Our Founders


Krishnan and Geetha founded the RISE Foundation in 2000. Their passion to start a non-profit ignited while raising a family in the United States. They understood how a quality education was the foundation for creating a successful life for themselves. They wanted to give back to India by establishing a school with quality education where a rural child could learn, and have the same opportunity to education as an urban child. They also wanted to provide underprivileged rural children with an education, which would expand their thinking and understanding of the world, and would expose them to different global cultures through extracurricular activities.

When Krishnan decided to start RISE School, he hired an outside consulting agency to identify a community with greatest need in India. The agency did research through field work, by having the consultants visiting different areas, and by talking with government authorities and important people. They did research through specialized databases. In 2004, after much thought, effort, and research, RISE elementary was established in the village of Samiyandhipudhur, near Pollachi Town, in South India.

Upon the creation of the school, Krishnan temporarily relocated to India from the U.S. to assist in the development and implementation of the school’s structure and class curriculums. Krishnan and Geetha have made substantial investments in the school, but they cannot do this alone. Krishnan and Geetha continue to travel yearly to India to manage the school and enhance the curriculum. They are dedicated to enriching the school with highly qualified staff and teachers to provide high quality education.

Many rural families cannot afford a quality education, resulting in more economic and educational disparities between the rich and poor.

RISE Foundation bridges the knowledge gap between rural and urban children, providing rural children the same access to quality education.

Our Mission


Krishnan and Geetha started RISE Foundation school to provide opportunities to children who would otherwise not get access to quality education. RISE School was set up in a remote village where the requirement for a quality school was very high.

A detailed survey was carried out in early 2000 to identify a village where there was a dire need for a school, and which provide educational opportunities as good as urban schools, but at an affordable cost. After a comprehensive search, Samiyandipudhur village, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was identified as an ideal location to start a school for rural children.

From the inception of the school, the guiding philosophy has been that access to good education in rural areas must not be limited by affordability issues, and hence, the school fees are heavily subsidized by contributions from donors. The School fee recovers only a part of the running expenses.Students from poor families are given scholarships varying from 33% to 100% of the Tuition fee.

Given our mission, RISE school also welcomes students under RTE (Right to Education mandate of the Government of India). Most private schools, that are not subsidized by the government, do not admit these students. RISE School also caters to low-income children from neighboring villages. Capital costs were raised through contributions from founders, families and friends.

RISE School focuses on increasing joy in learning and creating independent learners. Children are encouraged to voice their opinions and be fearless in expressing their thoughts. Instead of focusing solely on grades, importance is given to conceptual understanding and strengthening of the basics (such as reading comprehension and mathematical operations) for each child. Students are trained in Yoga, Karate, Indian classical dance, athletics, life skills, gender equality and agriculture. Technology and innovative teaching practices (online live tutoring, use of tablets) are used to make learning fun. Children learn in an encouraging environment where corporal punishment or discrimination is unacceptable.

RISE School has a 'Volunteer to be a Mentor program' that attracts teachers from around the world. The mentors live on the campus and are involved in the school's curriculum. Our volunteer program helps us find experienced individuals, who help fill the gaps in specialized skills that are harder to find in remote rural India.

Sustainable agricultural activities are carried out in the campus. A well-maintained coconut grove and a fruit orchard supplement the school’s income. Since agricultural operations are the mainstay of the local economy, this is also a good training ground for the children who maintain kitchen gardens.

RISE School Management

Founder and chairman

Mr. R. Krishnan is the Founder Trustee & Chairman of RISE Foundation (USA), RISE India Trust and RISE School. He did his Bachelors in Civil Engineering in Delhi University and Masters in SUNY Buffalo, New York. He has worked in Jacobs Engineering Group and Aero Vironment as Senior Vice-President and Executive Vice President respectively. He stays on RISE campus for 3 months and provides vision and direction to the school activities.


Ms Geetha Krishnan is Co-Founder and Trustee of RISE Foundation (USA), RISE India Trust. She was the Correspondent of RISE School for few years. She did her Bachelors from Madras University and Accounting from California State University, Los Angeles. She has worked in accounting roles in US and is very passionate about children and education.

Chief Executive Officer

Prasanna V.S. is a Trustee, Chief Executive Officer of RISE India Trust and Correspondent of RISE School. He is also a Director in Apna group of companies and has completed Marine Engineering from Marine Engineering Research Institute, Kolkata.


Ms. S. E. Sangeetha is the Principal of RISE School. She has worked in this school for over 5 years and rejoined in May 2108 after a maternity break. She has completed her BA in Tamil, B Sc Botany and M Ed, and enjoys teaching. She loves art and writes poetry in Tamil. She hails from Pollachi and takes care of the day to day operations in RISE School.


Mr. Anantanarayanan was previously Chief Engineer in Indian Railways and a Consultant in Chennai Metro Rail project. He has been supportive in setting up the library in RISE School and believes that instilling reading habit to children should be one of the main aims in education. He supports various other initiatives in education sector.

Mr. T. Raghavan was previously Deputy Director in ISRO. As a trustee, Mr. Raghavan provides direction to the initiative and advises on various initiatives taken up as a part of RISE India Trust.

Mr. SenthilRaj is a trustee in RISE India Trust. He currently lives in Chennai and believes in providing Quality education to rural children.

Mr. Premkumar is a rural management professional who has worked previously in State government, Central government and in IT industry. He has completed his PGDRM from Institute of Rural Management Anand, Gujarat and Mechanical Engineering from Sona College of Technology, Salem. He is passionate about teaching and believes that quality all round education is the magic bullet.

Advisory board

Mr. Kasi Aiyar

Dr. Krishnan

Dr. Sankar

Dr. Govindarajan

Mrs. Bridget Meyer

Mrs. Nithya Krishnan

Mrs. Kavitha Ramachandran

Mr. Deepak Tulsiyan

"Education is the most poweful weapon we can use to change the world".     Nelson Mandela

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