2018 Realtime Contest Results


Place   Percentage
1 Mark Kislingbury, RDR, CRR 99.245%
2 Doug Zweizig, RDR, CRR 98.933%
3 Julianne LaBadia, RDR, CRR, CRC 98.522%
4 Sherry Bryant, RMR, CRR 98.372%
5 Dee Boenau, RDR, CRR, CRC 98.045%
6 Ron Cook, RDR, CRR, CRC 97.872%
7 Lance Boardman, RPR, CRR 97.678%
8 Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC 97.395%
9 John Wissenbach, RDR, CRR, CRC 96.572%
10 Patrick Mahon, RMR, CRR 95.850%
11 Donna Karoscik, RDR, CRR, CRC 95.745%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Dee Boenau 8 99.200%
1 Mark Kislingbury 8 99.200%
1 Douglas Zweizig 8 99.200%
2 Ron Cook 15 98.500%
3 Chase Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 18 98.200%
3 Julianne LaBadia 18 98.200%
4 Sherry Bryant 21 97.900%
5 John Wissenbach 25 97.500%
6 Karla Ray, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI 28 97.200%
7 Sheri Smargon 29 97.100%
8 Lance Boardman 34 96.600%
9 Donna Karoscik 38 96.200%
10 Patrick Mahon, RMR, CRR 43 95.700%



Place   Errors Percentage
1 Mark Kislingbury 8 99.289%
2 Sherry Bryant 13 98.844%
2 Julianne LaBadia 13 98.844%
3 Lance Boardman 14 98.756%
4 Doug Zweizig 15 98.667%
5 Patricia Nilsen, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI 23 97.956%
6 Sheri Smargon 26 97.689%
7 Ron Cook 31 97.244%
8 Dee Boenau 35 96.889%
9 Laura Landerman, RMR, CRR 40 96.444%
9 Donna Urlaub, RMR, CRR 40 96.444%
10 Melanie Wilkins, RMR, CRR 42 96.267%
11 Kathy Cortopassi, RMR, CRR, CRC 44 96.089%
11 Rich Germosen, RMR, CRR 44 96.089%
12 Patrick Mahon 45 96.000%
13 Katy Zamora, RMR, CRR 47 95.822%
14 John Wissenbach 49 95.644%
15 Traci Mertens, RDR, CRR, CRC 50 95.556%
16 Donna Karoscik 53 95.289%
17 Elizabeth Frazier, RMR, CRR, CRC 54 95.200%
18 Kathryn Thomas, RDR, CRR, CRC 56 95.022%
19 Allison Hall, RMR, CRR 57 95.000%
19 Kathryn Sweeney, RMR, CRR 57 95.000%

* Contest results are preliminary.

NCRA 2018-2019 Officers Installed at Annual Convention & Expo in New Orleans

NCRA’s 2018-2019 officers and Board of Directors were installed during the premier session held Aug. 3 during the Association’s 2018 Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La.

The newly elected officers include:

  • President: Sue A. Terry, FAPR, RPR, CRR, CRC, Springfield, Ohio
  • President-elect: Roy (Max) M. Curry, Jr., RPR, CRI, Franklin, Tenn.
  • Vice President: Christine Phipps, RPR, North Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Secretary-Treasurer: Debra A. Dibble, RDR, CRR, CRC, Salt Lake City, Utah

In addition, four new members of NCRA’s Board of Directors were also installed to serve three-year terms during the event. They include:

  • Stephen H. Clark, CRC, Washington, D.C.
  • Cindy L. Isaacsen, RPR, Shawnee, Kan.
  • Karyn D. Menck, RDR, CRR, CRC, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Cathy Penniston, RPR, CRI, Ottumwa, Iowa

Keith Lemons

Yolanda Walton

Also installed to serve a one-year term were:

  • Keith Lemons, FAPR, RPR, CRR, a freelance court reporter from Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Yolanda Walton, RPR, an official court reporter from Norwalk, Ohio



Returning directors include:

  • Kristin M. Anderson, RPR, San Antonio, Tex.
  • Meredith A. Bonn, RPR, Webster, N.Y.
  • Tonya J. Kaiser Dunn, RPR, CMRS, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • NCRA Immediate Past President Christine J. Willette, RDR, CRR, CRC, Wausau, Wis.

