Connally ISD community mourns loss of student to COVID-19: “He was universally loved”

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 5:52 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Tragedy once again struck Connally ISD, a Waco-area school district already reeling from the coronavirus-related death of three staff members, after a 10th grade student passed following a month-long battle with COVID-19.

George Moralez had attended school in Connally since kindergarten and was involved with the football team and junior ROTC.

“He was universally loved,” said Ray Matherne, the senior JROTC instructor at Connally ISD.

“The universal truth is George is one of those special students who, no matter how your day is going, always puts a smile on your face the moment he walks in the room,” Matherne said.

“He had no enemies. He loved each and everyone who he came across and I wish everyone could be like that,” Matherne said.

Moralez was also the son of a Connally ISD staff member.

“My heart goes out to Ms. Moralez,” said Connally ISD Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Jill Bottelberghe.

“As a parent, no one ever anticipates losing a child. A school district never anticipates losing a student. So it hits very close to home, especially, when you are a parent yourself.”

As the school copes with the most recent loss of Moralez, the community’s thoughts and prayers go out to all of the families impacted by COVID in their district.

Angela Thompson, an instructional aide at the Connally Primary Campus, died in September.

Natalia Chansler, 41, a sixth-grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High School; and David “Andy” McCormick, 49, a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Connally Junior High School, both died in August.

District leaders say they are continuing to put safety measures in place. The district has seen a significant drop in COVID cases and is encouraging everyone to do their part by masking up.

“We are under half a percent of active, positive cases throughout the district,” Bottelberghe said.

The district is hosting another vaccine clinic next week on October 11 at the high school from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Anyone is welcome.

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