Katherine West, Essay Winner
Each year TCRA sponsors a scholarship for court reporting students. Students may participate in the program by writing a short essay. The student scholarships are awarded to deserving students each year at our Annual Convention. This year we had some great essays submitted from several students. It is so inspiring to read their essays and to hear the passion and enthusiasm in their words.
Katherine West is our 2016 recipient of the Tiffany Brosemer Student Scholarship Essay Contest. Congratulations, Katherine!
Read Katherine's essay below.
I have been a part of the court reporting industry for the past 18 years. My aunt trained me as her scopist in 1998, and I have been doing it ever since. I have accompanied her on multiweek jobs that required daily copy. I have sat next to her at the Golden Globe Awards and scoped a realtime feed to the press. I also worked with her briefly at a small agency and managed the scheduling, billing and production.
During these years, I have seen the breadth of opportunity this career has to offer. Of course, having so much experience behind the scenes, I also know the tremendous sacrifices that court reporters make: everything from irregular work schedules to late nights and lost weekends to working while on vacation because of an expedite.
But now, after 18 years, I want to be the one packing my machine in the trunk and heading to a deposition. Why? Because the benefits definitely outweigh the drawbacks. When I got married last year, I started to think about building a family. Court reporters enjoy financial success and stability, and I want that for my husband, me and our future children. Also, as someone who loves learning new things, court reporting is perfect for me because reporters are exposed to so many interesting facets of the world. Lastly, I have always wanted to master something and court reporters are masters of their incredible machines! I can’t wait to master mine.
So here I am today: a court reporting student. And I love every minute of it! I love the challenge. I love working hard and achieving a breakthrough. Every day that goes by, every class, every practice hour that I put in, I become more certain that I am in the right place at the right time. I not only want to be a court reporter. I will be a court reporter.
The Tennessee Court Reporters Association (TCRA) was founded in 1949. Our association is a volunteer organization made up of an Executive Board and, also, comprises two Directors from each of the three divisions of our state.
Per our current bylaws:
The members of this Association shall strive to establish and maintain a proper standard of proficiency in the profession of court reporting, to establish and maintain a proper standard of professional ethics, to promote friendly interaction and good feeling among the members of the Association, to promote enactment of just and equitable laws upon the subject of court reporting, to protect the public against the imposition of incompetent and unethical court reporters, and to promote by all proper and lawful means, and consistent with the public interest, the legitimate interests of professional court reporters in the State of Tennessee.
Tenn. Code Ann. § 20-9-604 established the Tennessee Board of Court Reporting (TBCR). According to the TBCR website: Beginning July 1, 2010, court reporters must be licensed to engage in court reporting in the state of Tennessee. This board will issue court reporter licenses, conduct disciplinary inquiries for ethical violations, ensure completion of continuing education requirements and maintain a registry of court reporters.
Your TCRA Board has always and will continue to bring our members the most current and up-to-date court reporting information and news available as we receive it. As our members are aware, our avenues of communication are varied: annual conventions, regional seminars, e-blasts, website, quarterly newsletters, Facebook page, and Twitter! Our state association can boast and be proud that we are one of the few state associations in the country that is so technologically advanced.
The TBCR was established to prescribe the qualifications of court reporters and to issue licenses to persons who demonstrate their ability and fitness for the licenses. If anyone has a question about licensure, continuing education guidelines, reporting guidelines, inactive status, or reporter complaints, your questions must be directed to the TBCR.