Read more.

Heywood Waga Honored with NCRA 2018 Distinguished Service Award

Woody Waga receives 2018 Distinguished Service Award

NCRA bestowed its highest honor, the 2018 Distinguished Service Award (DSA), on Heywood (Woody) Waga, a retired court reporter from Montclair, N.J., on Aug. 3, during the Association’s annual Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 2-5, in New Orleans, La.

The NCRA DSA recognizes the distinguished work and service by an individual member for the benefit of the court reporting profession, including service to NCRA as a member, a committee member, a director, or an officer of the association. Other displays of distinguished work include contributing to the JCR, or service at the state or local court reporters association, or in the field of public relations or public affairs. Award winners are nominated by their peers and are recognized at NCRA’s Convention & Expo.

Read more.

STUDENT PERSPECTIVE: Six Students Shadow Captioners During HLAA Conference

By Deanna P. Baker

Student captioners at 2018 HLAA

Six students, all from Anoka Technical College, attended the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) conference I was captioning to learn more about the practice of captioning. It was wonderful to get to know this group of students. I had captioned this event for 25 years in a row, and I loved sharing my experience with the students that came out those days.

Since the HLAA conference was held in Minneapolis, Minn., two of the local captioners on the team, Angie Sundell, RMR, CRR, CRC, and Lisa Richardson, RPR, CRR, CRC, who are also on the advisory board of Anoka College, worked with Anoka Tech reporting instructor Jennifer Sati, RMR, CRR, CRC, CRI, to invite local students to shadow at the annual HLAA conference. We thought it was a great chance for the students to write some sessions – for their own personal benefit – and see CART captioners and their team at work. And several of them really jumped at the opportunity.

The captioning team for the 2018 HLAA Conference: back row: Megan Stumm, Angie Sundell, Lisa Richardson, Lori Morrow, and Whitney Riley; Front row: Kristi Artzen, Lisa Johnston, Deanna Baker, Lori Yeager Stavropoulos, and Sharon Vivian. (Not pictured: Jayne Carriker)

The captioning team for the 2018 HLAA Conference. Back row: Megan Stumm, Angie Sundell, Lisa Richardson, Lori Morrow, and Whitney Riley; Front row: Kristi Arntzen, Lisa Johnston, Deanna Baker, Lori Yeager Stavropoulos, and Sharon Vivian. (Not pictured: Jayne Carriker)

My thanks go to all of the people on the captioning team who not only rocked the HLAA conference this year but made this a great experience for the students. In addition to myself, Angie, and Lisa, our team consisted of:

  • Kristi Arntzen, RPR, CRR
  • Jayne Carriker, RPR, CRC
  • Lisa B. Johnston, RMR, CRR, CRC
  • Lori Morrow, RMR, CRR, CRC
  • Whitney Riley, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI
  • Lori Yeager Stavropoulos, RPR, CRR, CRC
  • Megan Stumm
  • Sharon K. Vivian, RPR, CRR, CRC
  • Scott Smith, who provided technical support for our CART captioning team

When I reached out to the students after the HLAA conference, I asked them several questions, from why they volunteered to what they expected and what they learned from the day. All of them said that it was a true learning experience, and for several it either reinforced for them why they were working so hard to graduate or it gave them new insight into the opportunities that lay ahead for them.

Here is a little of the experience through their eyes.

Expectations vs. reality

I asked the students what they expected and how the actual experience matched or differed from their expectations.

