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How does the mathematics specialist provide a profound and lasting impact on instruction? We believe that a productive partnership between the principal and specialist, which we will call the principal-specialist relationship, is at the crux of the matter. When the principal-specialist relationship is built upon a foundation of a shared vision, clear roles, communication, and trust, both the teachers and students in the school benefit. We will explore the impact of the principal-specialist relationship on teacher success during the era of distance learning as necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to explore how these ideas come alive in the field, we gathered survey responses and conducted personal interviews with mathematics specialists in a variety of roles. This article examines ways in which the principal-specialist relationship supports successful mathematics instruction beginning with a review of contemporary literature. In the form of short vignettes throughout the paper, we illustrate the roles of the mathematics specialist and how those roles were adapted for online learning environments. Our findings revealed that a unifying vision for mathematics instruction is essential for attaining maximum impact on student achievement.