The Glen Mills Schools was founded in 1826, originally incorporated as the Philadelphia House of Refuge. The Philadelphia House of Refuge was the third school of its type in the country, following the New York House of Refuge in 1824 and the Boston House of Refuge in 1825.
In 1892, the school relocated to its current campus in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, on nearly eight hundred acres, and in 1911 changed its name to the Glen Mills Schools. Today, the Glen Mills Schools is the oldest existing school of its type in the United States, continuously providing services to troubled youth for over one hundred and eighty-nine years.
The Schools Board of Managers selected Cosimo D. Ferrainola as Executive Director in 1975 to implement his innovative program. Under his administration, the Schools grew from a student population of less than one hundred to an internationally known and respected educational program providing services to more than one thousand students. Cosimo D. Ferrainola retired from the school in November 2007.
On November 15, 2007 The Board of Managers appointed Garrison “Garry” D. Ipock, Jr. as the Schools’ Executive Director. Under his administration our Sociological Model has been enhanced with the addition of evidence-based and specialized competencies programming. Our Community Based Services programs were expanded and included the addition of gender specific services to females and week-end respite stays for both males and females. Mr. Ipock retired after forty two years of service.
On January 1, 2013 Dr. Randy A. Ireson, officially became the Executive Director of the Glen Mills Schools. Dr. Ireson began his career at Glen Mills in 1979 as a counselor and held several management positions before becoming the Director of Education in 1982, a position he has held for thirty years. Dr. Ireson is a graduate of West Chester University and received his Master’s and Doctorate in Education from Widener University. Dr. Ireson's vision includes many new initiatives for Glen Mills and he has already instituted a Character and Leadership Development Program which includes guest speakers and on campus activities, and has placed an overall emphasis on openness, outcomes, customer satisfaction and family involvement.