Why I became a court reporter

jcr-publications_high-resA blog by Planet Depos and posted by JD Supra Business Advisor on Feb. 20 features reasons why several of the firm’s members became court reporters. The blog was in honor of 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

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2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week: It’s been a very busy week

Members of state court reporting associations across the country have spent the week celebrating their profession by participating in career fairs, visiting court reporting schools, hosting Veterans History Project events, and being quoted by local media, in honor of the 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

State associations and schools around the country promote the profession

For members of the Kansas Court Reporters Association (KCRA), however the week proved to be exceptionally busy. KCRA members kicked off the week by meeting with the state’s governor and securing an official proclamation recognizing 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. In addition, representatives from the association were also invited to visit with members of the state’s Supreme Court where they also secured another official proclamation and pictures with the justices.

Left to right: Cayley Rodrigue, Kelley Morrison, Judge Michael Joyce, Brenda Highberger, Cindy Isaacsen, Judge Thomas Sutherland

Left to right: Cayley Rodrigue, Kelley Morrison, Judge Michael Joyce, Brenda Highberger, Cindy Isaacsen, Judge Thomas Sutherland

KCRA members marched onward throughout the week with other stops. They visited with members of the State Judiciary Committee where reporters provided a realtime presentation that left the attendees mesmerized. They also visited with members of the Johnson Board of County Commissioners complete with breakfast and another realtime demonstration that led to yet another official proclamation recognizing the week.

KCRA members wrapped up their celebration with a special write-a-thon at Neosho County Community College to help raise funds to aid students in its court reporting program.

“It’s been a very busy week,” said Cindy Isaacsen RPR, an official court reporter from Olathe and president of KCRA.

Kelley Morrison provides a demonstration

Kelley Morrison provides a demonstration

“I think I’ve said Court Reporting & Captioning Week about 1.75 million times. This week was just another way to spread the word about court reporting and captioning. It’s not just the young people we have to educate about what we do,” Isaacsen added. “My judge always says that I think court reporting is the best job out there … he’s right.”

2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week also earned national recognition from U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) in a floor speech before the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 14, and by state governors in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin as well as by officials in Bexar County, Texas.

Presentation at Bryan University

Presentation at Bryan University

Other activities included visits with students at GateWay Community College in Phoenix and Bryan University in Tempe, both in Arizona. A number of members who visited with students were in the area attending the 2017 NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference being held in Tucson. Students at both sites were able to ask the professionals questions and for advice. The panel discussion at Bryan University was open to both on-site and online students.

Members of the Missouri Court Reporters Association visited with state legislators in Jefferson City when they held their annual cookie drop. “We are always warmly received and welcomed, and this time was no different,” said Linda M. Dattilo, RPR, an official court reporter from Florissant, Mo., and the association’s executive director.

Students at GateWay Community College

Students at GateWay Community College

“They know when we’re coming, and we’ve had senators call our lobbyists and ask where the cookies are because they are waiting for them. At the end of the day, we’re always exhausted by all the running around, but satisfied, and hopefully they are too,” she added.

Members of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association also promoted the court reporting and captioning professions at an open house held by North Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.

Finding the spotlight: Court Reporting & Captioning Week in the news

As with all previous Court Reporting & Captioning Week celebrations, the efforts of NCRA members at the state and local levels were also successful in getting the word about the profession and its benefits as a career to media outlets in their areas. Among those:

NCRF Hard-of-Hearing Heroes oral histories project spotlighted

The Andrews Gazette (Easton, Md.) posted an article about the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Veterans History Project event that NCRF and the Hearing Loss Association of America will host on Feb. 18 in Bethesda, Md., as part of NCRA’s 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

DMACC hosting activities for National Court Reporting & Captioning Week

The Newton Daily News posted an article on Feb. 9 announcing that the Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines, Iowa, is hosting several events to mark 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Among the activities will be two information sessions where prospective students can learn about the court reporting and captioning professions.

