JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The school year is ending on a sad note for one central Kentucky district.
Students and staff at East Jessamine High School are mourning the loss of a student who drowned on the Kentucky River.
Authorities say 17-year-old Jacob Mulcahy died Wednesday, and they're still trying to locate his body. The loss is hitting the district extra hard because Mulcahy's parents work for the schools.
The superintendent, Dr. Lu Young, tells us, "It's the hardest thing we have to deal with to lose a young person."
As a superintendent for many years, Dr. Young has lost students but says it never gets easier.
"I just feel really sad for his family and for his teaches," said Dr. Young. "I think we can't forget the teachers in this process that they love their students."
He was only 17 years old, a high school junior, and basketball player with his life ahead of him.
But on Wednesday, Mulcahy's life was cut short while swimming at the Kentucky River with his friends.
"Everything that I've heard about Jacob has been that he was a wonderfully sweet boy," said Dr. Young.
Students wore camo and grief counselors were at East Jessamine High School throughout the day, mourning his loss and waiting for closure.
As a way to honor Mulcahy the last two days of school before summer break, the superintendent has ordered that all flags fly at half staff.
"These kinds of losses impact ripple effects across the whole community and Jessamine County's a loving place to live and be, and I know everyone is feeling this sadness," Dr. Young tells us.
Teachers and school officials have already started orchestrating a memorial fund to support Mulcahy's family during this trying time.
"His principal told me about how well liked he was and how students were just sincerely, deeply, profoundly sad about losing him. His mom and dad work for us and they're really fine, exceptionally fine people and my heart is breaking for their whole family."
Mulcahy's parents work for the Jessamine County school district. His father is the head custodian while his mother is an instructional aid.
There will be a candlelight ceremony in Mulcahy's memory at 6 p.m. Sunday at Dock 39 on the Kentucky River in Jessamine County.