Our Teachers

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.

Leah Albanese, CDA, RDAEF, RDH, BS

Leah Albanese, CDA, RDAEF, RDH, BS

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Leah has been a passionate, 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 RDA in 1997, her RDAEF in 1999, her RDH in 2002 and her CDA in 2013. She earned her Bachelors Degree from CSU Sacramento in 2011 and has taught in Registered Dental Assisting Programs for the past seven years.

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.

Judith Zann, RDA

Judith Zann, RDA

Director of Education/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.

Carl Hillendahl, DDS, BS, MS

Carl Hillendahl, DDS, BS, MS

RDAEF Program Director

Carl Hillendahl, DDS is the current EF Program Director at The FADE Institute. He graduated from UCLA in 1972 with a BS degree in Zoology. He started a Masters program at UCLA in Neurophysiology and transferred to the UCLA Dental School before completing the Neurophysiology Program. Graduating in 1979 with a DDS, he continued at UCLA Hospital and Clinics in a General Practice Residency Program. After the GPR program Dr. Hillendahl practiced Dentistry in the Greater Los Angeles area before moving to El Dorado County in 1982. He has maintained a general dental practice in Placerville since 1982.

As an advocate of staff education, he supported one of his own clinical staff through the RDAEF program in 1996 and again in the Expanded Function II program in 2010. Observing the benefits for his employees and 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 as Editor of the monthly journal for the Sacramento District Dental Society. Locally, he is a member of the Diamond Springs & El Dorado Community Advisory Committee. In his spare time, you will find Dr. Hillendahl riding road bikes, fly fishing or skiing.

Teresa Lua, RDAEF, OAP

Teresa Lua, RDAEF, OAP

El Dorado Hills Faculty

Teresa has been involved in dental assisting for approximately 25 years. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise with her students. Teresa’s passion in dentistry started as an “on the job trained” dental assistant. She earned her RDA license in 1988, her RDAEF(1) license in 1995, her RDAEF(2) license in 2010 and earned an Orthodontic Assistant Permit in 2012. Teresa served as a member of the dental assisting council for the Dental Board of California from 2013 -2016. Currently, she is active in the Sacramento District Dental Society on the Educational Task Force and Ethics Committee and has participated in Smiles for Kids. Teresa currently teaches in the Institute’s RDAEF program as well as the OAP course