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W provides better education through better educators

All of our educators have many years of hands-on experience in the subjects they teach. W Academy specifically pursues educators who are currently active in the industry, bringing real-life experience to the classroom. This means an up-to-date education on current trends and modern technology that is truly marketable to your future employers, not an out-of-date curriculum designed simply to help you pass an exam.

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Wassim Kaddura | Owner & Master Stylist

Wassim is President, Owner, Master Artist, and Educator of W Academy of Salon and Spa. He personally trains his teachers with the goal of developing students to become salon ready artists that can aggressively build a client base with their artist skills and excellent customer service. Wassim also owns and operates the W Salon in San Ramon where he maintains client relationships with close to 500 loyal customers.

Wassim began his career in Israel, was a member of The Nuvo Technica Design Team performing platform classes for basic and advanced haircutting and coloring. He has performed photo shoots. He has presented advanced education nationwide for respected companies Focus 21, Sebastian International, and Trevor Sorbie.

Janet Paradiso | Director

Janet began working with W Academy as a Consultant in January 2016 and recently accepted a challenging lead role with the Academy. She's been integral in assembling a hard working, creative, loyal, and inspiring W Team committed to excellence and integrity. She plays a pivotal role with many facets of the Academy and its governing bodies (Department of Education, Bureau of Post Secondary Education, National Accrediting Association of Arts and Sciences, and Board of Barbering and Cosmetology).

Annamay Larson | Senior Admissions Advisor

Annamay has spent over twenty years in the sales, marketing, and customer service fields. Her experiences include positions in sales, event planning, banking, hospitality and in the education field. She has been blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the educational industry. She has spent the last ten years as an Admissions Advisor. She enjoys making a difference in someone’s life. As an advisor, she feels her responsibility is to assist students in discovering or uncovering their purpose. She has enjoyed being a part of their journey.

Tammy Curtis | Floor Director

Tammy leads The W Academy education team as well as W Academy Salon & Spa's Guest Services. She has spent 20 years in the cosmetology and barbering industry, both as a licensed cosmetologist and in multiple leadership roles on the education side - Registrar, Regional Registrar Instructor, Campus Director and more. She's a strong leader and excellent problem solver with an unwavering passion for the industry and helping to develop future artists.

Pauline Giles | Admissions Representative & Registrar

Pauline has spent 25 years in post-secondary education with 20 years involved directly in the admissions process. In 2016, she took over Registrar responsibilities at W Academy, meaning she manages all of our student's records. She has a servant's heart and an ear of compassion. She listens and guides with wisdom with the passion, work ethic and integrity to help those that want to change their future.

Phuong Nguyen | Financial Aid Director

Phuong has worked in the Beauty Industry for more than ten years. With a university background in both education and business administration, he has served in multiple positions including customer service, office management and as an admissions director and financial aid advisor. Currently, he is proud to be part of the team at the W Academy Salon and Spa. Phuong is passionate about working with future beauty professionals, helping to prepare them to make their dreams come true within the industry. In his current role as Financial Aid Advisor, he is focused on the financial aid process, and federal, state and local compliance procedures and regulations.

Kris Holland | Educator & Licensed Esthetician

Kris Holland has over fifteen years of professional experience in Beauty therapies and education as well as health, fitness and wellness advisory and client training. Her expertise is in electrical modalities for facial treatments in addition to body therapies. Kris has served as a Wellness Specialist at Stanford University where she has trained many Olympic and future professional athletes and chosen to serve as part of the sports training and coaching staff for the 2002 United States Olympic Women’s Bobsled Team in Salt Lake City, Utah. Transitioning into her passion and life’s work of corrective and healing skin care, she has served at the world renowned Cinta Aveda Institute as an Esthiology and CIDESCO Graduate Program Educator in electrical therapies and dermatology courses. Kris holds many coveted certifications for skin care treatments and therapies, a certified Pilates and Personal Fitness Trainer and is a Master Trainer for the Beautiful Image™ Micro Current Advanced Technologies in non-invasive face lift techniques.

Belinda Gomez | Educator & Licensed Cosmetologist

Belinda has been with W Academy since 2015 and has been an educator in cosmetology the last 8 years. She has been licensed for over 20 years in Cosmetology and 5 years in Aesthetics. She has an Associates Degree in Liberal Studies from Fresno City College Graduated from Federico's & Lyle's Beauty College in Fresno Ca.

Her training includes Matrix Artistic Educator, She also earned many certifications, including Milady's Career Institute, Milady's Business Fundamentals, International Dermal Institute, International Academy of Precision Haircutting, The Effective Colleges and Schools from the Pacific Institute, Certificate of Achievement for REDKEN Hair Color, Certificate of Achievement MATRIX Hair Color & WELLA

Ilene Hauser | Educator & Licensed Cosmetologist

Ilene has been with W Academy of Salon and Spa since 2013. She is a licensed cosmetologist with over twenty years experience in the salon and spa industry. She graduated from Beauty College in San Mateo, CA and continued on to a Master's Educator Program to receive an Educator Certificate. Prior to joining W Academy of Salon and Spa, she taught hair, skin, and nails for a leading cosmetology institute.

