UPDATED (2:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16): Information from Superintendent Tom Hurlburt of Frankfort School District 157-C.
Social workers and grief counselors visited classrooms Friday morning, meeting and talking with students about the sudden death of a freshman classmate.
"It's just very tragic," said Stacy Holland, community relations director for .
"On behalf of the Board of Education, administration, faculty, staff, and students of Lincoln-Way, we want to extend our heartfelt sympathies to the family of Patrick Mizwicki," said Superintendent Lawrence Wyllie in a written statement posted on the district's website. "Patrick was a freshman at East, a member of the Cross Country Team, and the youngest of 8 children in his family. He was well liked and already had been involved in school activities."
A moment of silence for Mizwicki will be observed at the home football games for and , Holland said. East will hold a moment of silence next week during its homecoming game against Sandburg High School.
Members of the boys cross-country team texted each other early Friday morning and agreed to wear dress pants and shirts to honor Mizwiki and show team unity, said a mother of a cross-country team member.
There also is a Facebook memorial page for Mizwicki where friends and family can post remembrances and condolences.
East's varsity cross-country team will compete in a meet Saturday in Peoria.
Mizwicki, the youngest of eight children, attended and schools, and news of his death has had a deep effect on the teachers and staff members who knew him.
"You know the impact a student has when his fifth-grade teacher who he had ... years ago is very upset by this news," said Superintendent Tom Hurlburt. "(She) was very emotional and just very upset by this."
Hurlburt said Mizwicki was on the high honor roll, involved with the reading club and participated in baseball, cross-country and track and field at Hickory Creek. His middle school baseball coach described him as a well-rounded student who was fun to be around and always had a smile on his face, Hurlburt added.
Hickory Creek had psychologists available Friday to talk with students who knew Mizwicki and might need individual counseling, Hurlburt said, adding that the district was looking at a future way to memorialize and honor the former student.
"As a superintendent and as a dad myself, it's just devastating to have this tragedy occur," he said.
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