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Lubrizol Honors Lake County’s Outstanding STEM Teacher Team

Announces first team winner in history of award program


CLEVELAND, March 23, 2018 – The Lubrizol Corporation, in partnership with the Lake County Educational Service Center (ESC), announces the teacher team of Russ Messer, Jerry Hites, Paul Conn, Sheila Felix, Tim Hlousek, Sarah Murphey and Susan Tenon as the winner of the annual Lubrizol Lake County STEM Teacher Award.  The "Hooked on Education" team led by Russ Messer, a STEM teacher at Fairport Harding High School, was selected for their innovative, interdisciplinary project-based lessons that engage students with personalized learning and connections to the real-world.


As recipient of the award, the "Hooked on Education" team will receive $5,000 for STEM-related teaching expenses of the teams choice, and team leader Russ Messer will receive sponsorship to attend the Ohio Chemistry Technology Council (OCTC) Teachers, Industry and Environment (TIE) Conference. In addition, Fairport Harding High School will receive an award of $5,000 for STEM equipment.


Addressing the Fairport Harbor Schools Board of Education, administration and community members, Julie Edgar, corporate vice president of innovation and chief sustainability officer for Lubrizol, honored the team by highlighting their innovative unit entitled "The Sky's the Limit".  This unit is an interdisciplinary collaboration between an English and physics class to design, create and test water-fueled bottle rockets and launchers in the context of the themes of tenacity, dreams and the importance of education from Homer Hickam's memoir, Rocket Boy. During her remarks, Edgar stated, "I would like to recognize the team for promoting innovation in teaching and education, and in providing students the opportunities to learn in ways that match their interests, skills and talents.  I applaud them all for their commitment and passion, and for making such a positive impact in their students' lives."


Domenic Paolo, superintendent of Fairport Harbor Schools and past Lubrizol Lake County Science Teacher Award winner, recognized the impact of the award on the "Hooked on Education" team and their students, saying, "I am happy to see Lubrizol present this award to such a deserving group of teachers.  The rate of change in the world today is unprecedented. If our schools are going to keep pace by moving beyond the three "R's" and into the four "C's" of communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking, these teachers put us in a good position by being fast out of the gate. I admire their courage and dedication as they provide educational opportunities designed for their students' futures rather than their own past. This award gives them significant tangible resources to further their work, but even more importantly, it provides immeasurable encouragement from a world-class organization."


The "Hooked on Education" team is the first team award winner in the 23-year history of the Lubrizol teacher award program.  Eligibility for the award was expanded last school year to include teacher teams from all STEM disciplines. The inclusion of teams aligns with Lubrizol's longstanding focus on the importance of collaboration and its ability to combine market insights with chemistry and application capabilities to deliver valuable solutions to customers and their end-users in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets.


Brian Bontempo, superintendent of the Lake County ESC, supported the program's expanded scope, commenting, "The world of education is becoming a more collaborative environment. The team at Fairport is an excellent example of such a practice. I am thrilled that Lubrizol recognizes these innovative teaching approaches and supports the achievement of the Fairport team and the example this program provides to the education community."



About The Lubrizol Corporation

The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a market-driven global company that combines complex, specialty chemicals to optimize the quality, performance and value of customers' products while reducing their environmental impact. It is a leader at combining market insights with chemistry and application capabilities to deliver valuable solutions to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol improves lives by acting as an essential partner in our customers' success, delivering efficiency, reliability or wellness to their end users. Technologies include lubricant additives for engine oils, driveline and other transportation-related fluids, industrial lubricants, as well as additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for home care, personal care and skin care products and specialty materials encompassing polymer and coatings technologies, along with polymer-based pharmaceutical and medical device solutions.


With headquarters in Wickliffe, Ohio, Lubrizol owns and operates manufacturing facilities in 17 countries, as well as sales and technical offices around the world. Founded in 1928, Lubrizol has approximately 8,700 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2017 were $6.3 billion. For more information, visit


Media Contact

Julie S. Young