The Danish upper secondary school is since 2005 undergoing a hyper complex process of modernization where new organizational forms, teacher-student roles and principles of management are introduced. The process is set off most directly by the new “gymnasiereform”. This article explores the implementation of that reform by focusing on how it is interpreted locally and put into practice by the headmasters of two different schools. On basis of that, the article discusses the consequences which different ways of interpreting and managing the reform might have for the students — how do they understand, recognize and practice the new pedagogical discourses and constructions of students that the headmasters are co-shaping? The theoretical and methodological approach of the article is based on Basil Bernstein’s sociology of education. Empirically the article draws on interviews with the headmasters under analysis.