After much long term interest and discussion in the late 1970s, it was determined by members from area churches to establish a Lutheran school in the Lake County area. An “Elementary School Committee” was established and composed of interested persons from St. Paul’s, St. John’s, Holy Cross, Grace, and Zion Lutheran churches. The committee worked to establish a Lutheran elementary school following the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Ohio District Office along with resources published by the Board of Parish Education Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod. Finally, the policies necessary to incorporate a school and other legal matters were developed.
The first official school board was elected, and the name “Our Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran School” was chosen on October 30, 1979. Also at that meeting the school’s constitution was approved and incorporated. The first official steps to opening the school in the fall of 1980 were complete! During the next months the first board members set tuition and registration policies, obtained a state charter, developed financial support, and finalized arrangements for the facility, transportation, and the first teaching staff for the school. Our Shepherd Lutheran School officially opened on September 3, 1980, with only two teachers on staff for the 14 students in grades first-fourth.
The first acceptance letter of Mr. Ronald Bork, our first principal-teacher, was read to the board on April 9, 1980. Mr. Bork was principal from 1980-1989. Our second principal, Mr. Jack Lelle, served from 1989-2009, and upon his retirement Mr. R. Jacob Rogers was called as principal from 2009-2012. Mr. Keith Trent was at the helm from 2012-2015. Currently, God has chosen Mrs. Barb Riley to lead Our Shepherd as principal. We are thankful for the strong leadership that God has blessed us with throughout our history.
Our Shepherd was first housed at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in 1980 which began with combined rooms of first & second grades and third & fourth grades. In 1981 fifth grade was added, and as the school continued to blossom it became apparent that it would need more space. In 1982 Zion Lutheran Church began a building project and many church members volunteered countless hours to get the building ready for students. The fourth year began with 110 students who were split between St. Paul’s and Zion, with each church providing three classrooms, plus a mobile classroom as the school added grade seven. As the school continued to grow Zion continued to add on classrooms, and in 1987 all grades were housed at Zion. In 1997 a large kindergarten, library, science lab, and computer lab were dedicated to the glory of God and opened for students.