About Linda - Linda Inlay
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 In an unexpected and fortuitous left turn in life, instead of landing a job with the Hawaii public schools, Linda began her career as an educator at Our Lady of Schools in Wahiawa, Hawaii.  There she learned a new way of orchestrating a school environment to nurture the well being of students into model citizens. At Our Lady of Sorrows School, Sr. Joan Madden and an Adlerian psychologist, Dr. Raymond Corsini collaborated to create a revolutionary educational program then called Individual Education. Using Adlerian principles and Carl Roger’s self-actualization theory, this program emphasized the core values of the Four Rs:  responsibility, respect, resourcefulness, and responsiveness to be modeled by the adults in order to foster these same values in the students.


After fifteen years at Our Lady of Sorrows School, Linda with teachers and parents left in 1986 to open an independent school called Ho`āla.  Despite huge obstacles to establish itself, Ho`āla has celebrated thirty years of existence. Ho`āla in Hawaiian means, “awakening of the self,” an apt name for the transformation of teachers, students, and parents to grow in the Four Rs.  In 1988, Linda left Hawaii for California, teaching for the first time in a public middle school.  Through the experience of public schools in contrast to Ho`āla, Linda understood the power of Awakening Wisdom in making a positive difference in the lives of students, parents, and teachers.  From this knowledge she explored the kind of school setting, the hidden curriculum, that best supports the humanity of students while earning her Masters in Educational Foundations from the University of Hawaii in 1995. Her thesis, Ho`āla School The Transformation of Character Through the Implicit Curriculum, continues to be used as a training guide for teachers at schools.


In 1993, Linda and her husband moved to Napa Valley where she taught in the Gifted and Talented Education program in the elementary schools, using project-based learning and constructivist theory as the basis for the curricular design. She was asked in 1996 to become the principal of River School, the first charter school in Napa County, a middle school, and one of the first one hundred charter schools in California.  Over her eighteen years as director/principal at River School, Linda continued to develop the principles and structures of Awakening Wisdom. She also taught the principles of Awakening Wisdom in parenting classes each year so that home and school collaborated to raise self-assured, responsible, and respectful students.


During her tenure, Linda led River School to receive two California Distinguished School Awards, the Promising Practices Award and National School of Character Award from the Character Education Partnership, and the California School Board Association’s Golden Bell Award.
In 2016  the name of the program which began as Individual Education and later changed to Ho`āla Educational Philosophy was changed to Awakening Wisdom, a “way of being” exhibited by students, parents, and e,ducators that foster the Four Rs, the core values of responsibility, respect, resourcefulness, and responsiveness.


Linda has presented at numerous conferences: National Middle School Association, Character Education Partnership, California Middle School Association, National Charter Schools, California Charter Schools Association, North Coast Educational Summit. She has written grants totaling over $300,000, including a Charter School Dissemination Grant to share Ho`ala, and authored four articles published in ASCD’s Educational Leadership. She organized and presented at three Summer Institutes on Awakening Wisdom. She has consulted with Reach Charter School in Sebastopol that adopted Awakening Wisdom and is currently consulting and coaching the Napa County Court and Community Schools.

Linda retired from River School in 2014 to advocate for humane schools where students flourish as self-confident, responsible, and respectful citizens. In this advocacy work, she is currently writing a book on Awakening Wisdom as a systems approach to nurturing students’ social and emotional needs. With Ho`āla School colleagues, she started the Ho`āla Foundation for Education, a 501(c)3 to educate educators and parents in Awakening Wisdom so that more students may benefit from its core values and practices. As Sr. Joan once said, “When you bake good bread, you share the recipe.”