The author examined the leadership practices and processes used to improve the achievement of African American students at William Dandy Middle School Middle School, in the Broward School District of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The researcher explored the functions of the principal, teachers, and support staff using qualitative research techniques, including semi-structured individual and focus group interviews, classroom observations, and document reviews. Research questions addressed the nature of curricula, instruction, and relationships at the school and the roles leaders played in influencing those factors. The findings suggest that curricula at the school were focused on challenging standards, across broad curricular areas (including science, mathematics, engineering, and science), with an emphasis on higher-order thinking skills. Instruction featured high levels of student engagement and high rates of student feedback and interaction. The relationships between students and teachers were characterized by teacher concern for each student's general being, teacher effort to ensure each student's academic success, as well as efforts to help students succeed in areas beyond academics. Leaders at Dandy Middle School influenced these factors through the provision of intensive professional development, frequent teacher collaboration, and regular classroom observations and feedback to teachers. The study describes implications for leaders, implications for leadership preparation, and implications for future research.