“I anticipated a lot of stress and not much interaction with the CART provider because of the nature of the job,” said Kaurie Jeske, one of the Anoka students. “That was not the case! Before the job I was introduced to the CART provider, who seemed very happy to let me sit in and learn. Other members of the team providing services elsewhere also came and went before the ceremony started, and I came to understand what a close-knit group of people this group really is. Everyone seemed genuinely excited that students were coming in to shadow them.”

“I was expecting everyone to be talking so fast that I wouldn’t be able to keep up at all, and I was a bit nervous about the whole experience,” said Ryan Judge. “We were told beforehand that nobody was going to be seeing our writing, which helped a lot with the anxiety. When I got there, everyone was so nice that all the leftover jitters faded away.”

“When I got to the convention and started writing, the professional calm that the captioners exuded immediately put me at ease,” said Samantha Robinson. “They assured me that with practice and dedication that I would be able to do this after graduation.”

“It was mostly in line with what I had heard about captioning, except both the ability of the reporter and speed of the dictation she had to write was very impressive,” said Megan Bidney. “I was expecting more drops or paraphrasing, but there was nearly none of that.”

A test of skills

Because the point of the students coming out was to learn more about themselves, I wanted to know what they were going to put into action moving forward. All of them found that the experience reinforced what they already knew they could do, and many of them responded with plans to double their efforts on certain aspects of their training.

“It was a true test of my endurance level,” said Davis Wille, another one of the students. “Seeing firsthand the stresses involved with handling technology at a live event was definitely somewhat anxiety-inducing. I expected this issue might be a deterrent for me wanting to explore the CART field, but watching Lisa and Angie remain calm and level-headed reiterated that it’s simply part of the job. It’s manageable when you’ve had plenty of experience behind you. It’s a field I’d be much more curious to explore now.”

Judge agreed: “I think the biggest thing I am going to do is work on endurance. There were certainly some points where I was getting quite uncomfortable and wanted a break, but you can’t just stop when you’re on the job.”

“I will be focusing on accuracy! I have never been the cleanest writer, but I can read through my blunders,” said Jeske. “Now I am tailoring my practice more to focus on being accurate and getting a lot more out of my practice time.”

“The biggest difference I noticed was that the captioner I worked with would include flourishes such as ‘applause’ and ‘laughter’ to convey the reaction of the audience,” said recent graduate Tom Piltoff.

The big take-away

When I asked what they had learned by attending the convention, the students’ replies were varied.

“That the steno community is huge and welcoming,” said Piltoff. (I think this is my personal favorite, and I’m glad that these six students were able to experience the camaraderie that is part of this profession so early on in their careers.)

“I learned that I need to continue practicing more to be at that level, but also that it is actually possible to write at that level,” said Bidney.

“The most valuable lesson I took away was that it isn’t impossible to keep up with the speaker if I just calm down and focus on writing,” said Judge.

“I heard so many stories from the award presenters and the recipients about the need for these kinds of services,” said Jeske. “I want to be part of something that makes me feel like I’m making a positive impact in the world. This profession definitely does that.”

“The most valuable lesson I took away from the convention was just how thrilled everyone was to see us in attendance and in action,” said Wille. “The attendees were so clearly grateful that I was given an overall boost of confidence in what career path I’ve chosen to enter. It was very exciting.”

“The most valuable thing I took away from this experience is more confidence in myself. I thought it would take me years to get to the point of being able to provide near-flawless captions, but I feel now that I can and will be able to do this sooner than I thought,” said Robinson. “After sitting in with these amazing reporters, I feel like this is exactly what I want to do.”


Deanna P. Baker, RMR, of Flagstaff, Ariz.

Deanna P. Baker, FAPR, RMR, is a realtime captioner and captioning consultant based in Flagstaff, Ariz. She can be reached at dpbaker@mindspring.com.

Download the perfect companion to enhance your Convention & Expo experience

Before heading to New Orleans for the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, be sure to download the official NCRA convention app to get the most out of the event.

