during school events.
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.
This club deals with all of the technical theater aspects of shows at the Hillman Performing Arts Center, including student performances, community rentals and school events.
The UNICEF Club serves to raise awareness and funds for the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund.
Virtue Mental Club
Virtue Mental is a nonprofit organization that aims to provide free mental health resources to marginalized communities through therapists, support groups, etc and also to de stigmatize mental health. For the club, our main focus will be fundraising for the various resources that the organization will need (therapists, etc). Our main goal is to support the mental health professionals and organization with the resources and finances they will need to ensure that members of the organization will always have mental health support.
Who Run the World Club
This club is a place to discuss the role that women play at Shady Side, Pittsburgh and the world.