Sheila Tume and counselor Maggie Karnowski

Football halftimes and competition season are over for the Wildcat Marching Band, but accolades for Head Drum Major Sheila Tume are not. The senior received word Tuesday from the University of Chicago she’s received their full ride, that-mean’s-everything, we-think-you’re-awesome Odyssey Scholarship – which, of course, she is.

When I interviewed Tume (pronounced too-may) in August, before her classmates elected her Homecoming Queen, she said college would prepare her for a challenging career as a human rights lawyer. She’s inspired by strong women like Maya Angelou and Ava Duvernay, and by LHHS band directors who “give us students the leeway to personalize the organization that we’re in.” She’s also a leader on the mock trial and debate teams, and she squeezed church youth workshops and a mission trip into her busy summer.

Asked about diversity on her 200-person band, she said, “I have never thought of that diversity as being a challenge. If anything it’s a gift, and as young adults we are so lucky to learn how to coexist in a safe space and create something beautiful in the meantime.”

Oh, and about that Homecoming Queen thing.

Before Tume was crowned – before she knew which of the six nominees was the winner – she spoke to the Wildcat Stadium announcer. If she won, Tume told him, she wanted Brooke Sesler crowned along with her. Sesler had missed the entire fall semester while battling leukemia, but she’d been in the hearts and prayers of her classmates, according to Sydney Holmes, writing in LHHS’ school newspaper, The Fang. Sesler was crowned alongside Tume and Homecoming King Brady Hernandez, and it was hugs all around.

I’m not crying, you’re crying.

You can read more about Tume here.

Sheila Tume, Brady Hernandez and Brooke Sesler