My given name on my birth certificate is Shulamith; and I also have become known in the St. Louis environs as Blondie. As the story goes, when my mother took me to Hamilton School to enroll me, and the principal, Miss Lyons, asked for my name, my mother replied Shulamith. To which Miss Lyons replied, “well, we’ll just put down Sheila.” I have no recollection of this part of the event as some of the neighborhood kids had come & coerced me out to play with them on the playground. So, Sheila became my ‘school’ name. When I was at Wash U or had just graduated, I even officially added Sheila as my middle name to my birth certificate since I had so many school records in that name. However, I never really related to that pseudonym.
And, it was when I was working in NYC in the late 1960s that I reclaimed my given name. Given the benefit of hindsight, I would say that other than living in Israel, New York city was the perfect place to reclaim a good Hebrew name. I haven’t used Sheila since that time, and have pretty well forgotten the whole experience. However, seeing ‘Sheila Mellman’ on your listing of missing class members caused to recall the whole history of my name.