Ellen surprised teacher who fosters students with a special video
Sonya Romero got the surprise of her life when Ellen DeGeneres called her out from the audience and played a tribute video for her.
The kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary in Albuquerque, New Mexico received praise for going the extra mile for her students, even acting as a foster parent to two of them.
Romero has been taking money out of her own pocket to buy food, clothing and other essentials for students who are in need.
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At "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," the teacher also received $10,000 from Target, as well as $10,000 in a separate check for the school.
Romero thought she was just going to sit in the audience at a recent taping of the show. She was shocked when Ellen called her out, driving all the attention towards her.
The famous talk show host, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by former President Barack Obama in 2016, and her team had secretly filmed a video at her school as a tribute.
The clip revealed that Romero, who has a son of her own, took in two students as foster children after they were taken away from dysfunctional homes by the Child Protection Services.
She has been their foster mom for six months, although they were supposed to just stay with her for a few days.
Someone gave her a $100 donation after learning of her sacrifice, but she ended up giving it to someone she saw crying on a bench.
Her students have nothing but good words for her.
One kindergartener said in the clip:
"When we say we love her, she says she loves us back."
Romero and her son were in tears by the end of the touching segment.
Asked why she has such huge compassion for her students, she said:
"I feel like, as educators, we're sort of the first responders."
DeGeneres' Instagram post about Romero has been liked almost 160,000 times.