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IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM KCRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS


The two letters attached at the bottom of this message are intended to keep the membership of the Kansas Court Reporters Association informed of proposed impending changes related to the CCR Board of Examiners as well as CCRs currently licensed in Kansas.  As it stands today, the CCR Board of Examiners and CCRs are currently under the jurisdiction of the Clerk of the Appellate Courts of Kansas and the Supreme Court of Kansas. 

December 11, 2019, members of the CCR Board of Examiners received an email with attached letter from Justice Stegall.  It has been included as a PDF attached to this informational email.  In the letter, Justice Stegall stated the Supreme Court plans to “reorganize the administration of court reporters and the State Board of Examiners of Court Reporters (board).”  Administrative responsibilities for the court reporter “program” and the duties of the board will move under the Office of Judicial Administration.  The December 11, 2019 letter is the only formal notification that has been received at this time.    

On January 3, 2020, the four court reporters who currently serve on the CCR Board of Examiners sent a letter to Justice Stegall (copied to Chief Justice Luckert and others) asking the Kansas Supreme Court to reconsider its plan.  The letter is attached as a PDF to this email.  To date, no formal acknowledgment or response to the letter has been received.  

The Kansas Court Reporters Association board is separate and distinct from the CCR Board of Examiners.  KCRA is an organization, not a board created by the Kansas Supreme Court.   As a nonprofit organization established on behalf of court reporters, KCRA will do everything within its power to look after the interests of certified court reporters in Kansas.  As per our mission statement:  The Kansas Court Reporters Association is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest standards of verbatim reporting, quality services, professional ethics, and advocating continuing education, as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art technology.

KCRA’s board will continue to focus on legislation, if any, introduced that relates to the judicial system, contacting local legislators about court reporting and its role in the judicial system, sharing concerns with our clients and supervisors, and monitoring any legislative changes through our government advisor, Steve Kearney & Associates.

How can you make a difference?  As individual court reporters, we have access to judges, attorneys, court administrators, legislators, state bar associations, state agencies, news media outlets, social media, and other court reporters.  These groups of people will also be affected by the proposed changes.  First and foremost, voice your concerns.  As you do so, please remember that anything you write, do, or say will be a direct reflection on the profession of court reporting itself and could ultimately have an adverse effect on court reporters in Kansas.  Please choose your words carefully.  A bell once rung cannot be undone.  Concern is understandable, but common sense, logic, and facts will keep the focus where it must remain.  We have a duty to ensure that certified, regulated court reporters capture the record live in courtrooms, depositions, and agency hearings.  Basic standards begin with state certification.

Second, make it a point to visit with your local legislators and inform them of the integral role court reporters play in the judicial and state agency processes.  Remind them of the services court reporters provide through broadcast captioning and CART to our deaf and hard-of-hearing communities in Kansas.  As their constituents, what you say matters.  Emails, letters, phone calls are all important ways to contact your legislators.  As a reminder, this type of contact by official court reporters, if done electronically, needs to be completed outside of the work setting on personal computers.

Third, if you have any ideas, contact your KCRA board of directors.  We will consider your suggestions and recommendations with the hope that together, we might have some impact on the outcome.  As factual information becomes available, we will communicate that to our membership.

Lastly, “keep calm and carry on.”  We acknowledge that tremendous changes have occurred in Kansas, the U.S., and the world over the last few months and those changes have helped create uncertainty.  However, in our profession as court reporters and CART/captioning providers, we are faced with difficult challenges every day that require common sense, problem-solving techniques, and application of practical experience in order to resolve issues.  Just as vital, we have an incredible network of intelligent, resourceful, highly-skilled professionals to collaborate with and draw from their collective experiences. 

We cannot afford to waste our collective energy or resources at this time.  The goal is simple:  Maintain certification standards, testing, and licensing requirements in Kansas and ensure certified court reporters continue to be the standard of practice under state statutes and Kansas Supreme Court rules.  As professional court reporters, we practice within a code of professional ethics and have a duty and an obligation to work within the system.

Thank you and if you wish to contact us with questions, we cannot promise information beyond what is indicated within this message, but we will listen.

KCRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS


Letter to CCR Board 2019.12.11.pdf

Letter to Justice Stegall January 3 2020.pdf


 

KANSAS COURT REPORTERS ASSOCIATION

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE – MAY 2020

             

Dear KCRA members,

I hope this message finds you all healthy and still working during these very odd and trying times.  As we are all very aware, COVID-19 has put quite a wrench in many areas of our lives, not only in our work lives but in our home lives too, especially for our members with school-aged children.   This pandemic certainly forced us all to adjust how we function day-to-day and it has most definitely changed the way we will operate in the future.  As your current President, I would encourage each and every one of you to embrace the “new way” of taking the record remotely and to be as accommodating as possible.  I believe that this will somewhat be our new norm for the unforeseeable future.  So in essence, the more knowledgeable we are, tech savvy we can become, and more accommodating we can be, means we become that much more of an asset to those who need and require our services.  Now is the time to get yourself up-to-date before it’s too late.

    As most may be aware, we had our 2020 annual convention scheduled for October 19th-21st at The Oread Hotel in Lawrence.  The board reached a decision a few weeks ago to cancel our in-person convention this year due to the pandemic.  Our top priority is keeping our membership and those around us healthy, and having an in-person convention places too high a risk on our members and others who may also be in the hotel.  This decision was not made lightly.  We took many opinions and recommended guidelines into consideration from not only the CDC, President Trump, Governor Kelly, local health officials, but OJA as well.  In fact, if you haven’t heard already, all in-person judicial employee conferences have been cancelled for 2020 at the direction of the OJA and the Kansas Supreme Court.  And since we will not be having an annual business meeting at our convention, all of our officers and board members have graciously agreed to continue to serve in their current positions until our 2021 convention is held and we can all be together again.  

 Now, with all of that said, I have some exciting news to share.  The Oread Hotel in Lawrence has agreed to postpone our convention venue, without financial penalty to KCRA, until October of 2021. Jennifer Olsen and Claire Riling have worked diligently as your convention chairs to get these arrangements made, so big shout out and thank you to those two members for all their hard work. 

The question of what will happen to those who need the Supreme Court mandated seminar in 2020 has become a hot topic.  That question has been posed to Amy Raymond at OJA, and KCRA is still awaiting a response on that.  There have been board discussions regarding a remote webinar presented by Margie Wakeman-Wells for those who need it or would like to attend, or the possibility of the Supreme Court waiving that requirement for 2020, but nothing yet has been set in stone or confirmed one way or the other.  We will make sure to keep you all updated when we receive a final confirmation from the Supreme Court and/or OJA regarding the mandated session.

Also, if you are a member who needs CEU’s for NCRA or NVRA, you are highly encouraged to attend the many webinars that are available through those organizations in order to obtain your CEU’s for 2020.  It seems as if more and more are becoming available each day, and you will be able to obtain those CEU’s through those avenues.

On behalf of KCRA, I hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy!  Please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at mcummings@shawneecourt.org if you have any questions or concerns related to how KCRA is proceeding through this pandemic.  Please take extra care, everyone!


Miranda L. Cummings, CVR, CCR

2019-2021 KCRA President



 

Not a member?  Join us now!  KCRA hosts continuing education seminars, fun social events, employs a lobbyist to look out for our interests at the state level, keeps you up to date regarding industry news, and much, much more! 

 

Kansas Court Reporters Association
www.kcra.net


PAST PRESIDENTS


LEGISLATIVE FUND

"Every man owes a part of his time and money to the business or industry in which he is engaged.  No man has a moral right to withhold his support from an organization that is striving to improve conditions within his sphere."

Consider donating to the legislative fund.   We accept payments monthly, bi-annually or annually.  We ask each individual reporter for a minimum of $75/year to help protect our profession and to have the funds available to fight for the legislative issues we need or want to fight for.  Thank you for your donation!!!

