2969 S 3300 E
St. George UT 84790
T: 435-634-7030
F: 435-628-2397



Kiera Loakes : First Grade

Kiera Loakes | First Grade

My Email: kiera.loakes@washk12.org

Hello South Mesa! My name is Kiera Loakes. I graduated from Utah State University, and have been teaching for nine years. I’ve been a 1st grade teacher for eight years. I have my STEM endorsement and am currently working on my reading endorsement. I am married to the love of my life and we have two children. When I am not teaching, I enjoy being with my family doing something sport-related. I love sports and my favorite team is the New York Yankees! I am unbelievably excited to be part of the South Mesa family, go Knights!

Melanie Nielson : First Grade

Melanie Nielson | First Grade

My Email: melanie.nielson@washk12.org

I’m Melanie Nielson, and I’m thrilled to be back in an Elementary school! I began my teaching career 20 years ago after graduating from SUU. I taught First and Second Grades, and I also had the opportunity to be a learning coach and a reading interventionist. I have a Master’s Degree in Education from SUU as well as a Reading Endorsement. After teaching 13 years, I took a break to be home with my three little ones while they were babies and toddlers. I came back to teaching earlier this year; I’ve been teaching 6th Grade Language Arts, but I am more than ready to get back to First Grade. A few of my favorite things include: Broadway Musicals, cooking, riding bikes with my kids, and hanging out with extended family. Opening a new school is such an exciting time! I’m most excited about having my three kids come to school with me and to meet new friends and teachers together with them.

Taylor Cooney : First Grade

Taylor Cooney | First Grade

My Email: taylor.cooney@washk12.org

Hello Knights!

My name is Taylor Cooney. I graduated from DSU and have been teaching 1st Grade for 2 years now. I have my ESL endorsement and I am currently working on my Master's Degree. When I'm not at school you can usually find me playing pickleball, watching movies, making treats, or eating tacos! I am so excited to be a part of this new adventure! I'm excited to see some old faces, and some new ones too. I'm thrilled to be a part of creating a culture at South Mesa that is inclusive and FUN! I look forward to building relationships with students, parents, staff, and faculty. Let's do this!

Joicy Souza : First Grade

Joicy Souza | First Grade

My Email: joicy.souza@washk12.org


We are courageous, we are kind, we strive for excellence we are the South Mesa Knights!

South Mesa Knights


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