Why We Serve

President:  Jackie Rupnow, RPR

Hello. My name is Jackie Rupnow. I am one of the new directors that was elected at the last meeting of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association. I grew up in Sussex, Wisconsin and presently live two miles down the street from my childhood home, where my parents still live. I can credit my mom with my choice of a career in court reporting. My mom always wanted to be a court reporter when she was younger but could not afford the schooling. When I was in high school, she would cut out job postings from the Milwaukee Journal for jobs as a court reporter in the Milwaukee courthouse. I still have them in my scrapbook!

My junior year of high school a neighbor moved in down that road that was a court reporter. Marcia had me go along with her on a couple freelance jobs and had me proofread some of her transcripts so I could see firsthand a day in the life of a court reporter. After that, I was hooked!

I began at Concordia University in August of 1984. I graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Court Reporting in 1989 and immediately went to work as a freelance reporter with Brown & Jones Reporting. I wanted the flexibility of schedule and also the ability to travel and meet new people almost every day. The job has certainly evolved in the 26 years I have been working with all the technological advances, and this has made it more challenging and exciting at the same time. I remember my first realtime deposition. The attorney literally sat and watched every word he spoke come up on the computer. Needless to say, he was talking about 80 words per minute! In January of 2014 I took a full-time instructor position at Lakeshore Technical College. I still work part time for Brown & Jones, but after being diagnosed with arthritis in my hands, I realized that I needed to cut back on the time I spent writing. As an instructor, I can still be involved in the profession and, at the same time, ensure that we are training and graduating skilled reporters.

I have been married to my husband Darrell for 13 years. We have a blended family. My husband has three children and I have two. His twins, Justin and Samantha, and my daughter Jessica are all 25. His daughter Jess is 22 and my son Tony is 20. Yes, we have a sign outside our door that says “Welcome to the Nuthouse.” It was every minute of that when they were growing up. They were all involved in sports and we were constantly running. We are now down to the younger two, who still come home during the summer. Jess runs track at Eau Claire and won her first National Championship last year at the outdoor meet in the 4x400. Tony has won two National Championships in football at Whitewater, starting at right tackle in his freshman and sophomore year.

I am really excited about being on the board of the WCRA. This profession has been great for myself and my family, and I am honored to be able to serve as director to help promote and ensure that we remain the only reliable keeper of the record.

Immediate Past President:  Sheri Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC

My name is Sheri Piontek and I did my majority of my career as an official reporter in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I graduated from Kenosha Technical College in 1980. I started my career off by getting certified in both Wisconsin and Illinois. For the first couple of years I freelanced for a firm in Kenosha and then I did per diem work in the court system in the counties of Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee. My goal was to become an official, and after several interviews, I accepted an officialship at the Brown County Courthouse in Green Bay, Wisconsin where I have been ever since.

On January, 2019, I retired as an official court reporter for 35 years.  Oh, how the time seems to fly by! I worked for three judges: Judge Charles Kuehn, Judge Peter Naze, and now Judge Marc Hammer. I am a RPR, RMR, CRR and CRC.  I have had the experience of doing many jury trials, some of which have been highly publicized: the Margaret Anderson case which had 5 or 6 defendants, all of them convicted; and the John Maloney case, which was a 9-day trial. I've done a 3-week medical malpractice jury trial and many, many criminal jury trials over the years.

Now I am doing freelancing as well as CART work.  I love the versatility of being a court reporter!  I'm also one of the Success Coaches for the court reporting students at LTC and its affiliated technical colleges.  I really enjoy meeting with the students and offering tips to speed building and steno theory.  

As far as me personally, I grew up in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. I have a twin sister, another sister, and two brothers, all who live in different parts of Wisconsin and one in South Carolina. I moved up to Green Bay for the job.  I have two children, Jacob, 30, and Emily, 26.  I enjoy going to my cabin up in Lakewood, Wisconsin, traveling whenever I can, and I have a little bit of artistic talent as I love to sew, knit, crochet, and to tackle new projects.

Over the years I've mentored quite a few students.  I've always enjoyed helping recent graduates get off on a good foot because I remember when I graduated it was like being thrown into the job market without any tools or a set of instructions to use as a guide. I think it helps ease them into their new surroundings.

I've been serving on the Board because I know so many of the officials and freelancers in our state that I feel I could represent everyone's interests at the meetings, conventions, and in social gatherings to help spread the word of everything that WCRA represents.

Treasurer:  Sarah Hart, RMR, CRR, CRC

My name is Sarah Hart, and I am proud to be a court reporter!  Thank you for your vote of confidence in me to serve on the WCRA Board.