Downloading the 2018 NCRA Convention app is easy. Visit the iTunes App Store or Google Play and search “National Court Reporters.”

Logging in to the app is easy.

  • If you registered for the Convention & Expo with an email, use your email as username  and for the password, use CV2018.
  • If you did not use an email address to register for the event, log in using your first initial and last name (e.g. Jane Smith’s login would be “jsmith”) with the password CV2018.
  • After you’ve logged in the first time, NCRA recommends that you change your password from the default password of CV2018 to one of your choice to ensure that access to your app remains secure.

If you don’t want to download the app, you can access the web version of it via the following URL: tripbuilder.net/html5/ncra17-18.

Session attendees will need the mobile app to scan their sessions for CEU credit. To do so, be sure to allow the app to access your camera so that you are able to scan QR codes and register for sessions.

Don’t wait. Download the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo app now! For more information about the app’s features, be sure to review the official Mobile App Guide.

App users who have additional questions should contact meetings@ncra.org.


Be a part of NCRA’s PAC basket raffle fundraiser

Support NCRA’s Political Action Committee (PAC) by planning to be a part of the Government Relations Department’s Gift Basket Extravaganza raffle. The raffle is being held at the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo taking place Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, in New Orleans.

Several state associations have donated gift baskets that contain items that show the uniqueness of their state and their association’s pride in it! Among the state associations that have donated a basket for the fundraising event are:

  • Arizona Court Reporters Association
  • California Court Reporters Association
  • California Official Court Reporters Association – donated by NCRA student member Shaunise Day
  • Colorado Court Reporters Association
  • Florida Court Reporters Association
  • Georgia Court Reporters Association
  • Kansas Association of Court Reporters
  • Michigan Association of Professional Court Reporters
  • Mississippi Court Reporters Association
  • National Court Reporters Association – includes items that reflect Washington, D.C.
  • New York State Court Reporters Association
  • West Virginia Court Reporters Association
  • Wisconsin Court Reporters Association

Here’s how the gift basket works

Convention attendees can donate money and receive a certain number of tickets, which they can place in the bowls for the baskets they would like to win. People can choose to put all of their tickets into one bowl or distribute it among several of the baskets. The winner of the basket will be chosen randomly. A minimum donation of $25 will yield you 10 tickets. All proceeds received will go to support NCRA’s PAC.

Each state association that donates a gift basket is entered into a drawing for a chance to win a free registration to the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp. Which state wins the NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration is based on which basket is the biggest draw at Convention. Convention attendees who contribute to NCRA PAC in exchange for raffle tickets will vote by putting their raffle tickets in a bowl for the basket they want to win. The basket that accumulates the highest number of tickets wins the 2019 NCRA Legislative Boot Camp registration.

NCRA’s PAC is an important way members can help shape how the captioning and court reporting professions are addressed at the federal level, so be sure to stop by the NCRA Government Relations Booth to support political advocacy for the court reporting and captioning professions. “With the 2018 midterm elections coming up, NCRA has an opportunity to cultivate new alliances in the federal government and to ensure that members of Congress who know the importance of court reporters and support the court reporting profession in the United States stay in office,” said NCRA Government Relations Manager Matthew Barusch.

If you have any questions about the 2018 NCRA PAC Gift Basket Extravaganza, contact Matthew Barusch at mbarusch@ncra.org.

You can still register on-site for the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo

Although online registration for NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo is closed, you can still register on-site for this premier event taking place Aug. 2-5 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, in colorful New Orleans, La.

On-site registration opens Thursday, Aug. 2, at 7 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m. Registration is open on Friday, Aug. 3, and Saturday, Aug. 4, from 6:45 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Don’t miss the excitement of this year’s Convention & Expo with highlights that include:

Keynote speaker Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honoré (U.S. Army, Ret.), a 37-year veteran of active service who served as the commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, during which time he became known as the “Category 5 General” for his striking leadership style in coordinating military relief efforts in post-hurricane New Orleans. In addition to sharing insights into his leadership skills with attendees at the premier session, Honoré will write his military story in a special Veterans History Project event. His story will be preserved at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., as part of its VHP program.

