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.

Mr. Don Perro

Director, Faculty/Coordinator, 2D Animation & Visual Development Program, Capilano University

Mr. Perro founded the 2D Animation Program at Capilano University in 1994 and has taught secondary school students drawing, art and animation skills in Ottawa (Enrichment Mini-courses Program) and in the Paradise Valley Summer School of Visual Art.

Mr. Perro is currently writing a textbook for high school teachers. For the last four years, Mr. Perro has taught university and high school instructors in the Caribbean as the Jamaican government works to build a home grown animation industry through education.

Ms. Cecily Evans

Supervising Teacher, Ècole Sentinel Secondary

Teacher of Media Arts and Sculpture
Fine Arts/Applied Skills Department Coordinator
Since 2000 – Current, Ms. Evans has taught the following:

Advanced Placement (AP) 3D Design
Advanced Placement (AP) 2D Design
Advanced Placement (AP) Psychology
Media Arts 11 -12
Ceramics and Sculpture

Ms. Evans continues to facilitate and attend many advanced placement conferences and enrichment opportunities. Some highlights include:

  • Student Enrichment – drawing workshop – Body worlds, Photo-shoots in a variety of locations around the city, Vancouver Art Gallery, drawing workshop at Bamfield Marine Science Center
  • Teacher leader, Spain excursion (Spring Break 2003)
  • Teacher leader, Galapagos excursion (2004, 2007, 2009, 2011)
  • Student shows, yearly grad show at the Ferry Building and Silk Purse Galleries, Yearly
  • Lighthouse Festival
  • Presentation House Contest 2017 – “SNAP: MAKING THE DIGITAL IMAGE REAL AGAIN “– two Sentinel students won and had their work displayed, one of which received a bursary for her exceptional work
  • Innovation Grant – Two-day intensive hand on student workshop with George Littlechild

Mr. Glenn Sylvester

Faculty/Coordinator, 2D Animation & Visual Development Program, Capilano University

Mr. Sylvester is a veteran 2D and 3D feature-film lead animator, and is currently a full-time instructor in the 2D and 3D Animation Programs at Capilano University.

Mr. Sylvester has worked on many films including Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Spiderman, Star Wars, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Smurfs.

Mr. Mark Pudleiner

Auxiliary Lab Supervisor, 2D Animation & Visual Development

Mr. Pudleiner is a veteran animator who has worked on classic Disney features including,

Hercules, Tarzan, Mulan and The Emperor’s New Groove.  Mr. Pudleiner is a full-time instructor in the Animation Department at the Vancouver Film School and an auxiliary Lab Supervisor at Capilano University.

Mr. Blair Peters

Faculty, Capilano University (Entrepreneurial Skills for Animators)

Blair loved cartoons as a kid and was lucky enough to find his way to Sheridan College in Oakville after high school. From there he took his first job at Crawley Films in Ottawa before making his way to Vancouver to start up Studio B Productions with his colleague Chris Bartleman.

The studio went on to produce over 1000 half hours that sold in over 100 countries worldwide on networks such as Disney, Nickleodeon, Cartoon Network, Teletoon, YTV and the BBC. After 20 year in business that saw the Studio receive numerous awards, the pair sold the company to media giant DHX Media in 2007. Blair stayed with the company until 2011. He now consults for creators, studios and broadcasters in Canada and abroad.

Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy Programs
Office Direct Line: 604-981-1150
Cell: 604-786-3575
Email: dnelson@wvschools.ca