Students and teachers at New Bern High School are grappling with the fact that one of the students, Paige Winter, was bitten by a shark over the weekend.
Winter is a junior at the school involved in chorus and theater.
“Everything she is a part of she shines in,” her friend, McKayla Morrow, said. “She has such a magnetic and bright personality. She is an integral part of this friendship group and this community and this school.”
The news of Winter being attacked by a shark jolted the community.
“I had a friend call me at work, and I did not believe it,” Morrow said. “I thought it was a dream, and I was in complete shock and had to go in the bathroom and cry.”
Morrow said people are still trying to wrap their heads around what happened.
“It is shocking at first, and I know I am still coping and dealing with it and trying to process it,” Morrow said. “I know a lot of other people are too.”
“I cried,” Aaron Williams said. “I literally cried when I heard the news.”
Williams is Morrow and Winter’s theater teacher at NBHS.
He said it has been an emotional time for all.
“People who have come in have been breaking down,” Williams said. “People come into the classrooms and sit with us and let us out. Some went to counseling. Some went home. That’s the way it has been all day today.”
Despite what happened, Winter’s community is trying to be strong for her.
“This stuff doesn’t happen everyday,” Morrow said. “Nothing could prepared us for it, and we are really down about it, but we are trying to keep high spirits for her.”
Winter’s theater class has its final exam Tuesday night, which is a performance.
Winter would have been in the show.
Now, the performance will be a dedication and fundraiser for her beginning at 6:30 p.m.
All proceeds donated will go to Winter and her family.
Click here to contribute to her GoFundMe.