An all-inclusive schedule is sure to appeal to anyone in the court reporting, captioning, and legal video professions, and in the educational arena.

Dozens of vendors will showcase the latest in new products and services specifically for the court reporting and captioning professions, including software, equipment, support services, new products, and more.

Other schedule highlights include workshops, business sessions, and Learning Zones that will offer attendees added opportunities to mingle and network; the National Speed and Realtime Contests; and the Member Recognition Gala. Throughout the Convention, attendees can earn up to 2.3 CEUs.

And be sure to stop by the National Court Reporters Foundation booth to enter a raffle to win a one-of-a-kind Luminex steno machine.

For more information about NCRA’s 2018 Convention & Expo or to see the schedule, visit NCRA.org/Convention.


Follow the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo online

Whether you are on-site or holding down the home front during the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo, Aug. 2-5 in New Orleans, La., be sure to follow along with all that’s happening at special sessions, networking events, the Expo floor, and more by checking in with the JCR.com, Facebook, and Twitter.

Throughout the Convention, NCRA will be posting updates on the JCR.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter using #NCRA18. Follow along for important information for attendees as well as breaking news for members who are keeping up with the action from home. Everyone is encouraged to join the conversation and share their stories from New Orleans.

For those attending the Convention, the official app will also keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings. The app is available in the Apple app store and on Google Play.

An unforgettable Convention experience

What will you remember the most about this year’s Convention & Expo? Members of NCRA’s Student/Teacher Committee continue the conversation about their experiences at past Conventions. What were the most memorable moments? What or who made the most impact on them? Read their stories here, and next year you’ll be sharing your own stories…

Len Sperling

Whitney Berndt

A young woman and a young man stand next to each other smiling

Shaunise Day (left)

Gayl Hardeman

portrait of the author

Kay Moody

Callie Sajdera

Members of NCRA’s Student/Teacher Committee, Callie Sajdera, a student at Anoka Technical College in Anoka, Minn., Gayl Hardeman, RDR, CRR, CRC, CRI, an instructor at Hardeman School (Tampa, Fla.), Kay Moody, MCRI, CPE, an instructor at College of Court Reporting in Valparaiso, Ind., Len Sperling, CRI, an instructor at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Alberta, Canada, Whitney Berndt, a student at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wis., and Shaunise Day, a student at West Valley College in Oakland, Calif., offer their thoughts and advice for attending Convention.

JCR | What has been one of the best seminars or workshops you have ever attended at an NCRA Convention?

Callie | The best seminar I went to was with Margie Wakeman Wells at the Convention in Chicago, Ill. I was just out of Theory and learning the ropes of English and grammar. This was beneficial to me as a student who was just starting out, and she made it a lot of fun!

Gayl | Ed Varallo’s session on Notereading in 1973 in Seattle, Wash. I ended up training all of our typists and wrote a textbook on the subject two years later: Notereading: Twelve Weeks to a Career, as Gayl Hardeman Knaus (former married name).

Kay | They were all excellent. I always left a Convention “brain dead” with so much information and new ideas. I particularly enjoyed the initial seminars on technology when reporters were first learning about Computer Aided Transcription, CAT. There was always new knowledge or products for reporters, and there was so much to learn! I realized many years ago — we never stop learning — never!

Len | I remember attending a workshop on broadcast captioning. The session showed the importance of realtime in general, and the significant impact it would have on our industry’s future.

Whitney | I think my favorite seminar last year was the steno speed dating. It gave me such insight into all the amazing opportunities this career has to offer. I never knew some of those career paths existed.