Legislative Donation goal

Goal: $7,500.00
Collected: $900.00
12%

COURT REPORTING SCHOOLS IN KANSAS

Court Reporting Institute of Kansas City 
Method:  Stenography
Enrollment is monthly - a self-paced program
Contact Irene Narvaez for more information

Neosho County Community College 
Method:  Stenography
Ottawa Campus 
contact Ruthanne Wark for more information
Intro to Court Reporting class beginning August 19, 2019

Peaslee Technical School 
Method:  Voice writing
Lawrence
Classes start January 2020 - enrollment beginning soon
Applying for WIOA funding for students
Contact Kevin Kelley for more information

Kansas City, KS Community College                                                      Method:  Stenography                                                                           A-Z Program beginning Monday, July 8, 2019, 6:30 pm                               (a great way to see if you like court reporting)                                           Full court-reporting program to begin September 9, 2019 on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30-9:30, teaching Mark Kislingbury's theory  - - Adult & Community Education Dept. at KCCC, 913-335-1100



National Court Reporters Association
www.crtakenote.com

KCRA does not endorse or recommend any school over another.

UPCOMING EVENTS

KCRA Annual Convention
October 18-20, 2020
Sunday 1:00--Tuesday noon 

Lawrence, KS 


NCRA Annual Convention & Expo
August 6-9, 2020
Orlando, Florida


NVRA Annual Convention
July 22-25, 2020

Hilton Palacio Del Rio

San Antonio, TX





KCRA is committed to promoting and maintaining the highest standards of verbatim reporting, quality services, professional ethics, and advocating continuing education, as well as the utilization of state-of-the-art technology.

UPCOMING CCR EXAM DATES:

May 18, 2020
October 26, 2020

Click into here for more information.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
  • Miranda Cummings, President
  • Vesta York, Vice President
  • Brandy Trible, Secretary
  • Mary Kay Howe, Treasurer
  • Jennifer Olsen, Past President
  • Lynelle Gottschalk, Legislative Chair, Board Member
  • Meghan Rogers, Legislative Committee, Board Member
  • Johanna Lynch, Board Member
  • Robin Schuyler, Board Member
  • Brad Sherffius, Board Member
  • Janene Thibault, Board Member
  • Deanna Warner, Board Member



JCR ARTICLE ON ONE OF OUR MEMBERS  

DARCIE CRUZ, RMR, 

Official court reporter

Currently resides in: Chanute, Kan.

Member since: 1989

Graduated from: American Institute of Commerce, Davenport, Iowa

Theory: StenEd

JCR | Why did you decide to enter this profession?

CRUZ | Upon completing two years of college, I had changed my major twice. That’s when my brother married a court reporter, and my mother suggested that I look into the field based on its earning potential. I had loved business classes in high school, and I really enjoyed spelling, grammar, and vocabulary as well. These are a few of the things that have helped to make court reporting a very comfortable fit for me.

JCR | What was your biggest hurdle to overcome and how did you do so?

CRUZ | It became quite evident that 225 words per minute was strictly an entry-level speed for this profession. Fortunately, Mark Kislingbury was a speaker at one of our state conventions, and I was quickly convinced that I needed to shorten my writing. I eventually joined the Magnum Steno Club, which has proven to be a fun and easy way to incorporate new ideas and methods into my writing to help me become a much stronger reporter.

JCR | What surprised you about your career?

CRUZ | I didn’t realize how challenging court reporting would be. There is a definite need to continually hone your skills.

JCR | What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?

CRUZ | It is a wonderful feeling to be able to accomplish something that you thought you couldn’t do. Successfully completing the Registered Merit Reporter (RMR) examination definitely falls in this category, and being able to participate in speed contests at national conventions with some of the top writers in the country has definitely been an added bonus.

JCR | Is there something else you’d like to share?

CRUZ | Something else I am really excited about is being the first reporter to complete the 100-Day Challenge in a Facebook practice group started by Rich Germosen. The challenge group is an excellent source of motivation and encouragement to keep reporters and students practicing.

FAVORITE TIP

Avoid writing word endings in a separate stroke. Use briefs for as many common words and phrases as possible. Follow a pattern or concept when choosing briefs rather than using random outlines. Use the asterisk key.


KCRA is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization.
For further information, contact our Executive Director:
Coleen Boxberger, KCRA Executive Director
620-793-1863
kcra@ruraltel.net

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