Our Faculty

Carl Hillendahl, DDS, BS, MS

Carl Hillendahl, DDS, BS, MS

RDAEF Program Director

Carl Hillendahl, DDS graduated from UCLA in 1979 with a DDS and continued at UCLA Hospital and Clinics in a General Practice Residency Program. After the GPR program, Dr. Hillendahl practiced in the Greater Los Angeles area before moving to El Dorado County in 1982 where he maintains a private practice in Placerville.

As an advocate of staff education, he supported one of his own clinical staff through the original RDAEF program in 1996 and the EF2 in 2010. Observing the benefits of EF utilization in his practice, Dr. Hillendahl joined the FADE Institute to help promote progressive education of RDAs and RDAEFs.

Dr. Hillendahl is active within the dental community, currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Sacramento District Dental Society. In his spare time, you will find Dr. Hillendahl riding road bikes, fly fishing or skiing.

Kelly Giannetti, DMD, BS, MS, MPH

Kelly Giannetti, DMD, BS, MS, MPH

OAP Program Director

Dr. Kelly Giannetti is a private practice orthodontist in the Sacramento area.  Kelly is involved in numerous aspects of organized dentistry, including volunteer positions with the California Orthodontic Association and the Sacramento District Dental Society.  She is a visiting faculty member at UCSF Dental School and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontics.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs.

Judith Zann, RDA

Judith Zann, RDA

RDA Program Director

Judith has worked in the dental industry for over 20 years with education being her passion. She has been a RDA since 1987 and has worked in private practice as well as education. Judith was an educator at Reedley College for 11 years and Program Director for the Dental Assisting Department. Her focus as an instructor was radiology and infection control as well as teaching many other topics. Judith enjoys working closely with the dental community and providing dental assistants with outstanding skills to work with their team. She has long-been involved with her professional organization including serving as a Past-President of the California Dental Assistants Association.

Debbie Reynon, CDA, RDA, BS

Debbie Reynon, CDA, RDA, BS

Santa Cruz Faculty

Debbie graduated from Hartnell College in 1976 earning her Associates of Arts Degree in Business and graduated from Monterey Peninsula College in 1977 earning her Associates of Science Degree in Dental Assisting. After obtaining both her CDA and her RDA, Debbie worked clinically and as a front office administrator for general dentistry and in pediatrics for over 21 years while focusing on her teacher credentialing through the Regional Occupation Program (Career and Technical Education). Debbie has been the program coordinator of the Santa Cruz County ROP Dental Assisting Program for the past 21 years and recently earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Career and Technical Education from Sacramento State University.

Debbie serves on the Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Advisory Board as collaborative representative of the Dental Assisting Program and has served as Past-President of the California Association of Dental Assisting teachers (CADAT).

Eric Spain, RDA, OAP

Eric Spain, RDA, OAP

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Born and raised in Northern California, Eric Spain has worked in clinical dentistry for 15 years. Eric completed his dental assisting education through Butte County ROP before working to complete and pass his state boards as an RDA. Eric continues to work clinically as an orthodontic specialist for Kids Care Dental and Orthodontics and is currently a lead instructor for the Orthodontic Assistant Permit program at the FADE Institute.

Karen Vega, RDA

Karen Vega, RDA

Santa Cruz Faculty

Karen Vega has been serving the Santa Cruz County Career, Technical and Education Partnership (CTEP) as both a volunteer and a clinical laboratory instructional supervisor for the Dental Assisting Program for the past 20 years. Karen supervises the Dental Radiation Safety certification course for Santa Cruz High School ROP/CTE and is actively involved in the success of the full-time Dental Assisting program. Karen has over 22 years of clinical experience as a licensed Registered Dental Assistant.

Karen’s primary focus in education has always been to promote, mentor and advance dental assisting education for all students a professional dental assisting career.  She continues to serve on the Santa Cruz County CTEP/ROP Dental Assisting Advisory Committee and is an active member in CADAT.

Laurel Ladouceur, RDA, OAP

Laurel Ladouceur, RDA, OAP

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Laurel graduated from the College of Marin Dental Assisting Program in 1995 with her Associate of Science degree and earned her RDA license shortly thereafter.  In 2011, she returned to school earning her Orthodontic Assistant Permit (OAP).  Laurel currently works full-time as a clinical assistant in an orthodontic practice and an OAP instructor at The FADE Institute on select weekends. She brings her 20 plus years of dental knowledge, experience and expertise in Orthodontics to share with her students.

