SAN ANTONIO — What makes a great teacher? Maybe a pinch of patience and a dash of dedication, mixed in with a heaping handful of heart.

While there may not be a recipe for the perfect educator, it’s clear to see why this teacher was selected as the KENS 5 Credit Human EXCEL winner.

Miriam George teaches Culinary Arts at East Central High School. She grew up cooking with her mother but never thought it could be a career.

Losing her mom during her Junior year in high school led her to pursue a career in recreational therapy. She spent a few years working with seniors in assisted living centers then began to think there was another recipe life wanted her to follow.

“I thought maybe I could use this as a tool to connect with a younger generation, and that’s when I discovered culinary teaching for high school,” George said.

Soon, she began to blend together her love of creating and connecting. “It’s an art form, you know?” George said. “When you draw or when you paint or cook, you just get lost in making something.”

While you’re most likely to find George in the food lab, her student Madalyn Canales says a chef's hat is not the only hat her teacher wears.

“I know that she’s always here if I need help. She’s not just a chef; she’s here for anything that you need.”

George’s leadership inspired them to pursue a future in the culinary arts. With a dash of this and a pinch of that, George says she wants them to know it’s about so much more than making a meal.

“It’s about connecting, about building work skills, building your character and being able to seize opportunities,” George said.

A recipe for life that she’s proud to serve.

“I think students find honesty and connection with a teacher who tries for them, even if they may not get it right,” George said. “That assures them if they fail in the classroom, if they make a mistake, they can just get right back up and it’s a team effort. We’ll be there for each other.”