Court Reporting School Receives Official Recognition
Miranda Cummings started the Voice Writing Institute in March, 2016. This past August, the Kansas Board of Regents recognized the Institute as a licensed post-secondary school. They commended Miranda for having “a detailed and impressive curriculum, one that sets a high standard of learning.” This is a monumental accomplishment because there are few schools like the Institute. Miranda commented, “This state, as do many other states, needs more court reporters in a desperate way.”
The program typically lasts between 9-12 months and covers a range of topics including technology, terminology and different phases of transcription followed by a 40 hour internship with a licensed reporter. The school has seen recent graduates (Paula Lunnon, Latoya Tyree, Julie Beach and Meghan Rogers) take vacancies with our Court. There are several other students nearing graduation. Upon receiving their Certificate of Completion, students can sit for the Kansas Certified Court Reporting Examination.
-- Compliments of the 3rd Judicial District's Quarterly Newsletter
Letter from the President:
I know they say that the older we get, the faster time goes by – and that’s proven to be the case for me. Time goes by and I am always astounded by the brevity of life. I hope you have taken the opportunity to spend time with your family, friends, loved ones, colleagues, and sometimes a stranger who needs a helping hand...
Dear KCRA Members:
The convention will be here before we know it and since last year was a tremendous success, we would again like to ask the membership to acquire sponsors for our convention.
For your assistance, click here for the Sponsorship Form. There is a line on the form for the KCRA member’s name. Please place your name on that line because for every sponsor you get, you will receive two free tickets to put into the pot for the big ticket item at the end of the convention.
Click here for the Sponsorship Request Letter that you can use to send along with the Sponsorship Form. Feel free to personalize the letter as you see fit.
Any and all contributions are appreciated and certainly help offset the cost of the convention. The forms will be returned to Lynelle Gottschalk, who has graciously offered to help with the sponsors for the convention this year.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
URGENT MESSAGE TO MEMBERSHIP
Dear KCRA Members:
Following a long, arduous board meeting, where part of the discussion was KCRA’s finances and the employment relationship we have with Steve Kearney of Kearney & Associates, our lobbyist, the conclusion is that KCRA is just not in a position to continue to retain him for the present $2,000 per month. In the last year, from convention to now (9 months), we have collected $3652 from donated legislative funds, and an additional $1914 from other sources, i.e., raffle, KCRA store, and other miscellaneous items, and we appreciate every dime that members have donated to that fund. But that is ¼ of what we need to collect to continue with his services.
If each KCRA member had contributed our recommended $150 per year (or $12.50 per month,) we would have $21,900 per year to pay the lobbyist. Consequently, the balance of our lobbyist fees is coming from our other funds. Unfortunately, we just don’t have the income to continue this.
Mr. Kearney has done a fabulous job for us. He keeps the President and the legislative committee and board members apprised of upcoming issues, when to fight, when to sit back and be quiet, has gotten us before the legislature and the Supreme Court to do presentations, and been an incredible cheerleader for all court reporters. There are many behind-the-scene situations that happen between him and the legislators and he watches our backs. Truly, a few years ago, there was a HUGE push by the legislature to get rid of all the official court reporters, which has happened in other states, unfortunately.
Consequently, because of his efforts (as well as many volunteer reporters to help,) we all have our jobs. And if the Officials lost their jobs and went into freelancing, it would totally saturate the freelance arena. Hence, it really is an all-inclusive predicament. I truly believe Steve helped save Kansas court reporters, freelance and official. It is with great regret that we will have to discontinue this relationship under the current scenario.
The only option is if the membership truly wants to keep Mr. Kearney on and are willing to, in essence, pay up. We figured out at one time that if each member paid $12.50 per month or $150 per year, it would cover all of his expenses, which is a pittance amount in comparison to each of us having a job. To put it in perspective, that is about a 40-page transcript. I know there are times when our lives get busy and we intend to take care of that, but it just gets lost in the business of life. One easy way to do this is to donate on the right ----->
Then you can donate a specific one-time amount or you can contact the treasurer at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a recurring monthly payment and it’s out of sight, out of mind, but it’s supporting your profession and your career.
I would love to hear from each and every one of you what your thoughts are on this and whether you are willing to open up your pocketbook to continue his services.
Please take a moment to send me a quick response so we can move forward with Mr. Kearney’s services or end them. Time is of the essence. If you could respond by Friday, April 7, that would be incredible. Help us support our profession.
Thank you all for being part of this fine profession and let’s keep it that way.
Cindy Isaacsen, President of KCRA
NCRA LAUNCHES DISCOVER STENO
RESTON, Va., Feb. 15, 2017 -- The National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the country’s leading organization representing stenographic court reporters, captioners, and legal videographers, unveiled a new initiative called DiscoverSteno that offers anyone interested to explore, consider, and learn more about a career in court reporting or captioning. The launch of the new initiative is in conjunction with 2017 Court Reporting & Captioning Week, sponsored by NCRA and being celebrated across the nation Feb. 11-18.
In 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.”
For more information, visit NCRA.org. Career information about the court reporting profession—one of the leading career options that does not require a traditional four-year degree—can be found at DiscoverSteno.org.
Shawnee County District Court is “very short” on the number of its court reporters, who record every word said during court hearings and trials before the court’s 15 judges...
Photo courtesy of The Topeka-Capital Journal
KCRA President Cindy Isaacsen & Dani Murray, both Johnson County Official Court Reporters, appear on the KC Live morning show to celebrate Court Reporting & Captioning Week 2016.