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.

Julia Chen

Head Badminton Professional
Hollyburn Country Club

Coaching Certification & Highlights

National Certification Program (NCCP) Level 4 – completed and certified in 2004

2001-2003  National Coaching Institute in Vancouver, BC
1992-1996  Douglas College, New Westminster, BC – Badminton Scholarship

  • Coach of a two-time Olympic badminton athlete and many Pan-Am/Pam-Am Junior/National/Provincial champions
  • Badminton BC Coach of the Year – 2004
  • 2000 – Present Hollyburn Country Club Head Badminton Professional
  • 2009 – Present Badminton @ Mulgrave School – Program Founder/Instructor
  • 2008-2010 Burnaby School District – Badminton Program Creator/Instructor
  • August 2003   Pan-American Games, The Dominican Rep. – Canadian National Team Leader and Assistant Coach
  • February 2000 World Team Championship,  Sofia, Bulgaria – Canadian National Team Assistant Coach and Player
  • 1996-2000 Hollyburn Country Club – Assistant Badminton Professional
  • 1994-1996 Royal Glenora Club, Edmonton, AB – Assistant Badminton Professional
  • 1993-1994 Vancouver Racquets Club – Badminton Coach

Sport Career

2000 Canadian National – Ladies’ Doubles Silver Medallist
2000 World Championships – Canadian National Team Member
2000 Toronto Open
– Ladies’ Singles Winner
2000 BC Open – Ladies’ Singles, Doubles and Mixed Silver Medallist
1999 Spain Open – Ladies’ Singles and Mixed Double Champion
1999 Spain Open – Ladies’ Doubles Runner-Up
1999 Canadian National – Ladies’ Doubles Bronze
1999 BC Open – Ladies’ Doubles Champion
1998 World Championships – Canadian National Team Member
1998 Canadian National – Ladies’ Doubles Silver Medallist
1996 Winnipeg Open – Ladies’ Singles and Doubles Winner
1993 ~ 1996 – Three Champion Titles of CCAA in Ladies Singles
1980-1990 – Professional Badminton Player in China

Graydon Robb

Badminton Professional
Hollyburn Country Club

2013 – 2018: Vancouver Island University

Bachelor of Business Administration
Majors: International Business and Marketing.
Specializations: Entrepreneurship, E-Management, Sustainability, International Marketing

Vancouver Island University Athletic Scholarship (2013 – Present)
Full tuition scholarship awarded to a high performance athlete recruited upon entrance to their first year of studies at VIU. Students must maintain a full course load and produce top results for the team to qualify for renewal for a maximum of 5 years.

BC Sport College Athlete of the Year (2016)
This award recognizes the top individual across all collegiate sports, team or individual, and who is representing a college, university/college, or institute in the province of BC.

Badminton Canada (2017)
Ranked within the top 5 Canadians for MS

CCAA Player of the Year (2015)
Awarded to one male athlete in the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) All-Canadian nominees for each sport.

CCAA All-Canadian x3 (2014, 2015, 2016)
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s most prestigious student-athlete award, recognizing excellence in athletics.

Vancouver Island University Athlete of the Year (Won 2014, Nominated 2015, 2016)
Awarded to the highest-achieving and committed student-athlete in sport who has had a tremendous impact on their team’s success.
CCAA National Gold (2014) / Silver (2015, 2017) / Bronze (2016, 2018) Medalist
Represented Vancouver Island University in Men’s Doubles (2014) / Mixed Doubles (2015) / Singles (2016, 2017, & 2018) at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships. Become the most decorated athlete of all time from VIU.

Canada Winter Games Silver Medalist (2015)
Represented Team Alberta

Canadian U23/U19 National Bronze Medalist (2015/14/13)
Bronze in U19 Singles (2013), U23 Singles (2014), U23 Doubles (2015).

Badminton Canada Fair Play Award (2015)
In recognition of true sportsmanship at Canadian Nationals

PACWEST Athlete of the Week & PACWEST League All-Star (2014/15/16)
In recognition of distinguished performance in the PACWEST league

Related Work Experience:
Director of Youth Badminton Development Program, Calgary Jewish Center, Calgary, AB. (2010-2012); autonomously organized drills for youth badminton training sessions; directed and coached youth training groups on a weekly basis.

Badminton Coach, Badminton Alberta (2011-2013)
Operated junior programs with groups of 20+ kids ages 8-12


Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy

Office Direct Line: 604-981-1150
Cell: 604-786-3575

Email: dnelson@wvschools.ca