St. Joseph College  McEntegart Hall, 222 Clinton Ave 

Clinton Hills, Brooklyn, NY  11205  347-787-0435


       Roni Jackson
       Oct. 5, 2017
       12:30 pm

       My son was part of the GenTech* (The Learnatory) family from

       2nd  grade to 7th grade. He's graduating from HS next year and as

       we prepare his college essays we realized GenTech and Debra's

       work  became the impetus for his love and passion for STEM.

       GenTech was just a start-up when he began but it taught him

       methodology, programming and building. Most importantly,

       Debra's  work, empathy and drive made my child and many others

       successful.   Debra is an innovator and ahead of the curve.

        * The Learnatory was called "GenTech" in Chicago, IL

Staff of The Learnatory must share two key components:  A passion for Performance-Driven Excellence and seeing young people succeed. Each instructor is a specialist in their field.  They hold a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and/or have at least 3 years experience in their field.  Experience must include working with young people in an academic or recreational environment.

Instructors receive training in The Learnatory Methodology which focuses on self- discovery and analysis.  We seek to take the risk out of learning new things and cultivate a love of learning within every child. 

Pathways         >

History              >



The Learnatory's  Executive Director brings 40 years of extensive experience, research and dedication to the students and parents of The Learnatory.

Debra E. Brown-Thompson is a native of Chicago, Illinois residing in Brooklyn, New York.  Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Speech with teaching credentials from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Science in Organization Development with a concentration in Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University.  

Thompson began her career in the field of education teaching English at Bloom Township High School in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  After 3 years, she moved to New York City where she wrote training manuals for telecommunications companies and tutored academically-challenged youth in Harlem.

Thompson later relocated to Los Angeles where she taught at the Beverly Hills High School and established The Learnatory at the University of Southern California.   She returned to Chicago to teach at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and founded both The Learnatory and the Frank London Brown Academy.

Subsequently, Thompson moved into the corporate world when she accepted a position as a Training and Development Specialist with Tellabs, a telecommunications manufacturing company in Lisle, Illinois writing technical training manuals.  After a year, she was offered a similar position with Ameritech where her 3-year stint there was marked by a rapid rise to Director, Leadership and Executive Development. 

In 2008, Thompson re-launched The Learnatory in Chicago. In 2016. The Learnatory  summer camp was piloted in 2017 in Brooklyn, New York.   Research and development was conducted focusing on multiple intelligences and the pedagogy of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) for elementary and middle school students.  After extensive research, The Learnatory expanded its focus to provide comprehensive and supportive pathways to matriculation in STEAM. The enhanced programming opens in January, 2019.

Thompson is the proud mother of three children, all of whom hold degrees in creative fields.  Brandi Thompson-Ullian and Ryann Thompson are both Honors graduates of New York University in Communications and Film Production, respectively.  Trenton Thompson holds a Masters of Art in Animation and Screenwriting from the American Academy of Art in San Francisco.

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