instructors who care

Small classes allow you to receive personalized training from instructors who care deeply about your success.

I am very thankful to have a school, teachers, and team that inspires you every class.All the hands-on labs we did were really helpful, along with being able to contact teachers 24/7. The teachers were amazing!

osiris a.

Dr. Summer Kassmel, DDS, Director/Instructor

Summer attended Fort Hays State University before earning her doctorate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Dentistry. She practiced in Greeley, Colorado before making Vail Valley her permanent home. Dr. Kassmel started the dental assisting school to help better the lives of all those seeking to become professionals in the dental field without the hassle of driving to Denver or Grand Junction. She is a member of American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association, Western Colorado Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, as well as local study groups.

Zoey Holcomb, Instructor

Zoey is from Olathe, Kansas, and became a certified dog groomer in 2017. Five years later she and her husband bought their first house in Eagle, ready for a new adventure. Being growth-minded is a very important core value in Zoey's life, she loves learning new skills and helping her team succeed. Zoey is currently training to become a dental assistant and cannot wait to help bring a smile to her neighbor's faces. When she's not working, you can find her outdoors and traveling. Zoey has been to 10 countries and cannot wait to see them all.

Amy Meryhew, RDH, Instructor

Amy is a 1997 graduate of Colorado Northwestern Community College where she received her degree in Dental Hygiene. Upon graduation, Amy moved to the Vail Valley where she has been working in private practice since. She is an active member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Amy has served as Vice President for the Colorado Dental Hygienists’ Association, represented the Western Slope Dental Hygienists’ Society on the Board of Trustees, and has been on the Advisory Committee for Colorado Northwestern Community College since 1998. She currently works for Dr. Summer Kassmel as a hygienist at Castle Peak Dental in Eagle, Colorado. She is married to Jesse Meryhew and has one daughter, Jacey. Amy has been with the dental assisting school since it began and loves teaching students how to be competent and professional assistants. Students enjoy Amy’s vast amount of knowledge and patience.


Xiomara is a Colorado native born and raised in the Vail Valley area. She graduated in 2015 from Battle Mountain High School and attended The Salon Professional Academy where she received her diploma in Cosmetology. She has 3 sisters and 3 nieces and amazing parents - she loves her family! She also owns a white husky with which she spends most of her time. She recently started attending Dental Assisting School at Castle Peak Dental and is looking forward to her new career in dentistry.

melissa rodriquez, Administrative Assistant

Melissa Rodriquez has been a local of the Eagle Valley since 1994. She graduated from Eagle Valley High School in 2010. Melissa has worked as a Front Office Supervisor at the Best Western Eagle Lodge & Suites and now use that skill set to facilitate business operations for Vail Valley Dental Assisting School, DA Schools Delivered, Castle Peak Dental, and Avon Dental. Melissa and her husband, Juan, love spending their summers being adventurous with their two kids, Austin who is five and Laylah who is two. Melissa is excited to be a part of the team and grow within the company.

Jillian Jugert , Administrative Assistant

Jillian has been in the dentistry field for over 5 years where she has a successful track record with marketing and administrative work. She is excited to be on the team and make an impact with Vail Valley Dental Assisting School, DA Schools Delivered, Avon Dental, and Castle Peak Dental.Jillian is from Colorado and enjoys spending time with her husband and dog, tap dancing, singing, traveling, and trying out new restaurants.