I reside in Pewaukee with my husband Paul and our 11-year-old and 2-year-old sons and a 1-year-old yellow lab Chloe.  When I have free time – which is very little – I enjoy hanging out with my boys, cooking, traveling, downhill skiing, running, biking, gardening, and spending time on Pewaukee Lake.   I also love a good cup of coffee and cozying up with a home decorating magazine.   I believe that life presents us opportunities daily to learn and grow if you take time to recognize those moments.

I graduated from Madison Area Technical College in May of 1997 and have been working as a freelancer since that time.    I am a Registered Professional Reporter, Registered Merit Reporter, and have been a Certified Realtime Reporter for 11 years.   I have also attended the VITAC captioning program but decided that was not something I wanted to pursue at this time.  I have worked on countless realtime cases and daily-copy trials and enjoy the challenge and thrill that comes with being a realtime reporter.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting Mary Burzynski, Susan Kay, Karla Sommer, Sheri Piontek, and Chris Willette at the NCRA national convention in San Francisco held this past August, and I cannot begin to express how these women have inspired me, both personally and professionally, to do more.  The experiences I had at the national convention have refueled my passion for this rewarding career that we all share, and, with that, the desire to get involved, to give back, to help others, and to keep our association strong.

Secretary:  Lynn Penfield, RPR, CRR

My name is Lynn Penfield.  I have been a reporter for nearly 27 years (wow! How time flies!)  I hold a California certified shorthand reporter's license, a Nevada certified court reporter license, my RPR and my CRR.  I have two more legs to complete for my RMR, and I'm hoping to finish that up up next year.

I began my career in California as a freelance deposition reporter and was lucky to work for a great reporter-owned firm for 25 years.   During that time, I reported depositions, arbitrations, CART, meetings and hearings.  I enjoyed working in the freelance world, but in 2011 I decided to try my hand(s) in court.  I was a per diem reporter for three years, as well as continuing with my deposition reporting.  What a different world court is!  I found that I enjoyed it immensely.

In 2014, my two grown sons left California to pursue their dreams; one with the Navy and one as an electrical apprentice.  My husband and I decided to move "back home" to Northern Wisconsin.  I was very fortunate to be hired in Oneida County 50% of the time as Judge Michael Bloom's court reporter, and as the Ninth Judicial District's 50% district reporter.  I continue in these two roles today and couldn't be happier!

During my time in California, I served on the Deposition Reporter's Association board for several years.  As I had two young sons at the time, I made the decision to resign from the board after my term ended.  I am ready to serve the reporters of Wisconsin on the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association board as I am now an empty-nester and have the time to properly devote to my duties - although I will become a first-time grandma in March!

My focus is really to recruit students to explore court reporting.  I enjoy not only getting young people interested in our wonderful field, but also mentoring and helping students currently enrolled in a court reporting program.  I look forward to serving on the board and meeting more reporters across Wisconsin!

I reside in Pewaukee with my husband Paul and our 11-year-old and 2-year-old sons and a 1-year-old yellow lab Chloe.  When I have free time 

Director:  Erica Schueler, RPR, CRR

My name is Erica Schueler and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on the WCRA Board of Directors!  I love the idea of giving back to the profession that has given me so much and am excited to get working!

I graduated from Fort Atkinson High School in 2002.  From there, I immediately enrolled at Madison Area Technical College for their Court and Conference Reporting program.  I finished the program in a little under three years despite giving birth in 2004.  I wanted so badly to finish school and be a court reporter!

I began my career as a court reporter with Brown & Jones Reporting.  I worked there from 2005 to 2012.  In 2012, I began my official court reporter position working for Judge Jennifer Weston, Branch 1, Jefferson County, where I remain today.

I earned my RPR certification in November of 2006 and my CRR certification in April of 2016.

I am the wife of Jordan, who works at Stoughton Trailers as a welder and is also an excellent guitar player.  I am also the mother of two boys: Gabriel and Greyson.

When I’m not busy with work or home, I enjoy crocheting (I usually have three or four projects going at the same time), spend time with my friends and family, and attend live music shows.  

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you, my professional colleagues.

Director:  Colleen Clark, RPR

  I want to begin by thanking those who nominated me for this    opportunity to serve on the WCRA board. I am excited to become more involved in our awesome community and dive in to the committees to help it continue to grow and thrive. I also look forward to the opportunity to build relationships and experiences during my service.

