Diane Nelson, Director of Instruction

diane-nelson-portraitWest Vancouver Schools Premier Academy

Diane Nelson, Director of Instruction, is founder of West Vancouver Schools ten Premier Academy programs.

Chosen as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in 2012 by the Learning  Partnership, Diane was selected for her ability to communicate a compelling vision, to engage the community by consistently bringing together a highly knowledgeable and competent team of teachers, coaches, instructors, and other community members to work together to deliver quality programs for student-athletes.  Diane is an exceptional leader, one who continues to lay the foundation for the success of her students and the betterment of the community through a strong and vibrant public education system.

Twice nominated (2002 & 2012) for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the categories of Entrepreneurship, as well as Education, Training & Development, Diane has been honoured for her achievements that contribute to the well-being and future of the community. The YWCA Women of Distinction Award is recognized as one of Canada’s most prestigious awards for women.

diane-nelson-awardWith over 30 years experience in education, as both a teacher and administrator, Diane has obtained her Bachelor of Education, Diploma in Counseling Psychology, and Master's in Educational Administration, all from the University of British Columbia.

As a MindUP Trainer, Diane has provided numerous workshops and in-service for teachers to help them deliver an evidence-based curriculum that helps foster social and emotional awareness, enhance psychological well-being, and promote academic success. Diane inspires educators to create an optimistic classroom that promotes and develops mindful attention to oneself and others, tolerance of differences, and the capacity of each student to grow as a human being and a learner.

An educational consultant for the Vancouver Canucks' Community Partnership Program since 2005, Diane is the creator and author of the character education program called Fin’s Friends. The program was written for teachers to help them provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to enhance ethical and responsible behaviour. This valuable classroom resource for teachers assists them with the teaching of social responsibility and character building. The program, written for Grades K-3, is being taught by primary teachers in over 3800 classrooms around the province. To date, the program is being used in over 35% of all K-3 classrooms in B.C. Diane last presented the program Nationally to educators at the Canada Character Conference held in Abbotsford, B.C. October 2015.

diane-nelson-w-gordon-campbellDiane's leadership style is marked by her entrepreneurial spirit. Her accomplishments are numerous including founding, owning and operating the Vancouver Griffins, the first women's professional hockey team in Western Canada, a member of the National Women's Hockey League (NWHL). The team featured Olympians such as Nancy Drolet, Cammi Granato, Shelley Looney and Courtney Kennedy. In November, 2010, Cammi Granato was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Many of her Griffins' artifacts are on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame, including the signing of her first pro contract with the Griffins' organization. In 2002, the BC Sports Hall of Fame recognized Diane for her achievements in sport as part of an exclusive group of 35 outstanding women leaders and legends.

A long time athlete, she has competed in numerous sports including half marathons, 10km runs, triathlons, dragon boating, field hockey, figure skating, bodybuilding and swimming. Some highlights include 6 gold medals at the 1986 World Lifeguard Championships and Miss Vancouver, 1983 Bodybuilding Championships.

Diane's entire career has been about giving students an opportunity to better themselves and realize their hopes and aspirations. She firmly believes that enthusiastic and thoughtful guidance is the best way to assist our youth on the path that they choose.

Dr. Eric Broom

Academy NCCP Instructor


Regional Officer, Sport England where he focused on coach education in athletics, rugby, field hockey, tennis, and swimming. For 6 years, Dr. Broom organized many coaching programs utilizing coaches in these sports.

Professor, School of Kinesiology. For 30 years, Dr. Broom has been involved in research, teaching, writing, presentations in sport systems at all levels in more than twenty countries.

Consultant (1973-75), Associate Deputy Minister for sport and recreation (1975-77), Government of British Columbia.


National staff coach, assistant to chief National coach, athletics. England. 3 years.
Coach of Canadian men’s national field hockey teams. 5 years.
Coach of British Columbia men’s and women’s field hockey teams. 6 years.

Coach Education:

Master Coach in athletics, rugby, field hockey, tennis, swimming. England. 6 years.
Master coach – National Coaching Certification Program (sport science)
Levels 1,2,3,4 – Organised, directed and taught all levels. Canada. 40 years.
Designed and managed NCCP Home Study program at Levels 1,2,3. 30 years.

National Awards:

Physical and Health Education Canada (formally Physical Education).R. Tait McKenzie Award of Honour for Lifetime Achievement. 1991
Coaching Association of Canada. Geoff Gowan Award for Lifetime Contribution to Coaching Development. Trained more than 10,000 coaches in NCCP.2011.
(Dr. Broom is the only person to receive lifetime achievement awards from both national associations.)

Susan Ahrens

Susan AhrensSusan is a teacher, a mother, a coach and a former International sports woman.

Susan is passionate about sport, lifelong learning and especially interfacing sport and education in order to meet both high performance and holistic socio-cultural development needs. She is also passionate about helping people from all walks of life to reach their potential and she believes that human potential is always our greatest resource.

Susan has a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) with First Class Honors, a Master of Science (Coaching) and a PhD (Education). All three degrees are from the world renowned Moray House Institute of Education, at the University of Edinburgh. Susan is also a UK Level 3 field hockey coach.

Susan played in one Junior World Cup and two Senior World Cups for her country, as well as multiple Commonwealth Games, European Championships and other world level FIH events. Susan played at the highest level for clubs in Germany (for Rot Weiss Koln – where they became European Cup Champions), Holland (for HGC – where she and her team won the European Cup Championship Bronze) and for the state of Victoria during her playing time in Australia with the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Susan has taught in schools in Europe and in the UK. For 10 enjoyable years she led the High Performance Hockey Program at the National Sport School in Scotland: Glasgow School of Sport. Susan has also coached extensively in clubs in Holland, Germany and Scotland and was a national team coach with squads playing at junior European and World level events. For the last two years Susan has been working for Field Hockey BC where a focus has been to bring about exciting upgrades to their high performance programs and developing player and coaching pathways, to enable BC players to reach their potential.

