Shop StewardUniversity of Southern California, BA
email: bruce.lakovic [at] sonomaacademy.orgphone: (707) 545-1770 x3423
Bruce has always been building things; even as a kid in Southern California, he rigged up a model moon base in his bedroom. Throughout his school years, he took hands-on classes ranging from computer programming (where he sent teletypes to the Lawrence Livermore Labs) to auto shop and wood shop, and his father was a tinkering role model, “a DIY-er before that was a thing,” he says. As our Shop Steward, Bruce shares his lifelong talent for turning visions into reality with students in our Studios.
But Bruce has always had interests that range far beyond the shop. As a student at the College of Marin, he tried out for a theater production but didn’t get the part. He still wanted to be involved in the show, and soon realized that his building skills could be put to good use behind the scenes (literally). This ignited an interest in set design, and he eventually attended USC with the intention to go into the film industry. Bruce designed his own major, a course of study that allowed him to take courses in Philosophy, Cinema Studies, Architecture, Theater, and a broad sampling from the Humanities.
After a stint working in film set design, Bruce realized that the “on-call” nature of film production wasn’t for him. He made his way back up to Northern California and worked for many years as the Technical Director of a scenic company, where he built everything from a water-spraying octopus for a water park to a giant shoe for a photo shoot. “Basically, people would give me a sketch on a cocktail napkin and ask me to build stuff,” he says. “It was a constant lesson in problem solving and creative thinking.”
Bruce has been with us since the Guild & Commons opened in early 2018. He helps students operate the equipment in the Studios, co-teaches Intersession and Exploratory courses, and builds sets for our theater productions, among other projects. “I love introducing kids to the process of imagining, planning, and problem solving,” he says.
When asked how Sonoma Academy is different from other schools, Bruce says, “when I was in school, there was really only one accepted way to learn. I learned differently, so I had to figure out alternative methods and work harder than everyone else…. Here, it is accepted that kids learn in different ways. We teach kids to have grit, and show them that there is always a way.”