Illinois governor recognizes 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week

In an article posted Feb. 13, the RegisterNews.com, Mt. Vernon, Ill., announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner has designated Feb. 11-18 as National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The article also noted that several court reporters from the 2nd Judicial Circuit will promote the profession at an upcoming local career fair.

Planet Depos announces success of court reporter mentoring program

In a press release issued Feb. 13, Planet Depos reported that its Planet Institute, a student-to-career mentoring program, has had a successful first year.

Oklahoma court reporting firm launches education and advocacy effort

In a press release issued Feb. 10, NCRA member Ginger Baze, owner of Steno Services in Hugo, Okla., announced that her firm is launching an outreach and education campaign for National Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Court reporting schools to exhibit at career day event in Texas

The Gilmer [Texas] Mirror posted an article on Feb. 13 about the Texas Supreme Court holding a formal court session to hear oral arguments in two cases at LeTourneau University in Longview, in conjunction with “Law as a Career Day” being held on campus. Numerous law schools, paralegal schools, and court reporting schools will have recruiting booths on-site.

Celebrating the silent keepers of the record

Star Levandowski, director of marketing at Stenograph, posted a blog on Feb. 3 highlighting the top three reasons to admire the stenography profession in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

But wait … there’s more

Read more about how national and state associations, schools, and vendors have celebrated Court Reporting & Captioning Week. You can also follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

Court reporting program hosts fundraiser

jcr-publications_high-resWASW-TV7 reported on Feb. 16 that the Neosho County College’s court reporting program in Ottawa, Kan., will hosted a write-a-thon fundraiser for students in conjunction with a bake sale in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The effort is to help raise funds to assist students of the program with tuition.

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Court reporters talk of shortage, try to recruit more

jcr-publications_high-resChannel WSAW reported on Feb. 15 that the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association is holding a series of open houses across the state in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The goal is to convince more people to go into the profession.

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Court reporting career showcased

jcr-publications_high-resGood Day Wisconsin on Fox11 News aired a story on Feb. 16 about the 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, featuring Sheri Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC, an official court reporter from Green Bay and president of the Wisconsin Association of Court Reporters.

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Celebrating the silent keepers of the record

jcr-publications_high-resStar Levandowski, director of marketing at Stenograph, posted a blog on Feb. 3 highlighting the top three reasons to admire the stenography profession, in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind recognizes Court Reporting & Captioning Week, official proclamations pour in

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.) officially recognized 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week in a floor speech before the U.S. House of Representatives on Feb. 14, paying honor to the critical work court reporters and captioners do both in and outside of the courtroom.

In his speech, Kind said he appreciated his work with court reporters while he served as a special prosecutor in Wisconsin, and he praised the contribution that NCRA members have made to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project. He also recognized the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes project recently launched by the National Court Reporters Foundation (NCRF). Kind also noted that his wife, Tawni, has served as an official court reporter for nearly 25 years.

Proclamation for Court Reporting & Captioning Week in IowaOther official proclamations recognizing the weeklong celebration have been secured in the states of Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington as well as in Bexar County, Texas.

On Feb. 11, NCRA President Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Mechanicsburg, Pa., kicked off Court Reporting & Captioning Week as a guest on Stenographers World Radio. Wood was interviewed by host Al Betz and discussed the future of the profession and the importance of the weeklong event sponsored by NCRA to raise awareness about the court reporting and captioning professions.

On the national stage:

In conjunction with Court Reporting & Captioning Week, NCRA is unveiling DiscoverSteno, a multi-pronged initiative that provides anyone interested in learning more about a career in court reporting or captioning the opportunity to explore, consider, learn, and see real professionals sharing why they love what they do.

During the NCRA Firm Owners Executive Conference held Feb. 12-14 in Tucson, Ariz., attendees marked Court Reporting & Captioning Week by sharing photos of themselves and friends on social media framed by a specially designed photo frame.

