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Michael Simmons, left, presents the middle school academic award to Hamilton Middle School's Allyson Mae Ling Hamlyn during the Asian Education Advisory Council awards ceremony on May 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Denver. (Photo by Joe Nguyen/AsiaXpress.com)


Asian Education Advisory Council celebrates 25th anniversary

Awards ceremony honors achievements of Asian-American students in Denver Public Schools

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Joe Nguyen/AsiaXpress.com

Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg, left, presents Asian Education Advisory Council founder Ba Vovan with an award during the AEAC awards ceremony on May 2 at the Doubletree Hotel in Denver.


Photo gallery from the 25th annual AEAC awards

DENVER – Denver Public Schools Superintendent Tom Boasberg encouraged students to embrace their heritage during the 25th annual Asian Education Advisory Council awards ceremony on May 2 at the Doubletree Hotel.


Boasberg was the keynote speaker for the breakfast ceremony that honored the achievements of more than 80 students and adults within the Denver Public Schools system. The superintendent, who had previously worked in education and politics in Hong Kong, surprised many in attendance when he opened his speech in Cantonese.


"For students here who have the incredible privilege of having a parent who speaks a language other than English – a parent who speaks Spanish, who speaks Vietnamese, who speaks Chinese or who speaks Japanese – take advantage of that opportunity," he said. "It's such an incredible opportunity to learn the language and to be able to have that language as a passport that will open so many doors for you in the future."


In honor of the organization's 25th anniversary, Boasberg also presented awards to AEAC founders Bo Vovan and Chiyo Horiuchi.


"I celebrate the tremendous progress of AEAC, and the work that AEAC has done in the last 25 years," he said. "AEAC is really an example of the better lights, the better hearts of this society and the work that they have done helping thread the multicultural tapestry that I think all of us aspire for our city and our country to be."


Lawyer Harry Budisidharta, the honorable speaker for the event, encouraged students to explore different avenues in life.


"Go paint, go play, go make friends," he said, "and you'll be a better person for it."


The AEAC was established in January 1985 by the Denver Public Schools Board of Education. The organization seeks to improve education quality and opportunities for all students, with emphasis on students of Asian of Pacific Islander heritage.


The list of award winners:

(* highest honor)


Elementary school


Joshua Castillo, Ellis

Rosa Dang, Schmitt

Rose Dang, Schmitt

Bryan Duong, Kaiser

Alex Han, Polaris at Ebert

Ivy Han, Green Valley

Mirai Hills, Polaris at Ebert

Kenneth Huynh, Schmitt

*Paola Kwan, Polaris at Ebert

Jayson Le, Green Valley

Shierry Lopez-Itomura, Polaris at Ebert

Jamie Mai, Gust

Quang Nguyen, Johnson

Tony Nguyen, Schmitt

Vivian Nguyen, Gust

Peyton Pham, Kaiser

Sarah Phan, Gust

Tram Phan, Gust

Nearyroth Preap, Green Valley

Kevin Quach, Goldrick

Slinthip Teawdeswan, Ellis

Hera Tran, Schmitt

Nina Tran, Schmitt

Jimmy Truong, Cory

Pasteur Vo, Ellis

Christy Vo, Schmitt

Raymond Wu, Gust



*Elise Estacio, Polaris at Ebert

Jariya Freehling, Polaris at Ebert

Nhi Lu, Polaris at Ebert

Trustin Pham, College VIew

Paw Ka Rur, Ellis


Middle School


Alyssa Choy, Hamilton

Wei An Vivian Chung, Hamilton

Tergel Erdenebat, Hamilton

*Allyson Mae Ling Hamlyn, Hamilton

Zachary Kaluza, Hamilton

Andrea Ku, Hill

Nomin Myagmarsuren, Hamilton

The Ngo, Henry World

Duy Nguyen, Hamilton

QuynhNhu Nguyen, Henry World

Charlene Nguyen, Henry World

Della Phan, Henry World

Samantha Walisundara, Hamilton

Yu Wang, Hamilton

Yushan Wu, Henry World

Sinha Yash, Hamilton



Keone Gonzales, Hamilton

MaryRose Gormley, Hamilton

*Abbey Lew, Hill

Phong Nguyen, Henry World

Amanda Phan, Henry World

Winter Tomas, Henry World


High School


Solongo Churelchuluun, George Washington

Chau Dang, Lincoln

*Pauline Lee, DCIS

Enkhjin Myaymarsuren, George Washington

Scott Nguyen, SW Early College

Christina Tran, CEC Milddle College

Han Tran, Lincoln

Laura Tran, George Washington

Vu Toan Tran, Lincoln

Nam Vo, CEC Middle College



*Yan Benink, DCIS

Leslie Lui, George Washington

Nhung Tran, George Washington

Trinh Vo, CEC Middle College

Trudy Vo, Montbello


Special Talent

Daisuke Harada, Music, DCIS

Maggie Johnson, Art, Bill Roberts

Alysse Knight, Vocal, DSA

Christopher Lee, Music and Jump Rope, Ellis

EhNeeyer Lee, Jump Rope, Ellis

*Shanhuan Manton, Filmmaking, DSA

Johnny Nguyen, Dance, Henry World

Ruth Nguyen, Writing and Reading, Henry World

Rathana Preap, Music and Athletics




Constance Clifton, Ellis

*Reina Gutierrez, Hamilton



Patricia Drumm, Fairview

Karen Enomoto, Schmitt

Leo Fua, Lake

*Ryan Fune, Schmitt

Dai Le, Ellis

Linda Miller, Ellis



Marie Knight, Schmitt

*Phoung Pham, Fairview



Thuy Vy, College View

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