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.


Richard Schick

Richard Schick

WVS Supervising Teacher

Mr. Richard Schick is a multi-skilled athlete and coach with tremendous knowledge and abilities to work with students in a variety of disciplines. Currently, Mr. Schick is the WVS Supervising Teacher for the WVS Premier Tennis Academy, the Head Coach for the WVS Premier Volleyball Academy as well as the WVS Supervising Teacher for the WVS Premier Basketball Academy.


2017-2019 – Mr. Schick’s most recent team coaching experience has been with the Team Canada Women’s National Volleyball Team where he was the full time Assistant Coach and Head Coach of the Team Canada Centre of Excellence responsible for the identification, recruitment and training of potential National Team athletes.

2003-2016 – Head Coach of the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds

2007-2008 – *While at UBC, re-established the program leading the team back to the CIS National Championship for the first time in 18 years

Amassing the 4th most wins in the Canada West conference during Mr. Schick’s tenure, the Thunderbirds were a perennial nationally ranked Top 10 team, producing many players that went on to represent Canada and compete internationally on both the Canadian National Beach and Indoor Teams.

Mr. Schick is a two-time Canada West Coach of the Year and one-time winner of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) Coach of the Year

Prior to coaching at UBC, Mr. Schick coached at his Alma Mater University of Alberta where he led the team to a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) National Gold (’02) and Silver Medal (’03) during his 2 years with the Golden Bears.

Mr. Schick’s first experience as Head Coach was at Red Deer College where he coached the squad to a Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championship (’01) in his only year at the helm.

Mr. Schick spent time with the Canadian Junior National Program as Assistant Coach where the team competed at the 2002 NORCECA Championship in Kelowna, BC and 2003 World Championships in Tehran, Iran.

Mr. Schick was Head Coach for the Junior Team which represented Canada at the NORCECA Championships in Winnipeg, MB in 2004.

Having played multiple sports growing up in Manitoba, Mr. Schick got his first experience playing post-secondary sports in his hometown of Brandon, Manitoba where he trained with the CIAU National Champion University of Brandon Bobcats Basketball Team.  After a couple years of travelling throughout Europe, Mr. Schick continued his education and athletic career playing volleyball for Red Deer College where he helped the Kings win back-to-back CCAA National Championships (‘95/’96) and was named a CCAA All Canadian both years.

The following year saw Mr. Schick move on to the University of Alberta where the Canada West All-Star helped the Golden Bears to a CIAU National Championship (’97). The following year was spent playing and teaching English in Japan until a return to Edmonton to finish up his Education Degree and play his final year with the Golden Bears.

A bronze medal at the ’99 National Championships led to a contract offer to play more professional volleyball, in the German Bundesliga with DTV Duren (‘00/’01).

Mr. Richard Schick holds an Education Degree (English/Physical Education) from the University of Alberta.  He has received NCCP certification in the sports of volleyball, basketball, and soccer and actively coach’s volleyball and little league baseball in his community.

Richard is currently working towards his Tennis Canada Coaches Education Program which is part of the National Coaching Certification.

Richard continues to be active playing competitive tennis, basketball, and gets involved in any activity that comes his way, as he enjoys the athletic challenge!

Paul Tornquist

Paul Tornquist

Head Coach

Paul Tornquist has been Head Pro at WVTC since 2012. Paul has over 25 years of coaching experience at various locations including the North Shore Winter Club, the Tennis Academy in Delray Beach, Florida, the Vancouver Lawn Tennis & Badminton Club and the Peter Burwash International Tennis Management Company.  He served as Tennis Director at private clubs and resorts in Singapore, the West Indies, the British Virgin Islands, New York and Florida, the Trivandrum Tennis Club in India and the Martin Verkerk Tennis & Events in Holland, former ATP top 10. Paul has competed in the ITF Satellite Tournaments in Europe. He is also a certified yoga instructor. Most importantly, Paul has a passion and enthusiasm for the game of tennis which he shares with every player he coaches and every organization he has been involved with.

Gregg Eschelmuller

Gregg Eschelmuller

Assistant Coach

Gregg completed his undergraduate degree in kinesiology and health sciences and is currently a Master of Science student at the University of British Columbia. His research focuses on how the nervous system controls human movement. He is a certified Tennis Canada coach and registered Kinesiologist with the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists. He has a passion for tennis and fitness, and has experience working with athletes of all levels.

Sam Gouneili

Sam Gouneili

Assistant Coach

Tennis Canada national tennis coach

Sam Gouneili is a Tennis Canada Certified Instructor with over six years of coaching experience at the West Vancouver Tennis Club (WVTC).  As a Junior, Sam competed at a National level and has had a FIRST-place finish in over 30 Provincial-level tournaments in British Columbia. It is because of Sam’s high tennis IQ that he successfully creates and adapts lesson plans for his students, accommodating their individual needs. Sam enjoys providing drills and activities for students to apply and improve their skills, knowledge, and overall technique in the sport of tennis.

When Sam is not teaching, he spends his time working out in the gym, playing tennis with friends, or enjoying a variety of activities in outdoor environments. As a self-proclaimed Tennis fanatic, he stays up to date with current events surrounding the sport and continues to learn new ways to provide his students with a special learning experience that is both challenging and fun!