About

looking upon what would become the grounds of Rancho Encinitas

Edison Academy was founded in 1990 by Linda Wulle. Linda had spent 20 years working with students with learning disabilities in the public school system. It became clear to her that many of her students struggled not so much because of their disability, but because the education system was designed for students who learned one way, while Linda’s students excelled at learning in other ways. So she set out to create a school designed for kids who learn differently.

Linda Wulle (1947-2009)

Opened in 1990, Edison began with eight students in a converted barn in Olivenhain. Linda named it after Thomas Edison, whose unique learning style led to struggles in school, but also to great success as an inventor.

Original campus in Olivenhain

As Edison Academy grew, Linda and her husband, Paul Wulle, began plans for a sister school where Edison students could be mainstreamed, and where their siblings with typical learning styles could also benefit from learning in a natural, low-stress environment.

This new school plan became Rancho Encinitas Academy, which opened its doors in 1995 on the grounds of an old tree nursery on Encinitas Boulevard. Paul became its director. Paul used his decades of teaching experience to help design a campus where kids would enjoy spending each day. In essence, a school that didn’t feel like a school. Instead of bulldozing the old nursery to make room for big buildings, Paul designed single-classroom cottages that could fit into the natural slope, nestled among the existing trees. And he added patios and decks, boardwalks and other outdoor places where students and teachers could gather to study, read, socialize and relax.

1995: Building 6’s first class eager for its completion.

1996: Cockatiel aviary and Building 5 complete (students are standing on future site of Building 2).

1996: Center walkway under construction.

In 2002, Edison Academy moved from its barn to the new campus. The two academies became one community, providing both typical and atypical learners with a high-engagement, low-stress education. Paul and Linda directed the two schools together till Linda’s death, from cancer, in 2009. Paul and the staff have continued in Linda’s passionate pursuit: To discover each child’s learning style, and then to create effective learning experiences to match.