This case study describes a time period of 6 years in the history of a school, a period marked by crisis recovery and organizational response to a mandated large-scale reform. Despite its challenges, when speaking of this period a number of the staff reflected on it as a kind of magical moment in time. Twenty years later, I began to wonder what forces and factors were in play that had evoked these memories of the period. The research questions that directed the study asked participants what their experience was and the factors they saw as contributing to the school’s success, if the crises, the reform or the somewhat simultaneous presence of the two, played a role in the school’s development. I also sought to understand my own role of principal in the development of the school. The goal of this dissertation was to ascertain how the responses of those both internal and external to the school facilitated and impeded the school’s ability to recover and restore its legitimacy in the eyes of its community and the school district within which it operated. The research findings revealed significant themes in the collected stories and determined that both crises and reform played a role in the school’s development. This research has implications for educators seeking to resolve crises and increase the capacity of schools to better meet their future—one sure to bring change, reform, and perhaps even crises.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McClaren, Milton
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