NCRA’s National Committee of State Associations is holding its annual challenge that calls on all state associations to join forces with their members to participate in career fairs, provide realtime demonstrations at high schools and guidance counselor meetings, or host Veterans History Project events to celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Prizes will be awarded.

NCRA’s Student Committee has challenged court reporting students to transcribe as many tests as possible during the week to qualify for a prize. Under the contest’s rules, participants do not have to pass the tests, simply transcribe them. Winners will be announced in the Feb. 22 issue of the JCR Weekly.

2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week will wrap up with a Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Veterans History Project being cohosted by NCRF and the Hearing Loss Association of America. The event marks the premier of the Hard-of-Hearing Heroes Project, the latest addition to NCRF’s Oral Histories Program. Funded by a grant by the American Society of Association Executives, the initiative seeks to preserve the stories of America’s war veterans with hearing loss using CART captioning. The stories will become part of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project.

See what’s happening across the country:

The Arizona Court Reporters Association will honor the court reporting and captioning professions at a fun mixer it is hosting on Feb. 17 to mark Court Reporting & Captioning Week. Members of the profession are encouraged to attend and share stories on the importance of reporting and captioning, and to bring people up to date on market developments.

Members of the Bexar County Court Reporters Association, in Texas, have already participated in 18 school demonstrations and have an additional eight more planned for later in the spring.

The California Court Reporters Association is marking Court Reporting & Captioning Week with profiles spotlighting members. A profile is emailed to members each day. The Association is also urging members to mentor court reporting students.

The Florida Court Reporters Association is going to the state capitol in Tallahassee to mark Court Reporting & Captioning Week where members will have a booth, meet with lawmakers, and host a reception.

girls in topeka_resized

Left to right: Kelly Rexroat, Sharon Cahill, Cindy Isaacsen, and Cayley Rodrigue in Kansas

Members of the Kansas Court Reporters Association received an official proclamation for the week from the state’s Supreme Court. Members are also hosting a breakfast for a local board of county commissioners, which is recognizing the weeklong celebration. In addition, members spent a morning at the state’s capital in Topeka, providing a realtime presentation to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The Pennsylvania Court Reporters Association is hosting a series of Veterans History Project events at local restaurants. The association also created a recruiting video for its members and schools to help showcase the profession.

Members of the South Dakota Court Reporters Association are reaching out to local media outlets to generate articles about the profession.

Members of the Texas Court Reporters Association will meet with their legislative team and key legislators during a capitol day being held Feb. 15 in Austin. TCRA is also sponsoring “Off the Record and On the Run,” a virtual run being held Feb. 1-28, in celebration of Court Reporting & Captioning Week, open to anyone.

The Washington Court Reporters Association created a very clever recruiting video geared toward potential students. Members from around the state are also participating in career fairs and using resources from NCRA’s Take Note campaign to showcase the profession as part of celebrating the week.

The Wisconsin Court Reporters Association is holding “3 for Free.” Members who do three promotional events to showcase the court reporting and captioning professions are eligible to win a year’s membership in the organization.

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Left to right: Cheryl Hook, Pat Beck, Governor Dennis Daugaard, and Leslie Hicks in South Dakota

How schools are marking the week:

The Atlantic Technical College in Coconut Creek, Fla., is hosting a Court Reporting Open House on Feb. 16 to showcase career opportunities.

The College of Court Reporting, Valparaiso, Ind., is hosting a Pop-Up Job Shop and has invited various agencies, captioning companies, and firms to educate students and the general public about the court reporting and captioning professions. The college is also hosting a Veterans History Project event, a financial aid workshop, and a special presentation by Kathy DiLorenzo, RDR, CRR, CRC, a past NCRA President. The week will wrap up with an awards soiree.

The Des Moines Area Community College, Des Moines, Iowa, is hosting two information sessions where prospective students can learn about the court reporting and captioning professions.

Vendors celebrate too:

Star Levandowski, director of marketing at Stenograph, posted a blog highlighting the top three reasons to admire the stenography profession, in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Alpha Court Reporting in Nashville, Tenn., posted a GIF on its Facebook page in honor of Court Reporting & Captioning Week showcasing how fast court reporters can write and celebrating all stenoheros.

