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.

Daphne Lambie, B Ed., M Ed.

outdoor-connections-daphneTeacher: Rockridge Secondary School
Experience: Teacher for over 25 years (grades 4-12)
Leadership Roles: Team leader and department  coordinator
Physical Education; Outdoor Education; Leadership; Math; Science; Art; Photography
Teacher Exchange Experience: Scotland – Physical Education Grades 8-12


UBC Undergrad: Major Kinesiology Minor: Geography, Math
UBC Varsity Basketball Member
Photography Diploma coursework
Masters in Educational Technology
IB Training Level 2

Outdoor Leadership Experience

  • Avalanche Skills Training Level 1
  • Climbing Belay Certificate
  • St. John’s First Aid
  • Wilderness First Aid Certificate

Teaching Portfolio

  • Provided outdoor experience opportunities for students through courses as well as clubs
  • Organized numerous school day and multi-day outdoor trips, some examples: hiking , snowshoeing, backpacking, backcountry skiing, kayaking, biking and winter survival
  • Outdoor school and winter camps coordinator for grades 7 – 9
  • Trained student counselors for outdoor school and winter camps

Recognized by the North Shore Secondary Schools Sports Association:
20 years volunteer coaching of a wide variety of sports: basketball, volleyball, track and field, ultimate frisbee, field hockey and mountain biking

Cristina Herman


Senior English Teacher, Rockridge Secondary School


Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
Currently completing – Post Baccalaureate in Special Education
Professional Development Program
Professional Teaching Certification (Category 5)
Bachelor of Arts (Major: English)
Certificate of Liberal Arts



Teaching Experience

  • English 10, 11, 12
  • Composition 8-12
  • All levels of English Foundations (1,2,3,4,5,6)
  • Academic English grades 9, 10, 11, 12
  • Communications 11, 12
  • Writing 12
  • Law 12, SS 11
  • Career and Personal Planning 8,9,10
  • Physical Education 8,9,10
  • Outdoor Education 11
  • ESL 8,9,10, 11


Rock Climbing Belay
First Aid Training
Cross Country Ski Instructor – school programs at Cypress Mountain

A passionate English teacher, Cristina’s expertise is in working with students to explore and refine their abilities to communicate what they know and understand about their world and their studies. She can get fired up about a novel and inspire even the most reluctant readers to follow along while honing their written and spoken word.

Cristina’s 16+ years of teaching senior English classes has enabled her to create a highly effective style of teaching. She has helped hundreds of students reach their English goals and move on to successful post secondary programs and careers.

A Meraloma field hockey player, a skier and snowboarder, a hiker, runner, camper, paddler and yogi, Cristina’s love of the outdoors started at an early age and continues today.

When Cristina was in Grade 10 she had the fortunate opportunity to be selected to participate in Vancouver’s Klatwa Trek program at Prince of Wales. This pivotal year of outdoor school sped up a life-time of pursuing outdoor experiences as well as became the driving force behind her desire to combine her love of teaching with her love of the outdoors.

In the past, in a previous school, Cristina has had experience as the school’s Activity Coordinator organizing and providing outdoor opportunities such as ski trips and snowshoeing, and facilitating excursions to Whistler and Manning Park.  Cristina even drove the bus!

As well, for several years, Cristina coached a dragonboat team that competed in the Alcan Dragonboat Festival, conducted multi-day hiking trips for students to the Juan de Fuca Trail, Joffre Lakes and such destinations as Greendrop Lake.

Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy

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