Paul and Mildred Krentel established Melmark in 1965 as a home for children with developmental disabilities when their youngest daughter, Melissa, was born with Down syndrome. In 1966, with the financial help of friends and family, the Krentels moved into a 35-room mansion in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The initial mission was to provide a safe and nurturing home for Melissa and other children with developmental disabilities. As these children grew and required formal education, the Krentels opened an approved, private special education school that has expanded several times to meet demands for additional enrollments. Melmark Pennsylvania now has 16 classrooms in service.
Over the next 30 years, with philanthropic support from friends, families, and associates, Melmark’s services and resources increased significantly. Melmark New England, a community-based, approved private school, opened in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1998. The New England leadership team brought many years of clinical and administrative expertise in service to children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and other neurological disorders resulting in complex behavioral profiles. The educational expertise and clinical systems from this team facilitated the expansion of services for students with ASD and complex behavioral profiles now served at Melmark Pennsylvania.
In fall 2018, Melmark expanded once again by bringing its educational and clinical service model to the Carolinas. Melmark Carolinas was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina to satisfy the significant demand for services for children diagnosed with ASD, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and co-morbid mental health disorders.