I grew up in central Illinois and became interested in court reporting after visiting my uncle out in Virginia and questioning him about how that little machine of his worked. After job shadowing him for a week, I knew that this career was the path for me. I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Realtime Reporting from Midstate College in Peoria in May, 2009. I was lucky enough to have Judge Sarah O’Brien take a chance on a kid right out of school and began my officialship career in Dane County in August of 2009. She has since retired and I have had the privilege of working for Judge Frank Remington for the past four years and truly enjoy my Dane County family.

I am married to my college sweetheart, Ben. We are kept busy with our 2-year-old little girl, Maddalena, as well as our dog, Rocky, cat, Mika, and our horse, Scout. We enjoy being outside together as much as possible, always trying to find a new trail or park to explore. We joke, because we thought Wisconsin was going to be a five-year plan, but here we are in our eighth year and absolutely loving it.

As a member of the board, I welcome any input, questions or concerns you want to share with me regarding our profession. I will strive to do my best to represent your voice. Thank you again for this wonderful opportunity.

      Director:  Kris Wurgler, RPR (B.A.)

My name is Kris Wurgler.  I was honored to be asked to serve on the WCRA Board.  To quote Ghandi:  The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others.  I am really excited to be of service to our organization.  I will listen to our members and work diligently to fight for what we deserve.

I work as a full-time staff CART Provider at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  I have been employed at the university for 10 years. 

Prior to moving to Madison, I worked at a court reporting firm in Milwaukee where I was a traditional court reporter, reporting in depositions, per diem court work, a five-year CART assignment with Marquette University, CART at UW-Milwaukee and Keller Graduate School, and various commission hearings.  

Some of the highlights of my career have been captioning for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor during a presentation to the UW-Madison Law School Alumni, publication of an article entitled “CART in the Classroom:  Are We Striving for the ‘Perfect’ Transcript or Accessibility” in the Journal of Court Reporting, presenting a poster session entitled Realtime Captioning Best Practices in STEM Education at the Pepnet-AHEAD International Conference in 2016, and speaking at the WCRA Convention in the Fall of 2016 with two of my CART colleagues. 

My husband Tim and I have been married for 20 years.  We have two young boys (Levi and Fynten) who keep us running.  In my spare time, I love to knit, read, and watch something other than Pokemon movies.

      Director:  Samantha Shallue

Hello! My name is Samantha Shallue, and I am one of your newly elected Wisconsin Court Reporters Association board members. I was born and raised in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and currently am raising my two children, Hannah and Hunter, here. 

While attending Lincoln High School in 2001, I was looking for an after- school job for a few hours a week. I was told about an attorney who was looking for some help with filing and mailing documents a few hours each day. I interviewed for the position and began working for that local attorney immediately.  

After graduating high school a semester early, I began attending the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc while continuing to work at the law firm. I originally was interested in becoming a social worker, but after receiving my associate’s degree, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do career-wise. I was offered a full-time position with the law firm and decided it was the best fit for me at the time.  

After seven additional years working at that firm, I was ready for a change. One of the attorneys I worked for handled several criminal appeals each year, and I was always fascinated reading the transcripts he was provided. It was always in the back of my mind that a court reporter must have one of the most interesting jobs on the planet. From that point forward, I decided to go back to school and started researching schools that offered court reporting degrees.  

I began attending Lakeshore Technical College in September of 2013 and graduated in May of 2015. Upon graduation, I accepted a freelance reporting position with Brown & Jones Reporting. I enjoy the flexibility my job gives me, especially since I do have two young children at home. I also love all of the different places I get to go to and meeting new people all the time.  

Although some days are challenging, I honestly could not see myself doing anything else.  As I mentioned, I have two children; Hannah, who is 9, and Hunter, who is 7. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with family, taking tap lessons, watching movies, and reading. I spend many weekends watching my children in sports and dance recitals, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

I am honored to be on the board of WCRA. I feel this career has been so rewarding to me in such a short amount of time that I want to give back and become more involved in our profession. I look forward to serving on the board and meeting more reporters and students across Wisconsin!

Director:  Miranda Seitz

My name is Miranda Seitz, and I currently live in Eau Claire, WI. I went to high school and grew up in Union Grove, WI, and I graduated from Union Grove Union High School in 2008. I then moved to Green Bay, WI, and enrolled in UW-Green Bay’s English program. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies in 2012. After graduation I started on my master’s degree in English at the University of Illinois at Chicago that fall, and I graduated from the English Studies program in 2014. My thesis focused on the relationship and interaction between the modern American novel, the U.S. South, American pragmatism, and Reconstruction.