During her teaching career, she earned multiple certifications, including Milady's Career Institute, Milady's Business Fundamentals, The International Dermal Institutes Skin Analysis class, the Pacific Institute For Success Strategies For Effective Colleges And Schools, Image Aesthetic Institute Advanced Peels as well as Lira Clinical Precise Peeling GPS 1 and 2.

Lillian Denmead-Miller | Aesthetician Department Head & Instructor

Lillian Denmead-Miller is a clinically trained aesthetician with over twenty years experience in the advanced skincare industry. She has earned physician continuing education in anti-aging science from industry leaders such as Nicolas Perricone and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Instructor training with NCEA, Miladys Masters of Education, Miladys Business Fundamentals, Nuts & Bolts Business Training and the Pacific Institute for Success Coach training by Lou Tice.

In addition to being a licensed aesthetician, she is a certified medical assistant (CMA), specializing in injections and certified Biofeedback Energy Medicine Therapist and Health Wellness Coach, Reiki and Laughter Yoga Meditation Leader. She has trained skincare students and professionals as well as doctors and nurses worldwide.

Linda Bertaut | Aesthetician Instructor & Reiki Master Teacher

Known as the beauty industry’s “Reiki and energy-healing educator,” her signature wellness treatments and innovative techniques are being used in salons and spas throughout the country. Bertaut is also a frequent book and magazine author, and a speaker at many industry events. She teaches specialty classes at W Academy and is a regular substitute for the esthetician program.

Elayne Becker | Cosmetology Instructor & Licensed Cosmetologist

As a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago, Elayne enjoyed a long career as an interior designer, with her work featured on HGTV, Better Homes and Gardens and more.

Elayne started a second career in cosmetology and graduated with honors from Paul Mitchell cosmetology school in Pleasant Hill, CA where she taught for seven years prior to joining the W Academy of Salon + Spa team in January 2015. She has earned certifications in advanced haircutting, color and styling, Her passion is to inspire her students and motivate them to succeed and feel confident about themselves. Elayne views cosmetology as art and cosmetologists as artists. She is an author and has published the book "Hair Matters" which is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com. Every day her clients and students are the recipients of her joy, passion and love for this art form. A sample of her many rave reviews can be found in our testimonial section, on Facebook, and in Yelp.

Misti M. Potts | Cosmetology/Aesthetician Instructor & Licensed Cosmetologist

Misti works with students in both our Cosmetology and Esthetician programs. She brings a unique combination of educational experience paired with over 20 years of business management background in the beauty and salon industry. She holds a Masters Cosmetology license with skills derived from years of hands-on experience and advanced education from the likes of Redken NYC and much more.

She's a master hair architect, a hair-coloring expert and is an exceptionally energetic and enthusiastic teacher of the craft.

Trinity Hatch | Registrar

Trinity started working with the W Academy in 2015 as a Guest Services representative, since then she has worked in a variety of administrative roles for the school, including Registrar. She continues to be a reliable and flexible employee in whatever role she is in. Although she is not a trained cosmetologist she loves the field and is passionate about education and improving the lives of the students at the W Academy. If she can’t answer your questions (and she probably can) she will quickly find an answer for you. You can find her at the Front Desk assisting clients or upstairs helping students reach their goals.

Kristal Berrientos | Guest Services Manager & Licensend Cosmetologist

Kristal is Director of First Impressions. She trains our front desk staff to provide excellent service to both our student customers and salon and spa guests. She manages the Salon and Spa guest services scheduling, purchases and disburses student kits, greets the customers and students with courtesy and professionalism, assists instructors as needed, and much more.

Amanda Pinkham | Cosmetology Instructor & Licensed Cosmetologist

Amanda is an expert stylist and colorist instructor. She teaches fundamentals across the board, especially helping students with the correct use of the tools of the trade: shears, brushes and more. She's an expert at helping students analyze a client's hair as part of a consultation - identifying what's possible and how to approach the process to get to the end result.

Erika Smith | Cosmetology Instructor & Licensed Cosmetologist

Erica Smith is a 29-year-old salon & spa professional with 11 years of hands-on experience as a licensed cosmetologist. She is multitalented and skilled in all hair types/textures. Erica specializes in cutting, coloring, and natural hair care and styling techniques.

In addition to simply being a great educator, Erika has followed the same path as many of our students. She's worked in the industry and also obtained her teaching degree while working full-time. Finally, her background also includes her family's salon, which has given her hands-on experience with the business side of the industry, something that will be invaluable to you as students.

Ciara Curtis | Guest Services Specialist

Ciara is an integral part of operating our front desk at the Academy and overseeing our Academy Salon's guest services. In addition to being amazing in this role, Ciara has also enrolled in the W Academy night program as a student. We'd like to think this speaks volumes when an employee believes so much in your program that she enrolls.

Ready for a career and need information?

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(925) 855-5551




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  • The W Salon by Wassim can be found here.

  The W Academy is an excellent school, brimming with talented and enthusiastic students who seem to adore what they do and teachers who provide excellent direction and support
- C.R. • Walnut Creek, CA (Yelp)