Building a school. Unifying a campus. Engaging a community.

Shady Side Academy
Freelance design services:
Website Design, Email Design, Social Media Graphics
Tools used:
XD, Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, Webflow
The Challenge

How can we show off and gain support for our next move?

A prestigious private school in Pittsburgh, Shady Side Academy was embarking on a bold campus transformation. After nearly two years of planning, the school was ready to introduce their vision: one unified campus for grades 6 through 12, which would foster enhanced teaching and learning, deeper community connections, and long-term sustainability.

It was a huge deal, and Shady Side wanted to make a big splash. A press release or a landing page simply wasn’t going to cut it. They came to me because they needed a web presence that would accurately reflect the magnitude of this endeavor.


A website that’s different, dynamic and impactful.

Shady Side Academy has always been willing to make big moves at the right time. The new middle school along with a renovated dining hall, reimagined spaces for students and faculty, a modern library and state-of-the-art outdoor sports complex would be a big move, for sure. (A huge leap from where SSA started in 1883 — with one teacher in a one-room schoolhouse!)

This capital campaign deserved an impactful website, and that is what we created: a detailed, informative communication-hub complete with vertical chapter navigation, animated elements for emphasis, detailed campus plans, and a hidden donor page to aid the advancement office in soliciting capital donations. I also designed the corresponding email and social media graphics to make sure the Shady Side marketing team had everything they needed to make an impact.

visit live site
A dynamic website to announce a bold campus redesign.

Building unity and collaboration? My fave.

The new Shady Side Academy Upper School campus will house both Middle and Senior Schools for a stronger, more collaborative community — and that really speaks to me. Collaboration is such an important part of what I do with my clients — and it’s what made this partnership really effective.

Speaking of collaboration, I was happy to bring in my longtime Webflow development partner, Megan, at Midwestern Originals and local Illustrator, Rachel Arnold Sager, from Second Block Studio to bring our vision to life. Talk about teamwork, baby!

Shady Side Academy

Having Tara as an extension of our team has been a gift. She is highly organized, a creative problem-solver, listens intently to our needs, and excellent at both collaborating across teams and managing up. In short, she is everything you want out of a creative partner. Someone who can help you not only execute at the highest quality, and on time, but also assist with expanding your vision and helping you to think beyond what you believe you may need in the moment. Simply put, she ensures all of our t's are crossed, and i's are dotted.”

Diana Toole

Diana Toole

Chief Marketing Officer
Shady Side Academy

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I know great things can happen when passionate, talented people work together.

Contact me to set up a 30-minute, complimentary video call to candidly discuss your needs, and see if our personalities, aesthetics and working-styles align.

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