Arvada preschool teacher brought to tears by emotional surprise

Unique 2 Colorado
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ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — A preschool teacher from Arvada received a special surprise on Wednesday in front of her entire classroom.

Tonya Ruelas was honored for her hard work at West Woods KinderCare with the Legacy Award, which is a "Teacher of the Year" Award.

“It’s so overwhelming, I can’t even wrap my brain around it right now!” Ruelas said.

The award came with a $5,000 check. Both prizes were given to Ruelas by KinderCare Education, which is the nation’s leading provider of early childhood education and care.

Ruelas was one of 27,000 teachers to be considered for the award.

"This is my home away from home and every single one of these kids are my own,” Ruelas said, choking back tears.

Ruelas' classroom exploded with applause the moment the award and check were handed to her.

As for what she plans to do with the money:

“I’m going to Disneyland!” Ruelas said with a big smile on her face.

Ruelas was nominated and selected for the award by her colleagues at West Woods KinderCare in Arvada.

To date, 84 teachers have received the award.

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