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Alumni: Anthony Kiefer

Rooted in Madison: Anthony Kiefer’s Journey from MMSD Student to Community Advocate

Anthony Kiefer grew up on the east side of Madison, attending Elvehjem Elementary and Sennett Middle before graduating from La Follette High School in 2006. Sill rooted in Madison, Anthony currently manages an R&D team at IFF, focusing on the physiology of probiotic bacteria—a role that merges his passion for science with a commitment to innovation. He is heavily involved in the community outreach efforts at IFF, spearheading the Adopt-a-School partnership with Sennett Middle School, where he relishes the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of young scholars, paying forward the support and guidance he received during his formative years in the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD).

Anthony (far right) and other IFF staff host Sennett Principal Dr. Copeland (second from right) for a site visit.

Looking back on his years in MMSD, Anthony finds his most cherished memories intertwined with the experiences that shaped his love for learning and community. One standout among these moments was the Upham Woods field trip, a cornerstone of his time at Sennett Middle School. This excursion not only provided a chance for fun but also allowed him to deeply connect with nature, fostering a profound appreciation for the environment. Now, as a working adult at IFF, Anthony considers it a privilege to contribute to this very trip through the company’s Adopt-a-School Partnership with Sennett. He expresses sincere gratitude to Dr. Copeland for reviving the trip after the pandemic, ensuring that future generations can partake in this enriching adventure.

Anthony notes that one of the most pivotal figures from his educational journey was Coach Gothard, whose recent appointment as MMSD’s superintendent marked a full-circle moment. During his time at La Follette High School, Coach Gothard not only imparted football skills but also instilled values of leadership and compassion. Anthony fondly recalls Coach Gothard’s requirement of a dress shirt and tie for game days, and how he held student-athletes to a higher standard.

Reflecting on his academic trajectory, Anthony credits MMSD’s exceptional teachers and leadership for guiding him toward a path of personal and professional fulfillment. Despite initially harboring doubts about higher education, it was the encouragement and mentorship of his A.P. Chemistry teacher at La Follette High that ignited his passion for science. This newfound zeal propelled him to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a Cell Physiology emphasis from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where he also pursued minors in Chemistry and Spanish. One of his proudest accomplishments was publishing his first peer-reviewed scientific article—an achievement he attributes to the foundational knowledge instilled by his educators.

Today, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family and finds joy in the continuity of their connection to the MMSD school district. With one child already enrolled at Kennedy and another set to join for 4K in the fall, Anthony eagerly anticipates the opportunities and adventures that lie ahead for his children.

Madison’s public schools are proud to count Anthony Kiefer among their alumni!

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