After I graduated from UIC I was sort of directionless in terms of my career. My two main options to make a living were to be a K-12 teacher or a copy writer/editor. Neither of these careers held any interest or spirit for me, and I asked my mom for some advice. She mentioned to me that, in a conversation she had with a co-worker, if they could both go back and do their careers over again they would have gone to court reporting school. Legal topics and crime/criminology have always been fascinating to me, so I decided to give it a try. I enrolled in Lakeshore Technical College’s judicial reporting program, and I graduated with my degree in December of 2017. I started working as an official reporter almost immediately after graduation in January of 2018 for the Honorable Anna Becker in Black River Falls, WI. To say the least it has been interesting!

In my spare time outside of this amazing work we do, I enjoy spending time with my brother and sister, Devin and Bailey; my three lovable cats; watching horror flicks; and, ironically enough, listening to true crime podcasts with my best friend, Becca.

Kathleen (Kathy) White, RMR, CRR

My name is Kathleen (Kathy) White, RPR, RMR, CRR. I am a new WCRA Director. I live in Potosi, which is a small town in southwest Wisconsin on the Mississippi River and across from Dubuque, Iowa. Potosi is a small town known for the Potosi Brewery.

My husband’s name is Vaughn White.  He works at John Deere Dubuque Works in Dubuque, Iowa, as a Continuous Improvement Coordinator. He also runs a repair shop on the side. We have been married for 28 years.

We have two daughters. Kaitlyn is 23 and works at Flexsteel Industries, Inc., as a Corporate Recruiter. A year ago she obtained her B.S. in business administration and will graduate in May 2020 with her MBA, both from the University of Dubuque in Iowa. Alyssa is 20 and is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She is working on her B.S. degree in communication studies.

I attended the Madison Business College from 1986-1988 and had Rachel Baker as an instructor. I actually passed my final 225 Q&A on the very last day of class. I was so thrilled because I already had a job lined up.

My first job was at Reporting Associates in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1988-1992.  I reported depositions and did per diem work in courtrooms in the tristate area in addition to reporting grand jury hearings in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

In 1992 I was appointed as the official court reporter for the Honorable George Curry at the Grant County Courthouse in Lancaster, Wisconsin. I worked there for two years until 1994.

Then from 1994-2006 I worked in Iowa County for the Honorable James Fiedler, whose brother, John Fiedler, was a famous actor who played Mr. Peterson in The Bob Newhart Show and was also the famous voice of Piglet in the Winnie the Pooh stories. After Judge Fiedler retired, I worked for the Honorable William Dyke, who was mayor of Madison during the Vietnam era and also ran for Vice-President in 1976. Judge Dyke also founded the Madison Farmers Market.

From 2006 until the present, I have been working at the Grant County Courthouse for the Honorable Robert VanDeHey, who is the Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial District and was the recipient of the 2016 Bench and Bar Judge of the Year Award. (Picture of Grant County Courthouse on page 19.)

My hobbies include traveling, camping, boating, reading, crocheting, and even making costumes for our high school musicals even after my daughters graduated. (Pinterest is one of my best friends!)

Finally, I have a funny story about why I became a court reporter. In high school we had to research two occupations that we were interested in. I chose flight attendant and court reporter. However, back at the time that I graduated from high school, they had height requirements to be a flight attendant, and I was too short, so I became a court reporter. I joke about it, but it seriously is what I was born to do! It is so much fun being able to write on a steno machine! I love the look on people’s faces when you explain how the steno machine works and how fast I can type on it!

With all of that being said, I look forward to serving as WCRA Director for the next two years!

Kara Nagorny, RMR, CRR

My name is Kara Nagorny, and I live in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. I am an official reporter in Appleton, Wisconsin, for the Honorable Emily I. Lonergan.

I have been reporting since I graduated from Madison Area Technical College in May of 2000. I was given a great opportunity to start out freelancing with Worth Court Reporting out of Fond du Lac, and about six months later, I felt I was brave enough to go out on my own under my own company, Valley Court Reporting.

In November of 2001, I accepted the district floater position for the Eighth Judicial District and have been an official reporter ever since, serving with several judges in the district, some of whom have since retired. In this past year, I have obtained my CRR and RMR certifications and plan to start work on the CRC this winter. It has been a thrilling and interesting career thus far!

In my free time, I enjoy traveling and spending time with my husband and two daughters, ages 8 and 12. In October, our family just returned from our first trip to Walt Disney World, which was a fantastic time! My other hobbies include gardening, painting, biking, and, of course, running. I have participated in multiple races throughout the years of all distances, including the marathon five times.

I am honored and eager to serve as a director for the WCRA and look forward to meeting as many members as possible!

If you have any comments, concerns, or questions about our association, or you would like additional information about court reporting as a profession, please contact us at president.wcra@gmail.com.

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