With a passion for swimming in her genes and being led by the Lord, Linda Maley opened the state's first Aquatic Educational Development Center in 2001. Her father was an award winning swimmer and diver for LSU and the 4th Air Force. Her mother, a synchronized swimmer, taught swimming and Linda swam competitively in Baton Rouge, until moving to Jackson at age 13. While attending camps as a teenager, she attained every Red Cross certification through Advanced Swimmer and Lifesaving, and was a counselor and lifeguard. In 1970, she taught preschool at Broadmoor Baptist Church, received her Water Safety Instructor certification, and began teaching swimming at her parents' pool. As the business grew, she built her own home pool for lessons.
Swim lessons have always been a top priority in the Maley household. From 8 feet of water in the 1979 Easter flood, to a 1982 fire that totaled their home, to a 1998 zoning issue that served as the catalyst for opening the school, lessons continued despite the obstacles. Her husband Claude has always been Linda's biggest cheerleader. His imagination is responsible for all the exciting toys and decorations that greet the children as they enter the building. Her daughter Alicia, and son Tres inherited the swimming trait and taught alongside Linda during their high school and college years. Alicia, a former elementary teacher and mother of two, began her own seasonal swim school at her in-laws' farm. Alicia is the Aquatic Director and plays a crucial role in the school curriculum while teaching seasonally in Brandon. Her husband Jason is always on call when needed, and their two daughters have begun teaching with Alicia during summer breaks. Tres' research on swim schools early on directly resulted in Linda opening the school. In January 2013 Tres returned to Jackson to become Linda's eventual successor.
Over the years Maley Swim School has been honored with numerous United States Swim School Association (USSSA) awards. Linda and Alicia have both won the prestigious Outstanding Swim Teacher award and they were especially proud in winning a Special Event Award for their Water Safety Awareness Day. The event was geared toward educating the public on drowning prevention strategies and also included a Johnny B. and Friends Character Development Program. With over 70 years of combined swimming instruction, the Maleys continue to develop unique programs for children and adults alike. They stress the importance of year-round lessons for long-term retention of skills. Students from 6 months to 71 years of age are currently enrolled in classes, and many taking lessons are children of Linda's former students.
Running the school keeps the Maleys hopping like their signature frog logo. "'Leap in and Love to Swim' is more than a motto, it's a philosophy, " stated Linda. "We've discovered children learn more in a happy, relaxed environment where they're encouraged rather than forced to swim,". From preschool teacher to swim teacher, children have been Linda's main focus. She says, "We want swimming lessons to be one of their fondest childhood memories!"