Dr. Margaret Crespo
Dr. Margaret Crespo

It takes an eclectic leader today to serve successfully as a public education Superintendent. We need leaders who are well grounded, passionate about life and compassionate with people. We need leaders who see nothing but joy in preparing our nation’s children and youth. I recently got to sit down with such an eclectic leader, a rancher to be exact!

I have to admit that when I found out that this Chief for Change, this equity warrior, moved from Colorado to Wyoming – a state of only 200,000 people, to take on a Superintendent role, I needed to know more. This is a person I know as a Jersey girl, an east-coast Caribbean that went on an east to west coast journey, now headed to Wyoming. What gives?! There was clearly something about Margaret that I didn’t know, and I am so glad we talked!

Superintendent Margaret Crespo speaks like a tenured Superintendent, despite this being her first year on the job in the Laramie County School District 1 in southeast Wyoming. This is in part because she has worked as a leader and teacher with children and youth outside of traditional education in the most “salt of the earth” loving way. For over 13 years, Margaret served as President of the Indigo Mountain Ranch, an organization that uses animal to human interactions to support and love on children and youth, military families and families needing therapeutic reconnection. It takes a special person to love both animals and people in that way. It takes a person that sees connections and worth in all people. Tell me, what is more valuable in the role of the Superintendent?

Margaret has been a long time traditional educator as well, teaching and leading in public education systems across four states. In each role she brought love, compassion and joy into schools. She also brought firmness, clarity and directness – perhaps attributes developed by working with and managing large animals (and difficult people).

There is a natural curiosity and adventurous spirit in Margaret that also serves her well in the top leadership seat; a trait she definitely learned from her parents. She fits comfortably across communities having worked and lived across states including New Jersey, Arizona, Colorado and now Wyoming. She is a woman of not one place but of all of the places in which she has lived. She is fearless and kind. She is public in her service, but she also gives so generously the healing that is needed by others, privately. She is a horse woman…and how cool is that in your Superintendent!

Dr. Margaret Crespo is Cuban, born to parents who instilled deep values in her and her sister around family and community, that she now passes on to her sons and daughter. She shared, “Both my parents were Cuban immigrants. They came from Cuba in the 50s and arrived in Florida, then New York City. From the very beginning as a young child I had a passport. Cuba at the time was in tremendous revolution and disruption. And my parents always made sure that we recognized that where you were born is not necessarily where you will end up.”

Margaret, as a young child developed a passion for horses from her father. She knew what she liked and didn’t like, sharing, “I did not love school, it was not my favorite thing ever.” Yet, her life is an example of her love of learning and her resilient pursuit of her passion. She used this passion to bring healing and joy to communities throughout her adulthood. Her dream for owning land and working with horses were seeded in her as a young child, even if she did not yet know how she would fund that passion. “I remember at nine years old coming down the stairs with an old newspaper clipping of 90 acres available for $90,000 and saying to my dad, ‘this is what I want!’” Not to be deterred by her father’s response that she was both a child and he did not have the money, she still knew that she would head in that direction.

Her resolve for what she could accomplish was fueled by watching her own father rise from mailroom clerk in a chemical company to treasurer of that multi-billion dollar company. Her life story is the story of resolve, resilience and service. By the time Margaret was moving from Arizona to Colorado she had acquired seven rescue horses that she would take with her to open up her first ranch in Colorado.

Margaret’s upbringing is a point of great pride. Her parents emphasized self empowerment; making decisions that are good for self – something she consistently passes on to others as she leads today. “My independence comes from my mother in the sense of never be beholden to anyone and from my father, never feel like you’re stuck someplace, you can always leave. I have honestly had experiences in my life in relationships where I’ve had to get up and leave. Which has formed my ability to be confident in who I am as a leader, who I am as a woman, as a Spanish-speaker, as a Cuban-American. To always have the decision-making power. And I’ve tried to instill that in students as well and with other leaders. I’ve always prided myself in having them look at the view of attaining that next level of leadership.” Margaret shared that while she is grateful to have learned positive self empowerment from her parents, she is also grateful that she is blessed with a supportive husband and loving children by her side.

Because of her personal life perspectives, Margaret has brought greater attention to what it means to serve and engage all students and families in Cheyenne. With a 22% Hispanic student population, she has brought in translation services and provides her messages in English and Spanish. She is also constantly thinking about the compassion that needs to be extended to families in transition, often with misunderstood personal stories, much like the experience of her parents as immigrants.

This compassionate leadership shows up throughout Dr. Crespo’s life, education and service work. This is why Dr. Margaret Crespo is our March 2022 Voice for Equity!


Dr. Margaret Crespo became Superintendent of Laramie County School District 1 in July 2021.