Educators come to their profession from a variety of fields, but it's hard to find a more disparate group than sat in as principal for a day last Monday across the school district.

There was a banker, a grocery store manager, a dentist, sheriff's deputy, a newspaper reporter, a baseball team general manager and a silver medalist Olympian.

"We want to give people a glimpse of what the day is like," said Jovy Yankaskas, the Hesperia Unified School District assistant superintendent of educational services, whose office coordinated the annual event.

The "principals" spent the morning at their various school sites, seeing the job that administrators do and visiting classrooms, watching how a 21st century campus is run.

"Some of them have never set foot in a classroom, except when they were a child," Yankaskas said. "Are they able to see everything that happens, and everything that a teacher and a principal does? Absolutely not, but it's a taste."

Principals at each site make the decision of who to invite to their campus. This year's principals for a day included High Desert Mavericks General Manager Darrel Ebert, Hesperia City Manager Mike Podegracz and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Bryan Clay, a personal friend of Mesquite Trails Elementary School Principal Dave Stewart.

Past principals for the day have included Daily Press and Hesperia Star publisher Stephan Wingert, San Bernardino Sheriff's Department Captain Joe Cusimano, Hesperia City Councilwoman Rita Vogler and Hesperia City Manager Robb Quincy.

"It's good for the principals, because you don't often get a chance to show off your school," Yankaskas said. She was formerly a principal herself, at Eucalyptus Elementary School and Mesquite Trails Elementary School. "I just kind of thought who would help share what we do. Who has influence and who talks to people and has connections in this community? I even brought in my brother one time, because he's a doctor in the community."

The day was capped off by a luncheon at the district office, where the guest principals shared what they'd seen. Superintendent Mark McKinney was frank in what the district hoped to get out of the event: ambassadors. And it's a plan that's worked in past years, according to Yankaskas.

"I think several people over the years have been," including local businessman-turned-patron-of-education Buck Goodspeed. Disc jockey "Colleen Quinn has made several comments on the radio based on what she's seen."

But community residents don't need to wait to be invited as principal for a day to check out what's going on in their schools, she said.

"We welcome people from the community coming in," Yankaskas said. "That's how Hesperia has always been.

"I think it's a win-win for both the community and the school."

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.