Ursuline Honors the 2016 Distinguished Alumni - Dr. Mary Lou Dutko DiPillo ('67) & Mr. Michael Fagert ('75) - Ursuline High School

The Feast of Saint Ursula Liturgy was celebrated on Tuesday, October 25th at 10:00 A.M. in the school gymnasium. The twenty-eighth annual Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented at the liturgy. Each year, this award is given to graduates of Ursuline High School who have distinguished themselves by dedicated service to our school and to the community at large. This year’s recipients are Dr. Mary Lou Dutko DiPillo (’67) and Michael J. Fagert (’75).

Mary Lou Dutko DiPillo, PhD is a 1967 Ursuline High School graduate. Her siblings are Ursuline Alumni as well: Jeanette Dutko Kalman is a 1971 Ursuline Alumna and Dr. Victor Dutko graduated in 1976.

Mary Lou earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education from Mercyhurst College in 1971, a Master’s Degree in Reading from Youngstown State University in 1988 and her PhD in 1994 from the University of Akron in Elementary Education. She began her career as an educator at Saint Christine School teaching grades 4, 5 and 6 from 1971 through 1992. Since 1992, she has taught at Youngstown State University’s Beeghly College of Education where she has served multiple roles as a faculty member, Chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education, Interim Dean and Associate Dean.

She has presented at national, state and local conferences including the International Reading Association, College Reading Association, Professional Development Schools National Conference, National Middle School Association and the Ohio Council of the International Reading Association. Mary Lou has also facilitated workshops and in-services on reading and math for teachers in Mahoning and Trumbull Counties, Youngstown City Schools and Warren City Schools. She has also chaired literacy conferences sponsored by the Beeghly College of Education for students and area teachers. Mary Lou has served in a variety of offices including President of the statewide Ohio Council of the International Reading Association and the Mahoning Valley Chapter of the International Reading Association. She is the current Chairperson for the Ohio Deans Compact on Exceptional Children.

Her community service includes serving on the Board of Directors at both Ursuline High School and Saint Joseph the Provider School. She is President of the First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association ~ Branches 29 and 30, a committee member for the Dr. Susan K. Leone Golf Scramble for Scleroderma Foundation as well as serving on the selection team for the Diocese of Youngstown Golden Apple Awards.

In addition to being honored as Ursuline Distinguished Alumni, Mary Lou was also the first recipient of the St. Christine School Distinguished Graduate Award and was honored as Distinguished Professor for Public Service by Youngstown State University.

Mary Lou has been married to her husband Gary since 1971. They have two children: David DiPillo (Ursuline Class of 1997), a team lead software developer report writer, and Deanna DiPillo Lee (Ursuline Class of 2000), a Nurse Anesthetist. They are members of Saint Christine Parish. Plus, for the past three years, Mary Lou has been the primary caregiver to her aunt who will be 101 years old in December.


Michael Fagert says is he proud to be born and raised in Mahoning County. He is a graduate of Saint Christine School and a 1975 Ursuline Alumnus. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University in 1979. Mike is a registered professional engineer and the President of York Mahoning Mechanical Contractors, Inc, a company he founded with his brother Ron in 1989. Prior to that, he was Vice President of York Mahoning Company, owned by his father Ralph since the 1950s. York Mahoning has grown from a small local service company to a design/installation/service company that now works in six states and employs 80-100 workers.

He is active in many local community organizations. He serves his Alma Mater as a member of the Endowment Board, and the Ursuline Board of Directors where he is the Chairman of the Facilities Committee. Mike is also a board member for the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He has previously served as President of the Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors, and the Sheet Metal and Roofing Contractors Associations. Mike is currently a board member of both groups and serves as a Management Trustee to several of the Sheet Metal and Pipefitter Union Fringe funds and Apprenticeship Committees.

Mike was the Project Manager of the Canfield High School Cardinal Nest Builders Project, Saint Christine Church Parish Council, Treasurer of the Ohio State Alumni Association of Mahoning County and Treasurer of the Carovellessi Men’s Society. He is also a long-time member the Youngstown State University Penguin Club and the Ohio State University’s President Club.

Mike and his wife Mary Jo have been married for 37 years and live in Canfield. Their two daughters are married with four grandchildren between the ages of two and four.

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