The purpose of this study was to explore Tennessee’s virtual public school K-12 principals’ a) instructional leadership and b) development of a social presence. In this qualitative study, the researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with virtual school principals in Tennessee. Findings suggest that they are intrapreneurs adept at developing a social presence with students, teachers, and parents. The researchers conclude that principals in virtual schools have a degree of autonomy in instructional leadership responsibilities, including curriculum selection and staffing. In addition, virtual school principals are both flexible in their strategies to meet students’ needs and technologically competent. Further studies might focus on teacher evaluation practices in virtual schools compared to traditional brick-and mortar schools. Additional research is also needed on principals’ preparation to lead and manage virtual public schools.





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