Shady Side Academy (SSA) seeks a Director of Communications & Community Engagement—a highly organized contributor with exceptional interpersonal skills. This integral Marketing & Communications Office leader ensures that our communities—including families, faculty, staff, and alumni—are connected and informed through engaging and comprehensive digital communications. A successful candidate for this position will understand the importance of building meaningful, lasting relationships with constituents through community involvement and visibility to inform effective communication.
SSA provides an education that fosters meaningful relationships, promotes a well-rounded worldview, and emphasizes real-world learning experiences to create leaders at the nexus of technology and the liberal arts. Accordingly, the Director of Communications & Community Engagement connects internal audiences by developing and sustaining a comprehensive decentralized communications system to support the Academy’s complex organizational needs. The ideal candidate will proactively leverage technology systems and data-driven decision-making to improve communication effectiveness and engagement across the Academy. Additionally, this role will develop and lead the training and support of other organizational stakeholders responsible for communicating with our constituencies. This role reports to the Chief Marketing Officer and is a full-time, in-person position that presents an exciting opportunity to contribute significantly to the department's evolution.
Uphold the Academy's brand, voice, and tone across all communication channels and differentiate content for audience needs.
Generate content for newsletters and communications aimed at new and current families, faculty/staff, and alumni that are inbound and user-centric.
Report on school activities for the website, newsletters, social media, and alumni magazine.
Act as a backup to the CMO for crisis and external communications.
Community Relations and Engagement —
Analyze and optimize communications performance based on data-driven insights and strategy using quantitative analysis.
Foster and sustain relationships with internal and external stakeholders with empathy and strategy, addressing communication needs and requests.
Work with various departments and teams to ensure communications reflect SSA's brand and strategic positioning.
Provide expertise in communications and training to Academy staff and parent volunteers so they, too, can communicate with and update members of our community.
Train pertinent departments and volunteers in communications protocols, tools, and best practices.
Digital Proficiency —
Collaborate with Technology team members to identify and implement digital communications tools across departments: shared workspaces, email, portals, and mobile phone app.
Leverage the Academy’s CMS (Finalsite) and project management software (Asana) to maintain a robust and sophisticated communications schedule and create, build, and schedule/send bulk emails on behalf of the Academy.
Generate, organize, and manage content across community portals using our SIS (Veracross) to equip our community with necessary digital tools and institutional information.
Utilize Google Suite, Canva, and the Academy’s brand standards to create branded templates, presentations, and other documents and files for a consistent visual communications effort.
Organization and Project Management —
Develop a comprehensive digital communications plan and calendar, considering audience needs.
Apply project management software (Asana) for efficient workflow coordination and project completion with other team members and stakeholders.
Maintain the marketing and communications budget on behalf of the CMO with precision and accountability.
Qualifications & Qualities
Bachelor’s degree in a relevant major.
Minimum five years work experience.
Ability to see the larger picture and align with SSA's mission and values, providing cross-departmental support.
Superior written and verbal communication abilities and advanced interpersonal skills.
Engages with and participates in the SSA community in a cooperative, enthusiastic, professional, and inclusive manner.
Efficient time management skills with the capacity to juggle multiple tasks and meet concrete deadlines.
Collaborative problem-solving skills with a strategic approach to decision-making.
A growth mindset with a thirst for learning and fostering a unified vision and message.
Self-motivated and team-oriented with a dedication to educational excellence.
Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience. Lunch is included when school is in session.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Shady Side Academy is a diverse community of students and adults who share different cultural values and perspectives. We embrace each other’s differences and backgrounds, and we know that this diversity adds to the richness and depth of our students’ overall learning experience. Faculty members work to ensure a safe and open environment where understanding is central to all, and students’ differences are celebrated as an integral part of the educational experience.
About Shady Side Academy
Shady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school in Pittsburgh for boys and girls in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, with an optional boarding experience in high school. Four age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life. Visit the school’s website at www.shadysideacademy.org. Our campuses are tobacco-free.
Shady Side Academy is a nationally respected private school in Pittsburgh for boys and girls in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, with an optional five and seven-day boarding experience in high school. Three age-specific campuses with extraordinary resources, teachers who actively mentor, a forward-thinking curriculum, a diverse and inclusive community, and a legacy of alumni accomplishments all inspire Shady Side students to high achievement in academics, the arts and athletics, and to meaningful ambitions in life.