- Lore Elementary School
From Lore Lion to Pixar!
The resounding credo echoing through the hallways of Lore School is: “Lore, Hear Our Roar!’ and that roar can echo across the building, state, country and the world.
The message from Principal Kelly Kawalek’s school is that you can move on from Lore’s hallways and do anything in life, and the goal of the Lore School staff is to give their students the tools and inspiration they need to follow and fulfill their dreams.
Former Lore Lion Jake Kaplan is an inspiration to all Lore students, that if they believe in their own individual “Roar!” they can go on to do work that can touch lives around the world.
After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in New York, Jake now works as a Production Coordinator at Pixar Animation Studios. His most recent efforts focused on the very popular animated film, Soul, where he worked as the Art Coordinator for two years and then Sets Coordinator for his final six months on the show.
Jake’s love of art and animation began in the classrooms at Lore School.
“You can ask any of my elementary school teachers, and they will tell you that I've been doodling cartoons since day one,” he stated. “I've been obsessed with watching, researching, studying, and drawing cartoons for as long as I can remember.”
Jake looks back fondly at his formative years at Lore School as being key to achieving his goals.
“I think it all starts at the beginning, with my time at Lore School and their UNITY Words. Learning to be a good and friendly person that people want to work with has been integral to my career. I'd count my first "link" as one of the key steps on my journey.” Jake shared.
All students who have spent time at Lore School can share their own experiences and connections with Lore’s social curriculum and UNITY Words, and Jake can certainly relate.
“Lore School's UNITY Words of Include, Support, and Care have guided me throughout my life,” he detailed. “Now I work at a professional level at one of the top Animation Studios in the world to: Include the voices that the animation world has not yet heard, Support my teams to make the best films possible, and hopefully spread a global message through our art to encourage the children of this world to Care about each other and the stories that make us all special.”
Lore students are encouraged to follow not only their professional dreams, but also their personal ones, a message that also resonated with Jake, as he is the co-chair of Pixar's LGBTQIA+ Studio Resource Group, PixPride. The goal of PixPride, is to increase LGBTQ+ visibility and representation both in films and across the studio whether that be through leadership, company policies, or community activism.
“Even though being a part of incredible films such as Soul and Incredibles 2 has brought me pride beyond measure, being able to actively participate in creating impactful changes to make Pixar a more inclusive studio has definitely brought me the most pride in my life to date,” Jake explained.
For the Lore teachers who worked with Jake, his success and achievements are very rewarding, but not surprising.
“It was an honor and a gift to watch Jake grow during his time at Lore School,” Lore physical education teacher Tracy Radler stated. “He made us all better through his acts of kindness and fairness. Jake is an incredible person, and he was an amazing child, too. He was always a creative thinker and an enthusiastic problem-solver who was full of curiosity. Jake will continue to blaze trails and inspire and enlighten, as he always has.”