Lyndee Knox, PhD

Founding Director

Lyndee is the mother of two children, 13 and 18.  She founded The Lab in 2016 with the help of 5 other families in Long Beach in response to difficult experiences her own children had in traditional educational settings.  Her goal was to provide an educational alternative for her own children and others in the Long Beach area.   A replication scientist by training, to design The Lab Lyndee studied "exemplar" educational programs across California and the US to identify innovative alternatives to traditional education.  She landed on the Khan Lab School in Mountainview as an exemplar of the personalized, mastery-based approach she wanted to implement at The Lab and visited it with several founding families to study their approach.  Lyndee holds a doctorate in Educational and School Psychology, is a former Associate Professor of Family Medicine from the University of Southern California, and is trained in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and psychoeducational assessment. She is the former co-director of the CDC-funded Academic Center of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, an expert in program replication, co-developer of the internationally recognized school readiness program, Madres a Madres, in collaboration with promotores from Latino Health Access and author of Beyond Suppression: Global Perspectives on Youth Violence Prevention that features the work of youth leaders from around the globe.

Torry Thompson

Academic Director & Lead Teacher

Mr. "T" as Torry prefers to be called, has been with the Lab since we started in 2016.  A credentialed teacher and math expert who is known for his ability to inspire and engage his students, Mr. T oversees instruction and classes for students 4th-8th grades and provides oversight for the Lab's teaching staff.


Mr. T was one of the first educators in LA County to introduce personalized, self-guided learning approaches into the classroom, including the Khan Academy.  His students continue to seek him out for advice and support years after finishing their classes at The Lab.  He was described by one of our parents as, "the teacher you always wish your child could have."   And we agree!

We are delighted that Mr. T calls The Lab his educational home!


Kathryn Forrest

Teacher/Advisor for K-3rd

Kathryn Forrest is trained in elementary school education, Reggio Emilio, Applied Behavioral Analysis and is a practicing artist.  Kathryn has a wonderful lyrical approach to her work with children, engaging them in immersive experiences that integrate reading, writing, math with study of the arts, science and history. 

Kathryn's work in education spans to globe from work in Thailand as an elementary school teacher, to montessori and Reggio programs in California, to in-home support with applied behavioral analysis for students in need of additional support.

We are delighted to have Kathryn as a member of our Lab team.  Her vision of student-led exploration, joy in learning and integration of the arts from around the world make her classroom an exciting place for young people to be! 

Bertha Leon

Administrative Support

Bertha Leon is the mother of a 20-year-old daughter who learned in non-traditional settings. 

Bertha is bi-lingual English-Spanish and loves engaging with and supporting parents in their educational journey with their children.

Fun, engaging and full of empathy, Bertha is committed to making educational options available to any family in Long Beach who wants it.