Why We Serve

President:  Sheri Piontek, RMR, CRR, CRC

My name is Sheri Piontek and I am 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 October 4, 2015, I have been an official for 33 years. Oh, how the time seems to fly by! I have worked for three judges so far: Judge Charles Kuehn, Judge Peter Naze, and now Judge Marc Hammer. I am a RPR, RMR, and CRR. I recently passed my CRC in Chicago at the national convention in August 2016.  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.

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, 26, and Emily, 22.  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.


President-Elect:  Lindsay DeWaide, RMR, CRR   

First of all, I want to thank those who elected me to the board.  Special thanks go to Chris and Mary for their encouragement and support.  I feel honored to serve, and I look forward to what lies ahead. I graduated from the court reporting program at Madison College in 2008.  I immediately began doing per diem in circuit court, working for a number of judges throughout Wisconsin.  I gained invaluable work experience and met many people along the way who have become great friends.  Since June of 2009, I have been in the freelance arena, working for Gramann Reporting. I have obtained the certifications of RMR and CRR.

I live in Poynette, Wisconsin, and with my husband, Damon.  We have three wonderful children -- Jenica, Logan, and Arlo -- as well as two dogs. In our free time, we enjoy camping, hiking, and gardening.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve on the WCRA Board.  It is a privilege to work amongst such strong leaders and advocates who are passionate and excited about his wonderful profession.


Immediate Past President:  Karla Sommer, RMR, CRR, CRC

I am the Branch 2 Official Court Reporter in Wausau, Marathon County.  I also provide CART services, when needed, for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.  My husband and I have been married for 28 years. Our daughter graduated from UW-Madison and now works for a publishing company in New York City, and our son is a junior at UW-Eau Claire majoring in business marketing.
 
My career as a court reporter began 30 years ago!!  Over the years I have worked as a freelance reporter, official reporter, CART provider, and captioner.  I am a Registered Professional Reporter, Registered Merit Reporter, and a Certified Realtime Captioner.  I am also very proud to say I am the winner of the 2009 and 2011 WCRA Realtime Contests, the winner of the 2012 Grand Connections Realtime Contest, as well as a qualifier in the 2012, 2014, and 2015 NCRA Realtime Contests.
 
In 2005 I volunteered to be the WCRA Convention Coordinator. During my years of service, not only did I have the opportunity to plan two great "parties" a year for you, our members, but I also had the privilege of personally meeting and working with many of you.  It was a very personally rewarding and learning experience for me.  In 2014 I assumed the position of WCRA President, and I am currently serving my term as Past President.  WCRA has afforded me many wonderful opportunities over the years to learn and grow as a reporter and as a member of this wonderful association.  It has been an honor and a pleasure to give back to an association and profession that has given so much to me.  




Treasurer:  Sarah Hart, RMR, CRR

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:  Michelle Gudex, RDR, CRR, CRC

I am excited to have been elected as secretary for WCRA.  I look forward to all of the experiences and friendships that will come through service on the Board of Directors, and I welcome any input you want to share with me.

I attended LTC from 2000 to 2002.  After graduation, I worked part time for the court commissioner in Outagamie County and also did freelance work for Appleton Court Reporters and per diem work for Districts IV and VIII.  I have been a full-time official in Sheboygan County since 2004.

I am on the Advisory Board at LTC for Court Reporting/Broadcast Captioning, and I have mentored many student interns as they near graduation.  I try to provide them with as much information as I can to ease their transition into the working world.  It is exciting to see them so close to their goal of entering our great profession.  I am also serving on WCRA's TRAIN Committee and proofreading WCRA's newsletter.

On a personal note, my husband and I have been together since high school, and we have two little boys, Winston and Oliver.  I enjoy playing the piano, spending time at our family's cottage in Wautoma, and taking our boys on all kinds of adventures.


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 (who will be 12 in November) and Greyson (who will be 5 in January).

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:  Judy Zickert, RMR, CRR      

First and foremost, I want to say thank you to those who nominated me and for your vote of confidence in electing me to the board.  I look forward to serving WCRA members in this capacity.

I freelanced with Northwestern Court Reporters in Hudson, WI for four years and in Eau Claire for ten years.  In 2003 I moved to the official side and began to work for the Honorable John Damon in Trempealeau County and continue there to this day.  I have my RMR as well as CRR.  I have also served as one of  WCRA's convention planners for two years.