Jenny Michel, RDA

Jenny Michel, RDA

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Jenny graduated from 49er ROP located in Placer County in 2003 and she earned her RDA license shortly thereafter.  For 10 years, she practiced as a RDA in general practice. Her passion for dentistry evolved into serving as an educator in 2014, when she was presented with the opportunity to give back to her community by serving as Program director and faculty member for Dental Careers at CTE Works in Placer County – a role she still currently enjoys.

In 2016, Jenny was recognized as a Leading Edge Educator, receiving certification for Online and Blended Course Instruction while continuing on her own educational pathway with both UC San Diego and Brandman University.  Most recently she has earned her CTE Teaching Credential in Health Science and Medical Technology from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

Julie Cisneros, RDAEF

Julie Cisneros, RDAEF

El Dorado Hills Faculty

For over 22 years, Julie Cisneros has worked with many great and inspiring dental professionals after first obtaining her Registered Dental Assistant license in 1996, then her RDAEF1 in 2000 and finally her EF2 in 2013.  Julie is motivated by great clinical dentistry and working with patient-focused dental professionals. She did not realize that her own experiences as a patient in the care of a giving dental assistant would some day become the driving force for her own passionate care in treating patients and teaching the next generation of clinicians.  Julie appreciates the opportunity to share her knowledge and skill with others and continues to bring that dedication to the EF students here at the Institute. Her supportive and caring manner has made her a terrific addition to the EF faculty.

Julie is married with three children who are all very supportive and encouraging in her endeavors to teach and help others become the best they can be clinically.  She and her family love to travel and explore new places of rich culture and especially good food! 

Gina Macias, CDA, RDAEF, BS

Gina Macias, CDA, RDAEF, BS

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Ms. Gina Macias has been an educator and advocate for dental assisting since 2009.  She began her dental assisting career in 1995 when she earned her RDA, her CDA from the Dental Assisting National Board, and her original RDAEF from UCSF.  In 2017, she advanced her licensure and obtained her RDAEF2 from the FADE Institute.  Ms. Macias holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and believes in lifelong learning for dental professionals.

When she is not teaching, Gina enjoys spending time with her family and watching her daughter play travel softball.

Leah Albanese, CDA, RDAEF, RDH, BS

Leah Albanese, CDA, RDAEF, RDH, BS

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Ms. Leah Albanese has been an enthusiastic, dedicated educator and clinical hygienist for many years. From certification in Healthcare Provider BLS to entry-level dental assisting skills, Leah brings her vast knowledge and expertise to each subject she presents. Leah earned her license as a Registered Dental Assistant in 1997, her RDAEF1 in 1999, her Registered Dental Hygienist license in 2002 and her national certification (CDA) in 2013. She earned her Bachelors Degree from CSU Sacramento in 2011 and has taught in Registered Dental Assisting Programs for the past eight years.

Currently, Leah is instructing part-time at the Institute, focusing on her three adopted children, while pursuing her EF2 license.

Teresa Lua, RDAEF, OA

Teresa Lua, RDAEF, OA

EF Specialties Coach & Examination Coordinator

Ms. Teresa Lua, RDAEF, OA, has been a clinical assistant for over 20 years with our Program Director, Dr. Carl Hillendahl.  Teresa’s desire to pursue teaching brought her to the Institute nearly two years ago.  Her expertise in surgical assisting, implants, CAD-milled restorations and esthetic dentistry make her a terrific resource for our EF students.  Currently, Teresa is focused on specialty training modules, including certification in Interim Therapeutic Restoration (ITR), and is focused on assembling a team of examiners for objective evaluation of our EF students in preparation of their Board examinations.

Teresa has served on the Dental Assisting Council of the Dental Board as well as numerous councils and committees for Sacramento District Dental Society.  She is an avid rock climber, jogger and bicyclist and is often posting pictures from the summit of many of her climbing adventures.

Pamela Farley, RDH, BS

Pamela Farley, RDH, BS

Santa Cruz Faculty

Pamela started her dental career as a dental assistant in 1975. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science degree in dental hygiene in 1976, practicing dental hygiene for a private practice in Michigan for six years before relocating to San Jose, California in 1982. After a long professional career in private dental practice, Pamela obtained her teaching credential in 2004.

She is currently employed by Santa Cruz County ROP as an adjunct instructor in the Dental Assisting Program and in 2014, Pam joined the teaching team at Monterey Peninsula College.