‘This is a tremendous loss’: East High School principal honors student who died of COVID-19 complications

Isai Morocho Photo

MADISON, Wis. — Madison East High School Principal Brendan Kearney shared a video message with students after a classmate died from COVID-related causes over Thanksgiving break.

“Mainly today I want to take a moment to honor Isai. I’ve heard many, many wonderful things about him from students and from staff members and from members of his family over the past few days,” Kearney said. “I’ve heard that he was funny. That he was kind. That he listened to others. That he was a great student. That he had an interest in theater and cooking, among other things. And that he was a great brother to his little sister.”

It will take weeks to officially declare, but Public Health Madison & Dane County spokesperson Sarah Mattes expects that 16-year-old Isai Morocho was the first teenager in Dane County and Wisconsin to die from COVID-19.

“This is a tremendous loss for everyone in our community,” Kearney said. “Our hearts go out to his family in this time of unimaginable grief, and we are going to do everything we can to support them as the East High community.”

A GoFundMe has since been started to pay for Morocho’s funeral costs.

“Lastly I want to share something that Isai’s family has asked me to say directly in this message. To remind us that he was young and he was healthy. They wanted to share the cause of his passing yesterday so that we would remember the danger that COVID poses to all of us. And that we would do everything we can to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. So please stay safe out there East High and let us know if you need anything.”