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.

Mark Fenn


Soccer Academy Supervising Teacher
Sentinel Secondary Physical Education Teacher
Sentinel Secondary Athletic Director


Bachelor of Physical and Health Education/Bachelor of Geography from Queens University
Bachelor of Education from Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia)
Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Track and Field athlete while at Queen’s University
National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) – Level II certified
League Manager for Track and Field for the North Shore Secondary School Sports Athletics Association (NSSSSA)
Coaches Track and Field and Cross-Country at Sentinel Secondary School

Leo Nash

Assistant Technical Director and Academy Director at West Vancouver Soccer Club


West Van FC Men’s Premier Team 2007 to present – Team Captain
Head Coach WVSC BU16, BU17, BU18 MSL teams 2013-2015
Assistant Coach Capilano University Men’s Soccer team 2002-2006; National Champions 2009
Capilano University Player and Captain 2002-2006 – National Champion 2003, Team Captain.
Whitecaps Reserve Team Player 2007, 2008
Canadian National Team U17 and U18
BC Provincial Team Player U14 to U18 – National champions 2000
BCSA Provincial “B” Coaching License
S4L, L2T and Fundamentals courses
NSYSA BU13, BU14 Head Coach – boys MSL teams 2010, 2011
Head Coach WVFC U21 team in VMSL and PCSL 2011-2015
Head Coach WVFC Men’s Premier Team (FVSL) 2015 to present

Matt Walker

Instructor: On-Field Training


  • Girls Academy Tech Coordinator, Staff Coach and AGTC
  • BCSA Provincial “B” Coaching License
  • BU13 2012 BC Provincial Team Assistant Head Coach
  • WVFC Trollers Team, player
  • Cap University Men’s socce4r 2000-2001
  • WVSC Girls Gold level coach
  • WVSC MSL coach
  • WVSC player since 5 years-old
  • S4L, L2T and Fund courses

Des Tachie

Instructor: On-Field Training


  • Des Tachie Staff Coach and AGTC
  • West Van FC  men’s Premier Team 2009 -present
  • Cap University Men’s Soccer 2003 National Champs
  • Played professionally with BK Freman Amager, AaB11 (Denmark) and Kaposvar VSC Hungary
  • Played professionally in USL with Charlotte Eagles, Toronto Lynx and Edmonton Aviators and Ottawa Fury
  • BCSA B Prov Licensed Coach…
  • WVSC Boys Msl Head coach…
  • Cap U Men’s Asst Coach
  • West Van FC Women’s Head Coach 2013 to present
  • Guildford Athletic Club Staff Coach 2009-2012.
  • Kotoko FC Head coach 2014 to present

Martin Vaca

  • Staff Goalkeeping Coach
  • Played Professional soccer in Bolivia for 3 different teams
  • goalkeeper Bolivian National Team U20
  • Played in Germany in third Div at TSV Weistal
  • Played NCSAA at DTCC in USA
  • Grassroots U13+ goalkeeping
  • Goalkeeping Diploma
  • Goalkeeper Coach at Cap University Men’s team
  • Goalkeeper Coach at WV FC
  • Men’s Premier and U21 Teams
  • Soccer for Life coaching certification
  • C License Trained

Ravi Fisher

Soccer Academy On-Field Instructor

  • BCSA Provincial B License
  • Several NCCP Certifications
  • WVFC Staff Coach (2012-present)
  • WVFC Age Group Technical Coordinator (2017-2020)
  • WVFC Boys & Girls U8-U10 Technical Lead (2020-present)
  • WVFC Boy’s 2004 Div. 1 Head Coach (2014-2020)
    • League Champions (2019)
  • WVFC Boy’s 2000 Metro Assistant Coach (2016-2018)
    • League Champions, BC Coastal Cup Finalists & BC Provincial Champions (2018)
  • WVFC Men’s U21 Team Player (2014-2018)
    • Team Captain (2016-2018)
    • League Campions & BC Provincial Champions (2015 & 2018)
    • Provincial Finalists (2017)
  • WVFC Men’s U21 Assistant Coach (2018-2019)
    • League Champions & Provincial Finalists
  • WVFC Boy’s 2007 Metro Head Coach (2019-present)
  • WVFC Men’s Div. 3 (ex U21 team) Assistant Coach & Player – Team Captain (2019-present)
  • Sentinel Secondary Head Soccer Coach (2015-2019)
    • Junior Girls (2015-2017). Northshore Champions (2015 & 2016). Vancouver & District Champions (2015 & 2016)
    • Junior Boys (2017-2019). Northshore Finalists (2018)
    • Senior Boys (2019)

Diane Nelson
Director of Instruction
West Vancouver Schools Premier Academy

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

Email: dnelson@wvschools.ca

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