Melody Haddow

melody-haddow-webAthlete Program Manager – Field Hockey BC

After spending 3 years working in Glasgow, Scotland for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Melody returned to Vancouver in 2014 to join the FHBC team as Athlete Program Manager. She graduated from UVIC and has since traveled and worked in Japan, Spain, England and Scotland. As a keen long distance runner, cyclist and yogi, she is passionate about athlete development, fitness and healthy living.

Melody continues to work closely with FHBC coaches, athletes, stakeholders and community members to deliver field hockey programming across the province of British Columbia. Melody is a dedicated member of this integrated network of professionals who strive to create the most optimal experience for BC athletes to participate, grow and lead in the sport of field hockey.

Megan Van Keulen

Megan Van Keulen HeadshotStrength & Conditioning Specialist
NSCA- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
CSEP- Certified Personal Trainer

Megan moved from Ontario to the West Coast January 2016. As an adventure seeker, she wanted a new challenge in life and made the trek across the country looking for new opportunities.

Growing up, Megan was involved in many sports; basketball, volleyball, track & field, cross country running and speed skating—but her passion was for figure skating. She dedicated 15 years to the sport—3 of those years she was a member of the Provincial team and also represented Carleton University for a year.

After realizing a business degree wasn’t the direction she wanted to go, Megan enrolled at Humber College in the Fitness and Health Promotion Diploma program. She furthered her education at Guelph Humber University by taking the Kinesiology Program. During her time there, she completed two Strength and Conditioning internships—one with FITS Toronto, and the other with Ryerson University. Here she had the opportunity to work with athletes of all levels ranging from grassroots to National team members. Also while at Humber, Megan was a member of the Varsity Cross Country Team for 5 years, which produced many top 3 Provincial and National championship results. In her last year, she was named Captain of the team.

After finishing her degree, Megan had the opportunity to work with figure skaters at the Niagara Falls Summer Skating Academy. Here she created the Strength and Conditioning Program for the past 2 summers.

Another highlight of Megan’s career was being invited to assist in the fitness assessments for the NHL Officials.

Shortly after Megan moved to North Vancouver, she was introduced to Level 10. She instantly knew this was the place she wanted to start her career. She joined the team in late May 2016.

Chris Spencer

Chris Spencer HeadshotStrength & Conditioning Specialist
Bachelor of Human Kinetics – UBC
Certified Personal Trainer – Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist – CSCS

Chris grew up on the North Shore attending West Vancouver Secondary School from grade 8-10 and St. Georges for grades 11 and 12. He played hockey, baseball, soccer, rugby, tennis and participated in track and field at the school and community level but it was basketball that became his passion.
Upon graduation from St. George’s Secondary School in 2006, Chris chased his goal of playing collegiate basketball to UBC Okanagan in Kelowna.

After serving two years as a red-shirt manager Chris earned a roster spot. He attributes a large part of this achievement to the training hours he spent with Anthony Findlay at Level 10 – first as a high school athlete and then later as a university student.

Chris graduated from the UBCO with a degree in Human Kinetics, specializing in clinical exercise physiology.

While at UBCO he was a member of the Human Kinetics Student Union, ‘Heat’ Athletes Council, and was the elected speaker for his graduating class.

Upon Completing a summer internship, Chris joined Level 10 as an employee in May 2012.

When not working with clients he has an internship with the Vancouver Whitecaps where he is experiencing first hand the application of strength and conditioning and injury rehabilitation with their athletic therapy staff.

Connor Lewis

Strength & Conditioning Specialist
Bachelor of Arts – Kinesiology
NASM – PES – Performance Enhancement Specialist
NSCA – CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Connor is a proud North Vancouver local who attended Windsor Secondary school. Growing up, Connor played soccer, baseball, football, hockey and basketball. However, Connor chose to dedicate himself to basketball in grade 10.

In his Grade 12 year, Connor led his Windsor Dukes team to a 2nd place finish at the AA Provincials and earned himself a First Team All-Star selection. After his Grade 12 season, Connor was selected to the BC Provincial All Star Game, which featured the top 20 players in the province from both AAA and AA.

After graduating from Windsor Secondary in 2008, Connor decided to stay local and play basketball for 2 years at Capilano University. He was the starting point guard at Capilano for two years before getting recruited to go play NCAA Division II basketball at SFU. For his final two years, Connor was the starting shooting guard for the Clan, and in his senior season broke an SFU record shooting 48% from the 3 point-line.

After his 4-year eligibility was completed, Connor joined the SFU Men’s Basketball staff as an Assistant Coach while he finished his degree. Connor attributes much of his success to the many hours he put in at the gym with Anthony and the Level 10 staff.

In 2013, Connor graduated from SFU with a Kin degree where he was featured on the Dean’s Honour Roll for “Outstanding Academic Achievement.”

Furthering, his knowledge Connor has taken several post-graduate Kinesiology courses and has become a certified Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. He is also currently finishing becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Sport Conditioning Association.

With a strong passion for Strength and Conditioning and Rehabilitation, Connor joined the Level 10 staff in May 2016, after a 4 month internship. When he is not working with clients in the gym, Connor is a basketball coach for the Level 10 Basketball Academy. Connor is excited about the opportunity to combine his love of athletics with his passion for Strength and Conditioning.

Geoff Matthews


Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy

Office Direct Line: 604-981-1150
Cell: 604-786-3575
Email: dnelson@wvschools.ca
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