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Carolina Strong: Community shows up for former assistant principal after fall

MORGANTON, N.C. — Ralph Collette isn’t doing much running these days, but the memories of him running the grounds of a Morganton high school are still vivid for many.

Collette spent decades as an assistant principal at Freedom High School.

“I saw kids, have kids,” Collette said. “I went to school with a lot of the grandparents, aunts, and uncles.”

Now, the community is rallying behind him after a fall earlier this year left him paralyzed.

>> Friends are raising money for Collette’s medical care and expenses. To contribute to the GoFundMe, click here.

After hearing about his accident, he was flooded with notes from former students crediting him for putting their lives on the right track.

>> Channel 9′s Madison Carter spoke with Collette about how the students he helped along the way are now showing up for him, in the video at the top of the page.

The community is hosting a tribute event for Collette on Saturday. It will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. in the gym of the Grandview Baptist Church at 2942 NC Highway 126, Morganton, NC, 28655.


Every day, there are people across the Carolinas doing extraordinary things. They’re giving back, they’re helping each other, and they’re making a real difference. We’re highlighting the best in our community in our series, Carolina Strong.

Know somebody who’s making a positive impact? Let us know here.


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Madison Carter

Madison Carter, wsoctv.com

Madison is an investigative reporter and anchor for Channel 9.

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