Meet the Team

Tracey Halverson, Dental Hygienist   


Tracey has worked for Knutson Family Dentistry since 1997 and has been a patient of the clinic since she was 7. She graduated from the University of South Dakota dental hygiene program in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in dental hygiene, as well as a minor in biology.

What she likes most about her job is getting to know the patients at their appointments and helping them meet their dental needs. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Todd and three daughters, camping and attending many softball games and dance performances.

Jaida Gortmaker, Dental Hygienist


Jaida was born in Luverne, MN but moved to Vermillion, SD shortly after her 4th birthday and has grown up here ever since. In 2017, Jaida graduated from VHS and attended USD where she then graduated in May of 2021 from the Dental Hygiene program.

Jaida and her husband, Drew, own a home in Vermillion where they raise their daughter, Oakley, and four legged fur baby, Graycie. In her free time she loves going for runs, enjoying country concerts with her husband, and spending the weekend at the lake with family. She is very excited to see all the smiling faces from the community that she has called home for so long.


Carrie Hughes, Dental Hygienist  


Carrie grew up in Newcastle, NE and graduated in 1999 from Newcastle Public School. She attended the University of South Dakota and graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program in 2006.

Carrie joined the practice in October of 2021. She loves getting to know the patients and strives to make them feel comfortable and relaxed while providing great patient care.  Carrie, her husband Corey, and her daughter Taylor, currently live in Ponca, NE with their energetic beagle puppies, Mollie and Mabel. In her free time, Carrie enjoys boating, fishing, reading and spending time with her family and puppies.


Tylar Kopp, Dental Hygienist

Tylar grew up in Ponca, NE and graduated in 2012 from Ponca Public School. She attended the University of South Dakota and graduated from the Dental Hygiene Program in 2018. She then worked in Yankton for four years. 

Tylar joined the practice August of 2022. Tylar is eager to get to know the patients here. Tylar recently got married to her husband, Ben, and they plan to build their dream home in Nebraska. In her free time, she enjoys riding horses, spending time with her 3 German shepherds ( Diesel, Dooley, Denny), and traveling to new places. 


Ashley Hofer, Dental Assistant/Office Manager


Ashley spent the younger half of her childhood in Austin, Texas and then moved to Yankton, South Dakota when she was 11. She graduated from Gayville-Volin School in 2012. In 2015, Ashley and her husband, Andrew, got married and bought their first home together. In March of 2020 they welcomed their first daughter into the world.

She joined the practice in April 2018 and loves the chance to get to know everyone. In her free time, she enjoys watching her favorite football team, traveling with her family, and finding their next big adventure.

Amanda Grant, Dental Assistant


Amanda is originally from Sioux City, IA and graduated from Western Iowa Tech Dental Assisting Program in 2014. After graduation she moved to Vermillion, SD with her kids.

She joined the practice in October 2014 and enjoys building relationships with our patients and assisting the doctors in a scope of procedures. She values the connections with her coworkers who are like a second family and that makes coming to work a pleasure for her. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her sons. She loves to watch her son participating in sports, being outdoors, repurposing, crafting, cooking and baking.


Darian Tramp, Dental Assistant  


Darian grew up in Yankton, SD. She moved to Vermillion and began college at USD in 2017. She then transferred to Western Iowa Tech in Sioux City, IA. She graduated with an Associates of Applied Science degree, Associate of Arts degree, and is a Certified Dental Assistant through the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).

She joined the practice in May 2020. In her spare time she enjoys golfing, going on the river, spending time with her friends and family, and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings and Twins. She is a proud dog mom of a 2 year old toy Australian Shepard named Buxton as well!

Hailey Larson, Dental Assistant 


Hailey is originally from Bryant, SD. She graduated from Hamlin High School in 2016. She recently graduated from Lake Area Technical Institute with her Associates of Applied Science degree in Dental Assisting. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences online through the University of South Dakota.

She joined the practice in August 2020 and has loved getting to know everyone so far. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going on road trips, and spoiling her nephew.

Mercedes Peterson, Financial Coordinator/Phlebotomist  


Mercedes is originally from Salem, SD. She graduated in 2018 from McCook Central High School. After high school, she made her roots in Vermillion SD, where she studied full time online from Southeast Technical College. She graduated from STC May of 2020 with her Business Administration and then again in December of 2021 with a Bookkeeping Degree.

Mercedes joined the practice in March 2022. In her free time she loves spending time with her two little brothers, family, and friends. Mercedes recently got engaged and is planning a 2024 wedding! Some of Mercedes's hobbies include ice fishing, open water fishing, golfing, hanging out with her black lab(Zeke), and watching sports with her significant other. 

Breana Gallup, Patient Coordinator/Receptionist  


Breana grew up in Wausa, NE and graduated in 2014. After, she went to Doane College and graduated in 2018 with a major in psychology and a minor in sociology. In April 2021 Breana and Adam move to Hartington and in February 2022 welcomed their son.

Breana joined the practice in May 2022 and is enjoying meeting new faces and getting to know the patients. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family and friends, going on walks with her German Shepard(Daisy), fishing, finding local farmers markets and small businesses to explore.


Contact Us

Dentist Vermillion, SD

1714 E Cherry St.,
Vermillion, SD 57069

Office Hours


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm


8:00 am-5:00 pm