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Greetings, Friends & Colleagues:

My hope is that you have had a terrific summer filled with new opportunities, both at work and in the home, time with family and friends involving travel and/or adventures, time for reflection and service to others, and the energy and good health to enjoy all of the moments! 

Convention in Manhattan, Kansas this past June provided a spectacular venue and a wonderful experience!  Everything sparkled in the heart of Aggieville, but in case you were unable to join us, here are a few of the highlights:  The beautiful, historic Bluemont Hotel; Speakers Anissa Nierenberger - Dictionary Jumpstart; Barry Clark - The Innocence Project; Blade Mages - Web Design; NCRA Representative Jennifer Sati – Technology; Jane Piles, Kristin Liska, Diana Nichols, and Sara Ortega - A Day in the Life of a Captioner; and Brandy Trible - Working with a Scopist.  Our social activity included pizza, game night, great friends, and Aggieville!  Tremendous thanks to our Convention Chairs, Cindy Fenton and Molly Kujawa!  Countless hours, hard work, and incredible inspiration goes into organizing a KCRA convention.  It could not happen without these talented volunteers and their committee, which included some of the following reporters:  Nancy Randolph, Toni Braun, Miranda Cummings, Mary Gaffey, Donna Lytle, Michelle Pralle, Vesta York, Mary Kay Howe, and countless others behind the scenes who make these events possible! 

Congratulations to our 2018 Distinguished Member Award recipient, Ms. Sheila Lyons, CSR, RMR, CRR, RDR, MRS, Sedgwick County Official Court Reporter.  Sheila has been an inspiring advocate for this profession for decades and her life’s journey has taken her worldwide and coast to coast.  Her quiet dedication to her fellow reporters through board service and student/reporter mentoring have defined Sheila’s career.  Sheila, quite simply, is a reporter who exemplifies a love for education and training, preparedness, hard work, knowledge, implementation, advocacy, and service.

Mary Kay Howe and I sincerely thank KCRA and its membership for affording us the opportunity to attend the National Court Reporters Association Convention in New Orleans, LA, this past August 1st.  Events included NCRA’s Annual Business Meeting, the National Committee for State Associations’ meeting, the Premier Session, Exhibitor Expo, individual CEU sessions, NCRA’s Award Luncheon and Installation of Officers/ Board Members, and receptions.  In addition, we had the great privilege to witness the installation of our friend and Past KCRA President, Cindy Isaacsen, to a three-year term on NCRA’s Board of Directors as a director.  This position provides a remarkable opportunity for Cindy to serve.  KCRA is very proud of you, Cindy, and I know your energy, enthusiasm, and creativity will benefit this profession and its future!

New Orleans!  What a charming, historic city with its inspirational roots, welcoming locals, delicious cuisine, and gifted musicians and artists.  While visiting Jackson Square in the heart of the French Quarter, it is hard to imagine the area under water as was the case when Hurricane Katrina hit land in August of 2005.  The hurricane carved a path of destruction, devastation, and tremendous loss of life.  Yet today it stands as a thriving community, ready to embrace the past and welcome the future.  There is a courageous spirit, dedication, and pride infused in NOLA and it’s hard to leave without a greater sense of gratitude, personal sacrifice, and reverence for the human spirit and its will to survive no matter the odds.

To me, New Orleans epitomizes resilience, refinement, and revitalization.  Anyone can be caught off guard, even when preparations and plans are in place.  Let’s not wait for times of difficulty to be reminded that our reporting community extends beyond methodology or membership.  Together, we can create opportunities out of challenges and provide viable solutions to those we serve through preparation, implementation, and hard work.  Like those teachers, students, reporters, and mentors who preceded you, choose every day to add your creative spirit to this profession.  Build upon the past and redefine our future.  Be motivational, inspirational, transformational and inclusive.  Remember:  Every day in little ways, you make a difference in the lives of others.  It’s your decision what difference you choose to make.

Warmest Regards,
Jen Olsen – KCRA President 2018


"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: $375.00


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 opening August 2019

Peaslee Technical School 
Method:  Voice writing
Classes start fall 2019 - 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

KCRA does not endorse or recommend any school over another.


2018 Distinguished Member Award Recipient

Sheila with her judge, Hon. Warren Wilbert


KCRA Annual Convention
October 20-22, 2019
Sunday 1:00--Tuesday 12:00
Wichita, Kansas

NCRA Annual Convention & Expo
August 15-18, 2019
Denver, Colorado

NVRA Annual Convention
July 24-27, 2019                    
New Orleans, Louisiana

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.


May 20, 2019

Kansas Judicial Center, 301 West 10th Ave., Topeka, Kansas 66612 -Fatzer courtroom

Click into here for more information.

  • Jennifer Olsen, President
  • Miranda Cummings, Vice President
  • Stacey Potenza, Secretary
  • Mary Kay Howe, Treasurer
  • Dani Murray, Past President
  • Lynelle Gottschalk, Legislative Chair, Board Member
  • Meghan Rogers, Legislative Committee, Board Member
  • Shanna Hill, Board Member
  • Johanna Lynch, Board Member
  • Brad Sherffius, Board Member
  • Brandy Trible, Board Member
  • Deanna Warner, Board Member


Last message




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.


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KCRA is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization.
For further information, contact our Executive Director:
Coleen Boxberger, KCRA Executive Director

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