Get To Know Us!

Not all schools are created equal. Genuinely enjoying the experience matters.

The JD Academy Experience

Our mission at JD Academy is to turn YOU into a future salon or spa professional. We want to give you the tools to excel throughout YOUR career. To get you from point A to point B, it’s going to take hard work and dedication from both of us. That doesn’t mean you’re not going to enjoy it!

We want our programs to prepare our students for a career as future beauty professionals. Our curriculum is structured to give you hands-on experience and dedicated classroom support. Your welcoming mentors can assist you with every step of the way.

A Hands-on Approach

There are pieces of our curriculum that require some classroom time. It’s a necessary component. But let’s be honest – you’re not going to become a master of your craft by reading a book. You become a master of your craft by digging in and doing that craft*. That’s exactly what you’ll be doing here at JD Academy.  Learning your craft.

Create a Marketable Portfolio

Our mission is to prepare you for a career in the field. A solid portfolio will be a huge stepping stone to that end. You can have hundreds of opportunities to catalog your work. We offer backdrops and professional lighting to make your work stand out.

JD Academy student portfolio shot of hair and makeup
JD Academy esthetician student applying makeup to another student

We engage all types of learners through:

  • Simple Instruction
  • Demonstrated Techniques
  • Ample Hands-On Practice

Enjoy Small Class Sizes

JD Academy is not a stylist mill. We keep our class sizes between 10 and 20 students to ensure that you’re getting the best education possible. That means more hands-on opportunities, closer relationships, and the opportunity to get your questions answered.

See the School

Photos, Video & More

Until you can take a tour in person, take a look through our gallery.

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Your Success Is Our Mission

Since 2010, JD Academy of Salon + Spa has offered cosmetology and esthetician programs in the San Francisco East Bay area. These programs focus on being precise and consistent. Our educators are experts in their fields who want to help you develop your technique.


In our cosmetology program, you can expect to have scissors in your hand. We start with the fundamentals and work our way up to some of the most advanced techniques in the industry. Throughout the program, you’ll have plenty of real-world experience. You can work with real clients to provide hair cuts, custom colors, and trendy styles. It’s also an opportunity to make connections with future clients and form relationships with peers and educators.


You can gain real-world experience in our esthetician program as well. We have individual spa rooms just like a real-life spa environment. We’re not just mimicking a spa environment. You’ll have opportunities to practice your skills with friends, family, and clients! Work with products used every day in spas. You can get hands-on experience performing spa services like facials and hair removal techniques.

Meet our Team

Better education through better educators

Our educators have many years of hands-on experience in the subjects they teach. JD Academy pursues educators who are currently active in the industry. They bring their real-life experience to the classroom. Our educators strive to provide up-to-date information along with access to the latest technology. We design our curriculum to help make you marketable to future employers, not just to sit for an exam.

JD Academy logo
Janet Paradiso - Owner, president and admissions director at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

Janet Paradiso

School Director

Janet began working with JD 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 JD 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).
Phuong Nguyen - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

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 JD 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.
Kelsey Creer-Martin - Floor Manager at JD Academy in Danville, CA

Kelsey Creer-Martin

Licensed Cosmetologist / Campus Director

Kelsey has been In the Beauty Industry for 8 years. Shortly after graduation, Kelsey worked behind the chair as a Color Specialist. She then found Interest In Men's Haircutting and specialized In Men's Cutting & Hair Color (Blonding) for 4 years.

Kelsey has always had a passion for teaching and Inspiring others, which led her to begin her journey as a Cosmetology Instructor. Kelsey has been a specialist In the following areas, Color, Cutting, Chemical Texture, Theory, and State Board, where she then became Director.

Her passion for the Beauty Industry and bubbly personality is sure to Inspire Future Artists! She enjoys helping future cosmetologists and future estheticians reach their goals of becoming licensed artists in the Industry as well as supporting them all the way through their journey at JD Academy.

George Horton - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

George Horton

Educator & Licensed Cosmetologist

George grew up in Southern California until he decided to move up to Northern California in 2012 to pursue his career in education. He has utilized his 16 years of experience in the hair industry to passionately educate future stylists for the past five years. His skillset is not only limited to hair as he shoots private photos for weddings, engagements, and other big ordeals during his off days. His training includes. Bumble & Bumble, Unite, Paul Mitchell, Redken, and more.
Lilian Denmead-Miller - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

Lilian Denmead-Miller

Licensed Esthetician & Educator

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.

Belinda Gomez - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

Belinda Gomez

Educator & Licensed Cosmetologist

Belinda has been with JD 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

Amanda Pinkham - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

Amanda Pinkham

Educator & 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.
Elayne Becker - Team member at JD Academy of Salon + Spa in Danville, CA

Elayne Becker

Educator & 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 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.

Lisette Weavil - Educator and licensed cosmetologist at JD Academy in Danville

Lisette Weavil

Licensed Esthetician & Cosmetologist

Lisette is a licensed Esthetician and Cosmetologist. Her passion for the
beauty industry started when she was in school studying film. Loving the
idea of creating a character through hair and makeup, she decided to
specialize in all aspects of makeup artistry at the Makeup Designory in
Burbank, CA. For over 16 years, she has focused her skills on television and bridal makeup and now has expanded her passion for skin and beauty into the classroom.
Joni Mauer - Esthetician instructor at JD Academy in The San Francisco Bay Area

Joni Maurer

Esthetician Instructor

After a career in investments, Joni challenged herself to start a second career as a licensed esthetician. As a skin care professional she keeps up with the latest trends, innovative ingredients and newest technology. This led her to enroll in post-graduate training at the International Dermal Institute. She has extensive knowledge in advanced resurfacing, treating aging, acneic and sensitive skin types. She was awarded Expert designation with Dermalogica and is certified in PCA peels.

