The Shepard School by ECS is a technology based high performing charter school that opened in Fall 2021. The Shepard School by ECS will replicate the model created by Eagle Academy Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC

The Shepard School by ECS offers a FREE technology based educational program that serves 325 students in grades K-5.


The Shepard School by ECS’s mission is to build the foundation for a promising future for all students in a rich, robust learning environment that fosters creativity and problem solving abilities. We emphasize cognitive, social and emotional growth by engaging children as active learners in an inclusive learning environment. Shepard’s mission is rooted in the unwavering belief that all students regardless of zip code or ethnicity deserve high quality educational choice.


We believe in investing in the entire child. Our students will have a strong academic foundation and also become confident individuals with positive self-esteem. A student’s social and emotional development is just as critical as their cognitive growth, and our SEL curriculum will be incorporated into every student’s daily academic routine in order to achieve this high level of cognitive growth. Community and family involvement complement our commitment to developing the entire student and are critically important to our vision; we pride ourselves in being “parent advocates” and supporting parents in their personal and professional development as we work together as partners in order to provide the highest level of education possible to each student.

Content knowledge is necessary, but no longer sufficient, to be successful in our constantly-connected and ever-shrinking world. Students at Shepard need to be respectful, effective communicators, creative problem solvers, critical and reflective thinkers, self-directed and life-long learners, and proficient users of technology. Our school and staff will provide students with a safe and secure learning environment so that they will take advantage of a wide variety of resources and learning strategies. When our scholars leave Shepard, the goal is for all to be technologically literate students who demonstrate high-order thinking skills. Shepard scholars will be intrinsically motivated to achieve success as mathematical thinkers, proficient readers and writers, explorers of scientific inquiry, and creators and appreciators of the arts. Positioning our students to continue taking ownership over their education as they progress through secondary school and to college and/or their career. Many of the careers our students will embrace at age 18, 22, or 26 don’t yet exist, so it is our task to ensure that students are equipped with both the academic and the technological skills necessary to be successful in a dynamic, global marketplace.


Photo of Amber Estis
Photo credit: Andrew Spear/Redux

My name is Amber Estis and I am the founding principal of The Shepard School by ECS of Ohio. As the founding principal I believe that “schools should be worn out by the end of the day, not people.” My vision is to return The Shepard School to the community as a safe haven for young scholars to grow and flourish but also as a place for the community to come together and prosper.

I am a native of the Columbus area and have spent 17 years in education, working with scholars from 6 weeks to 23 years of age. My childhood was spent on our family’s Hackney pony and American Saddlebred horse farm, just outside of New Abany, and have served on the Ohio Hackney Board of Directors for eighteen years. My grandmother, also referred to as “The Grandmother,” is the reason I embarked on my journey into education. At a young age, she instilled in me  the importance of studying and working hard in school. She was the epitome of unconditional love and service to her community.

I am a graduate of The Ohio State University where I obtained my Bachelors of Science in Human Development and Family Science. I continued my education with Concordia Portland where I received my Masters of Education in Educational Leadership, and I am currently working towards obtaining my Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership.

Board of Trustees

Joe Reichert, President

Douglas Hartlieb, Vice President

Thomas Vargo, Treasurer

Kenneth Crump, Secretary

Robert Hart, Director