Shaunise | I will never forget the seminar held in San Francisco, Calif., led by Clay Frazier and Kensie Benoit. I will always talk about this session and it should be a staple seminar that we continue to recycle as new students attend NCRA Conventions annually. Kensie and Clay presented on what you don’t normally learn in school. They put together a stellar presentation that focused on the importance of knowing your software, resume building, taxes, getting jobs, social media, and so much more. I hope we can continue to produce sessions that will focus on the steps a new reporter should take when it’s time to step foot in the real world of reporting.


JCR | Did you ever meet anyone at Convention who had a significant impact on your life or your career?

Callie | Yes. I met my mentor at the Chicago Convention two years ago. Her name is Anne Bowline from Casper, Wyo. She was on the Board at the time, and my director, Jennifer Sati, introduced her to me. She has been one of the greatest support systems that I have had throughout school, and she’s set an example for me as a professional and a future mentor.

Gayl | See above. I later married Ed Varallo, and he’s the one who got me interested in CART, which I’ve now done for 26 years.

Kay | Yes, not one, but many had a significant impact on my life and my school. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, many of the schools were owned by women and these brilliant women became my dearest friends. We shared materials, ideas, teaching techniques, visited their schools, etc., and have remained close friends throughout the years. Probably the only name students would recognize today would be my dear friend, Lillian Morson.

Len | There are too many to count. Most of these individuals are mostly educators who I have learned from and who have inspired me. I like to call them friends and feel I could call upon them at any time.

Whitney | At the Convention last summer, I met our current President-Elect, Sue Terry. Sue was so willing to express to me her love of this career and share some of the amazing experiences she has had. She was so sweet and inspired me to work hard to hopefully be given similar, incredible opportunities.

Shaunise | I have established countless relationships that will last a lifetime. I give thanks to NCRA for allowing me to develop these relationships. I remember during the lunch break at my first Convention, I didn’t have any plans for lunch. This was an awkward moment for me. I wasn’t the type at the time to even think about having lunch by myself in a restaurant. I decided I would grab something to eat and go sit in my car for the lunch break. I was so nervous once lunch time approached. Just as I was walking out of the hotel, I received a text from Charisse Kitt (If you are a student reading this, make sure your student badge is showing. Veteran reporters will embrace you once they see that you are a student), and she asked me if I wanted to have lunch with a group of reporters. The joy and happiness from that text made my entire weekend.


Don’t miss your chance to save on 2018 Convention registration fees. Register by July 23 to save!

Firm owners fill student swag bags

Firm owners are once again answering the call to ensure that students who attend the 2018 NCRA Convention & Expo in New Orleans, La. in August, get a little something extra.

Last year, firm owners generously donated special drawstring bags, flash drives, ear buds, USB cables, highlighters, candy, and more. In addition to the exciting experience of attending a national Convention, and the opportunity to network with the top professionals in their field, students walked away with a bag full of Las Vegas swag.

This past February, another request went out to firm owners for donations to fill special bags to give out to students during their orientation at this year’s Convention. The response was very positive and the bags are filling up.

The Student/Teacher Committee would like to thank the following donors who have already volunteered to contribute to this year’s student swag bags:

  • Alaris
  • Benchmark Reporting Agency
  • Doris. O. Wong & Associates, Inc.
  • Hanson Renaissance Reporting & Video
  • Jack W. Hunt & Associates
  • Kay Moody, MCRI, CPE
  • LNS Court Reporting & Legal Video
  • Memory Reporting, Inc.
  • O’Brien & Levine
  • OrangeLegal
  • Planet Depos
  • Rider & Associates, Inc.
  • Schmitt Reporting & Video, Inc.
  • Streski Reporting & Video Service
  • Summit City Reporting
  • U.S. Legal Support
  • West Coast Court Reporting & Video
  • Wood & Randall
  • YOM

More donations are always welcome. For questions, or to donate, contact Ellen Goff.

Don’t miss your chance to save on 2018 Convention registration fees. Register by July 23 to save!