Michele Lepore-Hagan entered electoral politics in 2014 after a successful career as an educator, administrator and community activist. Now serving her third term in the Ohio House, she is recognized as an aggressive and effective advocate for the residents of Youngstown, Austintown, Struthers, Campbell, Lowellville, and Coitsville.
A lifelong resident of the Mahoning Valley, Michele is the granddaughter of Italian and Irish immigrants and the daughter of respected educators. Her mother, Jean, was a passionate and dedicated public school teacher who believed her profession was a vocation, not merely a job. Her father, Jim, was both a professor at Youngstown State University and a renowned artist whose abstract paintings have been displayed in numerous museums and galleries across the United States, including the Butler Museum of American Art.
Michele is a Magnum Cum Laude graduate of Ohio University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance. She also took post-graduate classes in Graphic Arts and Education at Youngstown State University. After pursuing a career in modern dance in New York City, she returned to Youngstown and was hired by YSU where she was eventually named director of the University’s performing arts series.
In that position she supervised employees, administered the department’s budget, and secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for YSU’s music and theatre programs. In addition to her work at the University she served on the boards of directors of the Youngstown Area Urban League, the Youngstown Area Arts Council, the Potential Development Center, and Ballet Western Reserve. She left YSU after 27 years to run for the Ohio House.
Rep. Lepore-Hagan’s legislative priorities reflect her upbringing and life experience. She has become a leading voice for women’s, civil, human, and worker’s rights, fought tirelessly to improve public education, demanded increased state funding for local governments and First Responders, preserved critical programs that benefit our seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities, and brought home millions of dollars for YSU and other projects that have improved the quality of life in our community.
Michele has been married to former state senator and state representative Robert Hagan for 33 years. They have five children and seven grandchildren.