A Goodbye to Sequoit Teachers

Citron, Kamin, Potter-Nelson and Sutherland will also depart Antioch for new districts, new opportunities and new adventures.


It is a bittersweet goodbye for four more teachers that are leaving the Sequoit family this year. Howard Citron, Nicole Sutherland, Elizabeth Potter-Nelson and Larry Kamin have truly impacted and affected the student community, as well as the supporting staff, throughout their years of teaching. Citron taught physics and AP Physics for the short time he has been at ACHS, but nonetheless, he has made an incredible footprint on the minds of the students he has taught. For eleven years, Sutherland taught English to juniors and developed the reading improvement program. She was instrumental in making reading and writing an enriching experience. Potter-Nelson is the current science department chair, and has successfully taught chemistry to students over her past five years at ACHS. And Kamin will close out his storied career at ACHS by retiring from the math department.

Citron obtained a Bachelors degree in physics from West Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah. His love for physics has transferred into teaching at ACHS, where he has been teaching since 2014. Although physics may not be the easiest topic to cover, Citron has prepared his students over the past couple years for Advanced Placement testing and for a general understanding of the scientific world.

“I just love talking about and exposing kids to science in a fun, relaxing environment,” Citron said. “I think it’s important to remember that you’re teaching physics to 14/15 year olds, and that isn’t always going to be simple for people of any age, let alone 14/15 year olds.”

Citron has taken a teaching position at Deerfield High School, which is closer to his home and family. His aspiring goal would be to become a college professor in California in the future, as well as to continue teaching throughout his life.

“[Leaving] is really bittersweet,” Citron said. “I’m so incredibly appreciative of the opportunities I’ve had here. The students and my colleagues have been so amazing to me. I’ve felt so welcomed and comfortable since day one.”

For his students, Citron left a word of advice, “My favorite movie quote is from Ferris Bueller, and considering how much I love movies, it feels fitting to leave you with it…’Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.’”

Sutherland received multiple degrees to enhance herself personally and professionally: a bachelors in English from Illinois State University and a masters in reading from Concordia University. She began her career in 2005 teaching at ACHS. BEing a teacher was something she has always aspired to be since she was little.

“I enjoy the connections with the students, helping students find books that they enjoy and hooking a teen on reading,” Sutherland said.

In the future, Sutherland hopes to make a difference in the area of foster care and DCFS.

“Someone needs to step up and figure out how we can help more kids aged 10-18 out of group homes and into loving environments where they can thrive and move on to successful paths in life,” Sutherland said. “Right now there are not enough people or resources in DCFS or our state to be able to support this large number of kids.  I have been blessed with an amazing foster daughter, but I feel like there is still more that I can do to help.”

In leaving ACHS, Sutherland left quality advice to students, “Put your phones down so you don’t miss what is happening in the world around you. I am worried about what phones are doing to today’s teens; addiction to technology is happening rapidly and I can see it impacting more and more each year.”

Potter-Nelson attended Iowa State University and Aurora University, receiving degrees in physics and secondary science education. She has been a teacher for ten years, arriving at ACHS five years ago. Before teaching at Antioch, she spent about four years teaching science at Lakes Community High School. Potter-Nelson was inspired during high school to become a teacher.

“In college I made the decision to become a high school teacher after serving as a teaching assistant for an entry level astronomy course,” she said.

Not only does she love teaching both chemistry and physics, but throughly enjoys spending her days with teachers and students. Her next step is to obtain her PhD in science education at the University of Connecticut in the fall. In leaving, Potter-Nelson has mixed emotions.

“I spend my days with awesome students and teachers; which will be difficult to leave,” she said. “However, I am excited for my next adventure.”

Potter-Nelson’s final piece of advice to students is, “Chase after your dreams because your dreams won’t chase after you.”

Larry Kamin, math teacher, is set to retire from teaching in Illinois at the end of this school year. He will be packing up his room for the last time in over 30 years, only to be going over the border to finish his career teaching middle school math in Wisconsin.