Education: Rick was born and raised near Johnsonville, SC where he attended Johnsonville High School. He has a B.A. in History and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of South Carolina. As a member of the South Carolina Army National Guard, Rick was part of the second commissioning class from the University of South Carolina Army ROTC program. Following graduation and commissioning, Rick chose Active Duty and attended many service related staff and leadership schools and is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
Experience: Rick served over 23 years on Active Duty worldwide and is a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm, Operation Southern Watch (the “No Fly Zone”), and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Included in Wise’s experience were being an Active Duty advisor to the SC Army National Guard, and as Assistant Professor of Military Science and Leadership Development Instructor for seven years at Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina. Upon retiring from the Army in 2007, Rick wanted to give back by continuing his earlier path to becoming a teacher. After attempting to contact the Troops to Teachers (TTT) program in SC, Wise discovered that the position was open, and he became the Program Manager for SC TTT from 2007-2013, spent two years in support of military education in another arena, and returned to helping Veterans and Spouses become teachers again in 2015. Instead of become “a” teacher, Rick has helped over 440 Veterans and Spouses become teachers in SC in his role with TTT. TTT funding for FY17 was not distributed to the state and region level nationwide pending review of the grant process under which the program operates. Expected funding for SC may not be available until sometime in FY18. To sustain the viability of Veterans teaching in SC, Wise is teaming with CERRA to provide the same services to help those wanting to become teachers.
CERRA: Wise currently serves as CERRA's Program Facilitator for the Veterans to Education Transition Support (VETS) project. Rick provides information and briefings at military installations and other venues across the state to help motivate Veterans and Spouses to become Teachers. Support includes individual counseling about the teacher preparation process, review of certification and alternative-certification programs, the teacher hiring process, guidance about eligible financial and other support programs, and guides candidates towards rural and high needs and school districts and subject areas where need is highest. Rick works with the CERRA team to help with the overall goal of providing great teachers for students statewide.