Sports Academy Administration

Diane Nelson

Diane Nelson

Director of Instruction

Diane Nelson, Director of Instruction, is founder of West Vancouver Schools 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.

Paul Eberhardt

Paul Eberhardt

Vice Principal Academies

A Vancouver native Paul began his coaching career in 1982 while he was still a student at Magee Secondary and continued coaching as he got both his Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia. He also earned his Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Phoenix in 2005. He began teaching in the Richmond School District in 1989 where he spent 28 years prior to moving to the West Vancouver School District in 2018 to take on the job of Vice Principal for the Academy Programs.

During his career Coach Ebe has coached just about every sport but his main passion is coaching basketball which he has coached at every level including High School, College, Provincial Teams and the Canadian National Team. Presently Paul is the head coach of the Langara Falcons men’s team and the West Vancouver Highlanders grade 9 boys team. Paul has been recongnized as one of top coaches in the Country as he was selected as the 2013 Canadian Colleges men’s Basketball Coach of the Year. He has also been selected by Sport BC as the Coach of the Year in 2014 and Basketball BC has named him the College Coach of the Year in 2013 & 2014 and the High School Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2011. Paul’s colleagues also recognized him as the PACWEST Coach of the Year in 2013, 1014 & 2017 as well as Richmond Coach of the Year in 2011 and the Lower Mainland Coach of the Year in 2007.

Paul has been chosen to lead our BC Provincial teams on numerous occasions winning five gold medals and one silver at the Western Canada Games and one silver medal and three bronze at the Canadian National Championships. Paul was also selected to be an assistant coach with the Canadian Men’s National Basketball Team from 2000 to 2004.

Paul is also one of only two coaches in the Country to have won both a High School Provincial Championship which he did in 2011 with the Palmer Griffins and a Canadian College National Championship in 2014 with the Langara Falcons.

Paul has also been very actively involved in athletic administration as he was an Athletic Director for over 20 years and he has also served on the Board of Directors for the Nighthoops Program which works with at-risk youth in Vancouver. Paul has also worked with with Basketball BC on a number of occassions serving as the chair for a variety of the elite programs and he was the longest serving President of the BC High School Boys Basketball Association serving from 2014 to 2018. For all his voluneer work in high school sports BC School Sports recognized Paul with a Special Merit award in 2018. Presently, Paul is the head coach of the Langara Falcons men’s team and the West Vancouver Highlanders Junior boys team.

Tara Ledingham

Tara Ledingham

Assistant

Tara was raised in West Vancouver and attended UBC and SFU, graduating with a double major in Sociology and Communications.

Since graduating, Tara has been employed in the human resources field for over twenty years.  She initially worked as a recruitment specialist for Medical Recruiters International Canada, placing medical professionals in hospital and clinic settings in the United States.

After taking time off to raise her two children, Tara was hired by Mackay CEO Forums as a meeting and event planner before starting with West Vancouver Schools in 2016.

Tara has also enjoyed contract work with BC Children’s Hospital and the Crystal Ball Foundation and was registrar for the North Shore Inline Hockey league.

Being a part of the West Vancouver community has always been important to Tara and she spent several years managing her children’s sports teams and volunteering at the school level.

Teacher/Coaches

Layla Casper

Layla Casper

WVS Teacher

Bio under construction…

Geoff Matthews

Geoff Matthews

Head Coach

Geoff began his coaching career in South Africa, where he grew up, coaching U18, U21 and Senior teams. Since moving to Canada, Geoff has coached at the Club, Provincial and International level. He recently received his FIH International Level 3 Coaching Certification In Ipoh, Malaysia and currently works with the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club as the Technical Director, overseeing all club coaches and programming.

In 2018 Geoff was the Head Coach of the U18 MNT who participated in the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is also the current assistant coach of the Canadian Men’s Junior National (U21) team that won a Pan-Am Silver Medal and competed at the 2016 Junior World Cup and is also an assistant coach with the Canadian Men’s National Team program.

Karli Johansen

Karli Johansen

Assistant Coach

Karli is a North Vancouver native, and a current member of the Canadian Women’s National team. Karli first started field hockey at age 10, playing spring league for WVFHC. Now at 28 years old, she has played 148 international matches for Canada.

Karli attributes a lot of her success in field hockey to a background across multiple sports throughout her childhood. Field hockey became her main focus after high school, when she accepted a scholarship to the University of Iowa. She obtained a BA in Health and Human Physiology, and is currently working on her NCCP competition-development certification.  Karli was selected for the Junior National Team in 2012, attended the Junior World Cup in 2013, was FHC’s top goal scorer in 2013, and was a two time Pan Am Elite Team member.  Karli is passionate about sharing the knowledge and expertise that she has gained playing and coaching Field Hockey in Canada and around the world.

Holly Stewart

Holly Stewart

Assistant Coach

Holly Stewart was born and raised in North Vancouver. She started playing field hockey when she was 6 years old for the West Vancouver U7 “Crickets”. She played many other sports growing up, including soccer, wrestling, basketball, cross-country, and skiing. She graduated from Carson Graham before receiving a scholarship to play field hockey and study at the University of Maine. After finishing university, Holly spent 7 years with the Canadian National Field Hockey Team before retiring in 2020. Her career highlights include a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games and scoring her first goal against Ireland in her first international game in 2013.

Holly has always been involved in coaching youth field hockey, starting as a junior coach for WVFHC when she was in high school. Since retiring from the national team, she has been able to put an emphasis on her coaching career and is focused on teaching the next generation of Canadian field hockey players.

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