The Charlton School is a not-for-profit residential treatment center and special education school for students in the 8th to 12th grades. We are licensed and regulated by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, the New York State Education Department, and the New York State Health Department. Our governing body is a volunteer Board of Trustees.

Established in 1895 as an orphanage, The Charlton School became a residential treatment center for teens in 1954. Today, Charlton deploys the most modern and evidenced-based treatment and educational approaches available to help students who are struggling to be successful in school and life. We have a maximum capacity of twenty-five residential students and thirty-eight students in Ketchum Grande Memorial School which includes day students from local school districts.

The Charlton School offers many programs designed to help students develop a wide range of educational, emotional, and social skills, and the knowledge and confidence to apply them to all aspects of their lives—now and in the future.

Vision | Mission | History


Be a leader in facilitating meaningful positive change in the lives of students and their families who are struggling with mental health. 


Provide a therapeutic learning community utilizing evidence-based, individualized, clinical and educational services, with the goal of helping students and their families successfully navigate adolescence and achieve improved mental health.


It is almost impossible to dig a hole anywhere on our campus and not discover a piece of our history. Sometimes it’s just an old rusty nail, a blackened brick, a broken soda bottle or, recently, an intact glass milk bottle embossed with “The Charlton Industrial Farm School, Ballston Lake, New York.” We also have a fairly well stocked archive of old photos and documents that paint a fascinating picture of our past.

It all started with John S. Hawley, a long-time Charlton resident who made his money as a candy manufacturer in New York City. In his travels in the 1890s, he saw that there were a lot of homeless and orphaned children in the cities and towns all over New York. When he returned to Charlton, he brought together some of his friends, including Dr. James Sweetman and James Valentine, owner of the Valentine Farm located on Lake Hill Road, which eventually became our campus. More

What Makes Us Different

At The Charlton School, we reject the notion of subscribing to a specific treatment model. Through years of trial and error, we’ve come to realize that subscribing to a model often leads to a diluted individualized approach and treatment efficacy. At The Charlton School, we truly approach each student and her struggles as unique, and we develop compensatory strategies collaboratively. Also unique to our program is an endowment that allows The Charlton School to offer after care and post-secondary educational scholarship opportunities to our residents.

Board & Staff

James J. Gibney, III, President
Retired GE Manager/Engineer, Scotia, NY

William Evans, First Vice President
Retired KAPL Engineer, Glenville, NY

Jim Schultz, Second Vice President
Retired BH-BL Superintendent, Burnt Hills, NY

Gary Vanderhorst, Treasurer
Retired Business owner, W. Charlton, NY

Jean Aabo, Secretary
Admin. Ass’t, Power Cable Consultants, Ballston Spa, NY

Michael Brewster
Business Owner, Ballston Spa, NY

Robert F. Clements
Retired Mgr. KAPL Engineering Education, Clifton Park, NY

Brian J. Crowley
Financial Advisor, Latham, NY

Donna J. Farrar
Certified Public Accountant, Queensbury, NY

John C. Fay
Retired Bank Auditor, Clifton Park, NY

Dr. Patricia Fehling
Professor, Exercise Science, Dept. Chair, Skidmore College , Saratoga, NY

John D.B. Fridholm
Painting/Remodeling Contractor, Burnt Hills, NY

Robert E. Fenton
Retired GE Engineering General Manager
Pres. of Generation Tech. Consultants, Charlton, NY

Douglas L. Kreifels, Past President
Retired KAPL Computer Engineer, Niskayuna. NY

Robert McMahon
Retired Non-Profit Executive, Saratoga Springs, NY

Kathryn A. Molloy
Retired Projects Manager, KAPL, Niskayuna, NY

Christopher Nyhan
Financial Advisor, Burnt Hills, NY

Don Schermerhorn
Business Owner, Burnt Hills, NY

Sarah Schermerhorn
Community Volunteer, Burnt Hills, NY

Kathryn Sen
Vaccine Preventable Disease Surveillance Office, Glenville, NY

Wendy Shisler
Retired Speech-Language Pathologist, Ballston Spa, NY

David Stafford
Retired GE Engineer, Ballston Spa, NY

Maryellen Symer
BH-BL Assistant Superintendent, Ballston Spa, NY

Edward M. Warren
Financial Planner, Melrose, NY

Alex C. Capo, Executive Director
Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Amanda Kronen, Clinical Director
Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Hannah Rawlings, Therapist
Master’s Level Social Worker

Alyssa Starrantino, Therapist
Master’s Level Social Worker

Kristy Dodsworth, Therapist
Master’s Level Social Worker

Jessica Knapp, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Certified PATH International Registered Instructor, Equine Therapist

Dana Cacchione
Consulting School Psychologist

Dr. Catherine Ushchak
Consulting Psychiatrist

Stephen Connelly
Director of Residential Services

Jess Epstein
Expressive Arts

Christine Gibson
Campus Coordinator

Donna Gilgallon
Program Supervisor

Sue Luke
Living Skills & Aftercare

Beth McDonnell
Program Supervisor

Steve Moulton
Assistant Health Care Coordinator

Edda Roemelt

Debra Ryan
Health Care Coordinator

Chad Slagle
Program Supervisor


If you are interested in seeking employment with The Charlton School, please check the Employment Opportunities page to see our current listings and submit your application.