Joni is also trained in several professional skin care lines such as CosMedix, Dr. Dennis Gross and Jan Marini. She believes helping others develop the skills needed to be successful estheticians is rewarding. Joni found her true calling as an educator and enjoys inspiring others. She loves teaching skills in an ever changing industry.
Ready to learn? Joni is up for the challenge to guide you in your new career as an esthetician at the JD Academy!

Josette Jelveh teaching a makeup class at JD Academy in Danville, CA

Josette Jelveh

Makeup Specialist & Licensed Cosmetologist

Josette has been a licensed Hairdresser and Makeup Artist for 22+ and currently works at two salons in the SF Bay Area. Her salon work includes all color services, Keratin treatments, Haircuts, Makeup Applications and Lessons, which she performs on all ages, genders and ethnicities.

Outside of the salon Josette is also a freelance artist as well as an Editorial Makeup artist and Hairstylist in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles, where her work has been published in multiple magazines. She has a passion for makeup and hair and aims to share her years of experience with the future stylists of JD academy.

JD Academy educator and licensed esthetician

Linda Bertaut

Educator & Licensed Esthetician

Linda Bertaut is an author, national speaker, award-winning Esthetician, Reiki master teacher, and beauty expert who specializes in bringing inner beauty to the surface through her healing makeovers.

Linda’s lifetime passion for performing make-up and image makeovers began over 30 years ago, but as she worked with her clients on their outer beauty, she recognized that many had a profound need for a makeover that was more than skin deep.

This led her practice to evolve into wellness and energy makeovers for body, mind and spirit. Known as the beauty industry’s Reiki master teacher, Linda helps clients to heal from limiting self-doubt, stress, depression, and anxiety so they can radiate their true beauty and share their gifts with the world.

The biggest changes that her clients see are the stressors that used to throw them off track don’t have the same impact. They don’t feel reactive, irritated or stuck in a fear response. They feel they have a purpose in life and a clear way forward that they could not see before.

Linda gives people the tools to heal and unlock their own healing potential. As her clients experience their own inner and outer healing, they move into a place of empowerment and many become inspired to help others to learn to heal themselves.

Her signature treatments and innovative techniques are being used in salons and spas throughout the country. Linda was the chosen expert to write about Wellness Therapies for Estheticians in the Milady Advanced Esthetics Textbook. She remains one of the pioneers in the merging of the wellness and beauty industries and is passionate about mentoring others to continue the advancement of these healing arts.

JD Academy master cutting artist

Kenny Berk

Master Cutting Artist

Kenny Alan Berk conveys the art of cutting hair like fabric by combining strong technical knowledge with focus on balance, shape and overall suitability.

Following a 15 year tenure with the Vidal Sassoon organization, Kenny joined Redken 5th Avenue NYC which evolved into another 26 years. With over 45 years of experience, he has provided a variety of programs from in-salon workshop’s to multi-manufacturer trade shows throughout the United States , Canada, Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and Korea.

Kenny focuses on facilitating fashion commercial haircutting and barbering. His Hands-on Workshop’s, Demonstrations, Train the Trainer and Fuel for Design programs ensure that all salon professionals can experience the passion of the art and greater understanding of its principles.

Ian Summers - IT Lead at JD Academy of Salon + Spa

Ian Summers

Information Technology Lead

Ian Summers provides trusted and professional IT consulting services to small & medium sized businesses located in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley and the East Bay. Ian has been serving satisfied clients for over 20 years through dedication and commitment to excellence in his profession. Ian and has extensive consulting experience and provides a worry-free environment by utilizing leading edge technology in the industry. Ian focuses on helping businesses to simplify operations & maximize efficiency, combine security, backup and file sharing, protect business critical data & operations using integrated cloud applications.

We Are Different by Design

While so many schools focus on quantity, we place a sincere focus on quality. From our curriculum to our dedicated educators, we want quality to be at the heart of what we do. We want students to feel prepared after graduating from the JD Platform.

We 100% believe that we provide the best value in the industry and that your earning potential as a JD Academy graduate could be increased.

Begin Your JD Academy Journey Today!

If you have ever considered a career in beauty, schedule a tour of our campus. We would be happy to show you around, answer your questions, and help you take the next steps to become a beauty professional!

*All services provided by students under the supervision of licensed instructors.

Our Danville Location

Located in beautiful downtown Danville, our East Bay beauty school is centrally located and easily accessible from 680.


JD Academy

520 San Ramon Valley Boulevard
Danville, CA 94526

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Get more info

Thinking about a new career in the salon or spa industry?

Awesome... that's kind of our thing.

Tell us what you're interested in. We'll send you a snapshot of our school along with an unfiltered breakdown of what it's gonna take to get there - whether you decide JD Academy is the right path or not.

Just need a few details

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
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