This investigation examined the role of the principal in school change during the current era of high-stakes accountability. Qualitative methods were used to conduct a case study of one principal who had a record of success in leading school change efforts and developing a model inclusive program in his school. The results of the case study revealed that the principal viewed his primary role as "lubricating the human machinery," or providing support for teachers so that they could do their best work. He enacted this role by nurturing and caring for his staff, buffering his faculty from external pressures associated with high-stakes accountability, providing high-quality professional development, and ensuring that teachers had opportunities to assume leadership roles in the school. The implications of these findings for practice are discussed.
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