With his wire-rimmed glasses, it was abundantly clear this youngster was about as close to Harry Potter's likeness as it's likely to get. There were princesses, pirates, vampires and one faux-bearded Mr. Sultan.

But for these youngsters, dressing in costumes for last week's Halloween was just the beginning. Of course, there was trick-or-treating, but they also enjoyed an eight-act, slightly-scary-but-mostly-not Halloween drama and a six-course meal featuring "ghoul bones with spider sauce," "Dracula's Potion" and "Chocolate Creepers."

The attendees were toddlers at Magic Carpet Preschool on the campus of Sultana High School, and the over-the-top hospitality was provided by students from a handful of high school classes.

"It's a cross-course activity that you just don't see much," said Mike Smith, the former Sultana High School principal who today oversees the Hesperia Unified School District's Regional Occupational Program. "We try to incorporate everything that we can."

Moreover, the Halloween extravaganza has been such a successful - and fun - educational opportunity that it's been held ever since the pre-school opened in August of 1995. "It's the 12th year of the Halloween collaboration," Smith said.

Last Wednesday's event began with a special visit by Mr. Sultan, who met Brock Peters, a toddler who was dressed as the Sultana High School mascot's likeness but only a fraction of the genie's size.

Then, the high school preschool class students carefully organized the children in a single-file line and led the Halloweeners through the campus to the JROTC class where costumed high schoolers and their instructors presented trick-or-treats to the smiling youngsters.

Following trick-or-treats, the class went to Sultana Hall to enjoy Halloween tales specially written by eight of Zeta Ghazarian's English class students. Featuring large, colorful masks created by Mrs. Pratt's sculpture class, the stories were dramatized by students in Daryl Grebel's advanced drama class.

Finally, after the preschoolers made their way back to their room, they ate a lunch prepared by Linda Morris's advanced food class that was worthy of a vampire. "Cheesy Ghosts" were fashioned from bread and cheese sticks, "Tombstone Sticks" were carrot and celery sticks with ranch dressing, "Frankenstein's Creations" were made of sugar cookies and "Chocolate Creepers" were spiders whose bodies were made from Oreo cookies. The main course, "Ghoul Bones with Spider sauce," were made from pasta with marinara sauce and their vermilion "Dracula's Potion" drink was actually cranapple juice.

"This is an age-appropriate Halloween lunch," said teacher Morris, whose students are typically male who pursue professional cooking positions after going on to one of a number of highly-regarded culinary arts institutes in Southern California.

Underneath all of the fun are valuable lessons learned by the high schoolers.

"Many of them will go into careers with children, such as teaching," said Libby Hodkinson, who teaches the class and oversees the licensed preschool program. And for those who don't go into teaching or the likes, Hodkinson believes the class will help them in their personal lives when they start a family. "Hopefully they'll become better parents."

And not all of the high school students are female.

"It's so much fun," said Oscar Gallegos, a soccer player and member of JROTC. "When they learn to write it's so exciting."

Gallegos, who is planning a career in the military, believes Hodkinson is correct.

"I know how to be more patient with children." And he already has a headstart if he decides to go into teaching someday.

"I know if I do this class I have an option."

Parent Mary Beth Davis, whose husband, Chuck Davis, is a Sultana English teacher and coach, is completely confident in the preschool's quality of care and supervision.

"They get a lot more attention," said Daivs, whose two young sons Holden and Brodie attend Magic Carpet Preschool. "There's one teacher per student."

A licensed facility under Title 22, Magic Carpet Preschool operates from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays. Two nutritional snacks are provided daily. Lunches need to be provided by parents. The preschool accepts children ages 2-1/2 through 5.

"It's a school-based enterprise," Hodkinson said. "All the money goes back into the program."