Meet the Team
The staff at Project RISE includes administrators, educators, counselors, and volunteers.
The dedicated administrators and educators of Project RISE come with decades of experience in education and provides the students an educational environment of wonder, discovery, and creation. Many of the educators are Thayer Academy faculty and staff. Counselors range from rising high school juniors to college students — most of whom are Project RISE alumni. The staff at Project RISE is eager to help your child succeed not only as a student but also as an individual.
Founder and Director Emeritus
- Rob Dixon ‘79 P ’03,‘16, Thayer Academy Upper School History Teacher
- Jarvis Wyche, Thayer Academy Middle School Counselor
Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator
- Brandon Odom '04, Thayer Academy Assistant Admissions Director
Project RISE Advisory Board
- Donavan Brown '01
- Melissa Forger ‘92 P ’25, Thayer Academy Director of Development
- Matt Ghiden, Thayer Academy Middle School English Teacher
- Joanna Skoler Gilman ‘86 P ’25, '27, Thayer Academy Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
- John J. Hightower ‘95
- Brendan McDonough ‘87
- Carson Smith P ’25, Thayer Academy Middle School Director
- Highley Thompson P ’20, ‘23, Thayer Academy Upper School Director
"While the organization's success dazzles many, the core concept driving the achievements of RISE is mundane: Mentoring. Rob started the organization to formalize the successful mentoring formula that he implemented on an individual scale some years back with a small segment of individuals. Rob recognized the void with many inner city youth in trying to succeed in society was that they lacked solid guidance in how to obtain an education, and they lacked a strong support system and an advocate to promote their cause."
- John J. Hightower '95, Project RISE Advisory Board