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 recognized 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, 2014 & 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 Basketball BC on a number of occasions serving as the chair for a variety of 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 volunteer 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


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.


Curry Hitchborn

Curry Hitchborn

Head Coach

View an article about Curry Hitchborn by The Province here.

Curry is currently the Head Rugby Coach at the University of British Columbia.

UBC are the two-time defending University National Champions, the National University 7’s title holders, ranked 3rd in the University Rugby World Cup standings.

Curry has 13 years’ experience coaching Rugby at youth and men’s levels and 20 years’ experience as a player.  As a coach, Curry has won National and Provincial championships in highly competitive leagues and ensured the retention of athletes through a multi-sport year.

Curry has tremendous involvement as a coach in the local community at both the high school and club levels for the past nine years. This role allows him the ability to identify athletes and maintain relationships with coaches from all over the province.

Currently Head Coach of the BCU19 team and have been for 4 years.

Curry is passionate about Rugby and not only strives to improve himself as a coach but the abilities and skills of players and coaches around him. Curry is NCCP Intro to Competition certified and working towards the Competition Development /IRB Level 3 Certification.

Notable Achievements:

  • Head Coach for the University of British Columbia
  • Formerly, the Director of Rugby Development for the Seattle Seawolves that competed in the MLR and won the league in 2018
  • Head Coach – BC U19 team – Winners of the 4 Canadian Rugby Championships
  • Head Coach, the Vancouver Senior Men
  • 3-time Rounsefell Cup Winner as joint Head Coach with University of British Columbia
  • 3-time McKechnie Cup Senior Men’s
  • Canada U17 Coach
  • 2014 U18 Tier 2 National Champions
  • 5 time BCRU U17/U18 Provincial Champions
  • Formerly Premier Forwards’ Coach/First Division Head Coach Capilano RFC – Rounsefell Cup 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017
  • Recipient of Gerald McGavin Coaching Award – BC Rugby Union
Perino Zambon

Perino Zambon

WVS Teacher & Assistant Coach

WVS Teacher at Rockridge Secondary since 2004

Physical Education and Strength & Conditioning

 Some Highlights

  • Since 2004: Head Coach, Rockridge Secondary
  • Six-time Rugby AA Provincial Champions
  • BC Rugby Assistant Coach U16
  • BC Rugby Manager U16
  • Selector of Rugby BC U16, U19 & Canada U17 Teams
  • Selected as Guest Coach to Western Province Rugby Institute Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Assistant Coach: UBC Thunderbirds – 2019 World University Rugby Invitational Tournament Tokyo, Japan
  • Currently assisting with UBC Men’s Rugby Thunderbirds – 2022 Rounsefell Cup Champions, who are also the 2021 Canadian University Men’s Rugby Champions
Chris Thom

Chris Thom

Coach Indoor Training

President, Head Coach of Westsider Wrestling Club
Board Chair BC Wrestling Association
Former SFU Wrestler

Justin Abdou

Justin Abdou

Coach Indoor Training

SFU Head Wrestling Coach
2000 Olympian
13x National Champion
Canadian Wrestling Hall of Fame Member

Saheel Khan-Mudaliar

Saheel Khan-Mudaliar

Assistant Coach Indoor Training

Westsider Wrestling Coach
4x National Champion
Pan Am Silver Medalist
Former UofA Wrestler

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