On a personal note, I live in Neillsville with my husband, Kevin along with Macy and Rio (our four-legged family members).  My daughter Bekkah is a sophomore at UW-La Crosse.  I enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as gardening, downhill & cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, camping, hiking & bicycling.

As a member of the board, I invite anyone to contact me with any concerns, questions, or suggestions they may have concerning our profession. 


Director:  Melissa Stark, RPR, CRR                                       

Hello!  My name is Melissa Stark.  I am one of your newly elected WCRA board members.  I grew up in a small city in Illinois.  During my junior year of high school, our typing teacher had a court reporting student come in and speak with the class.  I thought it looked like such an interesting career, so I started investigating schools that offered court reporting.  I enrolled at Concordia University in the fall of 1988. 

During my last semester at Concordia, I was working for a psychologist's office, and one of the doctors was going to have his deposition taken.  He asked if I would like to sit in.  Of course, I thought this is a great opportunity, and indeed it was.  The freelance reporter in that deposition worked for Brown & Jones Reporting, and after the deposition, she told me they were looking to hire a new reporter.  I got the job!  I graduated from Concordia in May of 1991 and started working with Brown & Jones immediately.  This past May I just celebrated my 24th year with Brown & Jones.  On a side note, I took that same doctor's deposition last year and he remembered me.  It was so nice to thank him in person for helping me get the job.

I really enjoy being a freelance reporter.  I like the flexibility it gives me, all the different places I get to go and that I meet new people all the time and learn new things daily.  Sometimes our jobs can be challenging and we can be afraid to try new things, like maybe writing realtime, but we need to take that next step and push ourselves a little to keep up with our profession.  I remember taking my first realtime job and being so nervous.  The first question translated, "State your full nipple."  I was mortified, but the attorney didn't say anything and didn't even glance my way.  I survived it and everything was fine.  You will never know what you are capable of accomplishing unless you try.

I am married to Robert Stark for 18 years, and we have two daughters; Alanna, who is 16, and Kyla, who is 14.  Yes, we are having fun getting through these teenage years!  My hobbies include exercising, reading, volunteering, going out with friends, but the majority of my free time is spent with my family.  I spend many weekends watching my girls play sports, but I wouldn't miss a minute of it.

I am looking forward to being a part of the Board because I feel my career has given so much to me, I would like to give back and become involved in our profession.  Now you know a little bit about me.  If you ever run into me, please stop and introduce yourself.  I love meeting new people.                                     


Director:  Paulette Norby-Knoll, RMR, CRR

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.  I feel that my patience, knowledge, maturity, sense of humor and availability will make me a good contributing member of the Wisconsin Court Reporters Association Board.

Spurred on by my father's (Ralph Luciani) interest in "seeing how that little machine works" after he served on jury duty, I graduated in 1978 from Youngstown School of Business & Professional Drafting, Youngstown, Ohio, with an Associate Degree in Court Reporting.  When in high school in a small industrial city outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, called Ellwood City, I thought I would pursue careers in either English, literature, music therapy, psychology, or being a special agent or probation officer, but I thought I would just try a semester of court reporting school.

At 19 years old. I worked in Ohio as an official for two years where I learned many things that are not taught in court reporting school.  Because there was only one judge, I had to ask questions of reporters in neighboring counties, and despite the huge responsibility of preserving the written word for Wyandot County, Ohio, I was not old enough to drink alcohol at their first office Christmas party.  I later freelanced in the Wisconsin courts and did deposition work until my assignment to Judge Michael Gage in Outagamie County in August of 1985.  I worked for Judge Joe Troy until his departure from the bench and am currently assigned to Judge Mitchell Metropulos in Appleton where I job share with Mary Flinn.  I am a Merit writer and Certified Realtime writer.

I was divorced with young children at home and am very grateful that I was able to provide for them through court reporting.  I am proud of the adults they have become:  a son and daughter, now married with children; two daughters currently in college.  My interests are in all things creative and in natural and healthy cooking.  I like Wisconsin's beautiful summers by the water, exploring places such as Door County and Lake Geneva with my husband, Kevin Knoll, a high school Spanish teacher.  When the weather here does not cooperate, I have been known to travel to tropical locales.

As many court reporters seem to do, I take pride in spotting spelling errors in newspapers, magazines and billboards.  I'm glad I made you proud, Dad, by being a member of such an evolving, interesting and rewarding profession.  Anyway, I would have made a lousy probation agent! 


Director:  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 – 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.



Director:  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.




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 sheripiontek@gmail.com.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software