When Ellen surprises a heroic teacher in the audience, the happy tears flow in a big way.
Ellen DeGeneres usually has celebrities as guest stars on her show, so it was a refreshing change to see an unsung hero like Sonya Romero take the stage.
As a kindergarten teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary in Albuquerque, N.M., Romero begins each day by asking her students if they’ve had enough to eat, if they need to comb their hair or if they need clean clothes.
She is beloved by her students and coworkers, many of whom tell her so in a video Ellen’s team created to surprise Romero. She even took two of her students in as foster kids when they were removed from their home, and they’ve been with her for six months.
Most of what Romero makes goes straight back to her students, son and foster children, with little of it actually going to her. Ellen and Target decided to rectify this by surprising Romero and the school with a couple of big checks. Both Romero and her son broke down in tears as the segment went on, and it was genuinely uplifting to watch.