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Ironwood was founded in 2006 by Marion and Rod Rodrigue. Their decision to establish Ironwood emerged from their own experience of trying to help their daughter through a difficult adolescence. Like many parents facing this challenge, Marion and Rod found it impossible to find a program that had the right combination of both educational and therapeutic support. It was through this experience and personal struggle that Ironwood was originally created. What began as their private residence, and equine facility was thoughtfully transformed into the residential therapeutic school Ironwood is today.
The foundational elements of the residential treatment center and school have remained consistent, built on three core components: therapeutic, behavioral, and educational interventions. In 2011, Wesley and Susan Horton of Duxbury, Massachusetts, purchased Ironwood. With a background and passion for both therapeutic work and healthcare management, the couple continued the original philosophy, supporting and improving the existing programming, by hiring additional highly qualified people to enhance both the management and direct care oversight.
Ironwood is coeducational and licensed by the State of Maine to serve 45 residents, ages 13-18, over an average 9-12 month length of stay. Over the past 10 years, Ironwood has focused on building foundational communication and life skills, in addition to improving the basic educational skills of reading, writing, and math. Using a level system, residents are challenged to meet therapeutic, behavioral, and educational goals, designed to reinforce self-reliance and a strong self-esteem. Ironwood is divided into two campuses, the Frye campus (levels 1 and 2) is a highly structured, rule oriented environment, intended to establish acceptance and reinforce respect for one's self and others. The Farm House (levels 3 and 4) focuses more on developing the internal character traits of honesty, integrity, and motivational values. Both aspects of the program consistently use routines that encourage residents to become more self-directed, responsible, and emotionally mature, ultimately working toward the successful employment of Ironwood's mission.
Ironwood is an independent residential treatment center and private school committed to helping families in crisis with troubled teens. Ironwood prioritizes positive relationship development while utilizing a behavioral support model, comprehensive therapy, and disciplined academics to cultivate personal growth and positive change. Our goal is to assess and treat the underlying causes of challenging behavior, to cultivate family reunification and communication, and to help establish and develop a strong self-esteem in the residents we serve.