Nell Baham

From left to right, Sinclair Elementary's Mimi Chan, Krish Kalla, Nell Baham, Katie Chambers, Barbara Smith and Greg Railsback participate in an award ceremony for Kalla, a fifth-grade student who received the Nell Baham Achievement Award. 

This was the 21st year the Nell Baham Achievement Award has been given to an outstanding Sinclair Elementary fifth-grader. Krish Kalla was this year’s recipient.

The award recognizes a student who exhibited good citizenship traits, excelled in academics and made worthy contributions to Sinclair and within the community. It was established in 1999 by then-PTA president Jill Hlavinka to honor longtime educator Nell Baham, who taught at Sinclair for a number of years.

Baham also gives the beneficiary a monetary prize. She said the award is special to her because it is rewarding to see students excel in school and the community.

“It warms my heart to see this award given now for 21 years to deserving students,” Baham said. “Many thanks to the teachers for observing fifth-graders all year and then choosing the one they feel meets these requirements. Students should be recognized for their contributions in the community (as well as) excellence in academics.”

Kalla’s teachers describe him as “a well-rounded student, who is polite, eager and aims to please.”

“Krish is an all-around great student,” Sinclair Principal Lee Mashburn said. “He has a super attitude, is positive and engaged. We are anticipating great things from him in the future.”

Homeroom teacher Mimi Chan said Kalla not only excels academically but is kind and humble.

“I can always count on him to be a classroom volunteer or mentor other students,” Chan said.

Kalla is the son of Dr. Subhash and Pavani Kalla and has a younger brother, Kanish. He is active in choir and enjoys the basketball club and is a volunteer and tutor who has had perfect attendance since kindergarten. He will attend Frank Black Middle School in the fall.

Baham remains actively involved with neighborhood schools as well as St. Matthews United Methodist Church and Delta Kappa Gamma, an organization for key women teachers.

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