Paris’Amaya Pantoja, a fifth grader in Mrs. Smith’s class at Sinclair Elementary, is the 2018 recipient of the Nell Baham Achievement Award. She is the daughter of Maria and Eliseo Pantoja. Her teachers describe her as a dedicated student, receiving many awards since she entered Kindergarten at Sinclair. She is a reading scholar, an honor roll student, and has received the citizenship and principal’s awards multiple times.
Her teachers recognize her kind character and loving spirit. Her mother says she strives to always do her best in all she does, but foremost, as a child of God. She loves to read and searches for grammatical errors. Paris says she aspires to attend Harvard and become a book editor. She also wrote and delivered the farewell address to her classmates, principal and teachers. Congratulations to Paris who will attend Hamilton Middle School in the fall.
This award was established in honor of Nell Baham, by the parents’ organization at Sinclair. Baham is a life-long educator, teaching at Sinclair for many years before retiring in 1999. She spent the next 19 years at University of Houston, teaching students who plan to become educators.
She presented a motivational speech to the fifth graders, spotlighting the fifth grade team leader, Karen Drexler, and Lee Mashburn, both former students, and their successes. She continues to use her time and talent in the area schools and at St. Matthews United Methodist Church volunteering and tutoring.
Baham expresses her sincere appreciation to the Sinclair PTO for continuous support of this award. She presented Paris’Amaya with a trophy and monetary awards on the last day of school.