The ways to celebrate 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week are unlimited.

Resources are available through the Resource Center on NCRA.org and on its Take Note website, and include press release templates, PowerPoint presentations, talking points, printable posters, other marketing materials, and more.

Be sure to share with NCRA how you are celebrating the week by emailing details to at pr@ncra.org and by posting on social media using #CRCW17.

NCRA launches DiscoverSteno initiative

DiscoverSteno_logo_webIn conjunction with 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, NCRA has announced the launch of DiscoverSteno, a multi-pronged Web-based initiative that offers anyone interested the opportunity to explore, consider, and learn more about a career in court reporting or captioning.

“Court reporting and captioning are professions that so often fall under the radar when someone is looking for an exciting and flexible career option,” said NCRA President Tiva Wood, RDR, CMRS, a freelance court reporter from Mechanicsburg, Pa.

“DiscoverSteno is aimed at pushing awareness about these career fields above the radar, especially for high school students, career changers, veterans seeking to re-enter the workforce, and even college students who find their major course of studies is not what they expected it to be. Those who choose a career in court reporting or captioning very often enter the workforce quicker than those who take the traditional college path and oftentimes at less cost,” she added.

NCRA’s DiscoverSteno initiative comprises several components designed to provide visitors to the site a comprehensive overview of court reporting and captioning as a viable and rewarding career. Among the sections is ExploreSteno, which offers a series of short modules including testimonials from current students and working professionals, the history of stenography, how it works, and what it feels like to write it.

By clicking on ConsiderSteno, visitors to the DiscoverSteno site can take an interest survey to find out if they possess traits similar to those of a successful court reporter or captioner.

For visitors interested in learning the basics of writing in steno, LearnSteno lets them contact NCRA to find out how they can participate in a free, six-to-eight week A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program either in their area or online.

Developed by Nancy Varallo, RDR, CRR, Worcester, Mass., a past NCRA President and longtime court reporter and firm owner, the introductory program offers the perfect opportunity for participants to learn the alphabet in steno, write on a real machine, and decide if pursuing an education in court reporting or captioning is the right choice. Working professionals will lead the A to Z program in their offices.

“The A to Z Intro to Machine Shorthand program not only provides participants the opportunity to immerse themselves in learning the basics of steno writing at no cost, but it also provides NCRA members an easy and fun way to share what they do and why they love what they do with potential future professionals,” said Varallo. “The program is structured to allow A to Z leaders to really highlight the benefits of the profession and perhaps become a mentor to a future colleague.”

Visitors to the DiscoverSteno site can also get a firsthand look at the venues in which court reporters and captioners work by clicking on WatchSteno. The video features real professionals sharing why they love the profession. In addition, they can contact NCRA to learn more about its certified schools and their programs.

“NCRA is excited to launch the DiscoverSteno initiative and is committed to the future growth of the court reporting and captioning professions,” said Mike Nelson, CAE, CEO and Executive Director of NCRA. “DiscoverSteno is designed to help educate those interested in one of these career paths to learn more about the field, job opportunities, test their aptitude, and have the resources such as finding the right court reporting and captioning program at their fingertips.”

Illinois governor recognizes 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week

jcr-publications_high-resIn an article posted Feb. 13, the RegisterNews.com, Mt. Vernon, Ill., announced that Gov. Bruce Rauner has designated Feb. 11-18 as National Court Reporting & Captioning Week. The article also noted that several court reporters from the 2nd Judicial Circuit will promote the profession at an upcoming local career fair.

Read more.

Oklahoma court reporting firm launches education and advocacy effort

jcr-publications_high-resIn a press release issued Feb. 10, NCRA member Ginger Baze, owner of Steno Services in Hugo, Okla., announced that her firm is launching an outreach and education campaign for National Court Reporting & Captioning Week.

Read more.