A diverse collection of local professionals shared their observations during LaVerne Preparatory Academy's first-ever career day last Friday at the Hesperia Unified School District annex.


Most of the students came from teacher Andrew Hammons' sixth-grade class.


The eight professional participants:


Deputy Jasmine Sanchez from the San Bernardino Sheriff Department, political consultant Lee Samuels, cheff Jennifer Shafer, Meera Waheswaran, a lawyer who is a member of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, editor Peter Day and reporter Beau Yarbrough from the Hesperia Star newspaper, Captain Mathis of the Hesperia Fire Department, and computer programmer Jason Hammons.


"It went well for the students," said Shameka Walker, curriculum lab supervisor at the school. "We wanted to start young so they can get their focus. We want to get them started on the right path."


Walker was encouraged with the participation of students attending the event although some of the queries were unexpected.


"Some of the questions came from left field," she said, "but they're not afraid to ask."


Currently K-6, LEPA is expected to expand to K-8 next year. The school was founded by Debra Tarver, who serves as executive director.


The school seeks to maintain small class sizes, emphasize collaboration, encourage social, civic, character and academic development and provide varied assessment approaches to learning.