Learning Ovations’ Hannah Thompson is Riding the Learning Wave

Deep Dive Rising Tide
May 21, 2019 By Jennifer Garcia

From rock stars to education, Thompson is bringing her A-game

Being able to ride the wave and not fight against the tide, simply letting it take her in and out, is something that Hannah Thompson, director of communications at Learning Ovations, has learned to do.

Learning Ovations, a Cove tenant, is an organization that deploys the A2i Professional Support System, a combination of technology and professional development that empowers teachers to successfully tailor instruction for students in kindergarten through third grade.

Thompson’s entrepreneurial spirit fits right into the Cove ecosystem and is something, she believes, she inherited from her ancestors. Starting with her family in Japan, Thompson comes from an entrepreneurial background – her grandmother’s family owns a bakery with more than 100 stores and her grandmother herself ran a seamstress business. These examples have served as the source of inspiration for Thompson’s pursuit in entrepreneurship and has motivated her to lean into what she is good at and led her to Learning Ovations.

Hannah Thompson, marketing director at Learning Ovations, and Gene Simmons, co-lead singer and bassist of KISS, at NBC Studios in Burbank, California.
Photo Courtesy of Hannah Thompson

Brought on board by Jay Connor, CEO of Learning Ovations, Thompson is responsible for all Learning Ovations’ branding, including marketing, communications, graphic design, social media and event planning.

“I thrive in the startup environment,” said Thompson. “I have a passion for entrepreneurship and I really thought it’d be an amazing opportunity but also because they’re doing social good.”

As a mother of two, Thompson resonates with Learning Ovation’s drive to increase the literacy rate in young children.
In fourth grade, students transition towards “reading to learn” rather than “learning to read.” According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 23 percent of below-basic readers do not graduate high school.

Learning Ovations ensures that all children are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade. The students are given an assessment test through which the results are broken down by the type and amount of instruction that the student needs. This information is then shared with their teacher who receives a lesson plan based on the individual students’ needs.

“We’re changing the world because it’s not just about the children it’s about long-term outcomes and it’s about really solving society’s problems,” said Thompson.

This passion for startups and people has allowed Thompson to work in exciting environments, meet the right people and establish relationships. She rubbed elbows with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS while helping to launch Simmons’ first few restaurants, Rock and Brews. She also worked as a staff member in the communications and marketing department at Chapman University where she led content marketing efforts for the Argyos School of Business and Economics.

And, in addition to her position at Learning Ovations, her love of education and experience is what brought her to The Paul Merage School of Business as assistant director at The Beall Center, where she helped launch a Master’s program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The program is the first of its kind in the UC system and will begin instruction this fall.

“I hope one day my husband and kids will look at some of my accomplishments and be proud,” said Thompson.

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