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CCR Graduate Spotlight: Jade Ledbetter

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Jade started with CCR in Theory learning the Moody Method in September 2009. Jade graduated in February 2013 after 10 semesters. She currently works as an Official Court Reporter in Illinois.

  1. Why did you decide to come to court reporting school?
    I decided to pursue court reporting school after a high school teacher recommended the profession. I exceled with typing on the computer keyboard, and she thought this would be a great career path for me. She arranged for a representative from a local court reporting college to meet with me, and it was after this meeting that I was confident with my career choice.
  2. What did you do before court reporting school? (other jobs, schools, etc.)
    Throughout my high school years, I waitressed at a small restaurant and worked as a receptionist at a tanning salon. I continued waitressing throughout my attendance at CCR. Towards the end of my court reporting education, I accepted a job as a legal secretary at law firm.
  3. What date did you start court reporting school?
    I began court reporting school during the start of the College of Court Reporting’s fall semester in 2009. I believe this was in September.
  4. What made you choose CCR?
    I was enrolled and planned to start at Sparks Business College in Shelbyville, Illinois in August of 2009. A week before I was scheduled to begin my classes, I received a phone call informing me that the school was closing. However, they were kind enough to offer recommendations to other court reporting schools. After reviewing two online programs, I decided to choose CCR.
  5. What are your strengths/weaknesses?
    I believe one of my strengths is my tenacity. Although there were several times that I wanted to give up, I would never allow myself to do so. Also, I am a positive person. This optimism helped to get me through the rough patches in my education. To get a little more steno specific, I believe I am good with briefs. I can make connections quickly and easily, which is very helpful when making briefs on the fly. My weakness throughout school was completing enough practice hours. Now that I am a working reporter, I have found that my biggest weakness is speaking up. Judges and attorneys are very intimidating, and this makes interruptions very difficult.
  6. What was your biggest challenge?
    Without a doubt, my biggest challenge was definitely making myself practice. As an online student, I believe this became an even bigger issue. No one really knew if I spent the required amount of time on my machine. I was completely liable for my practice schedule. I was not very good with practicing in the beginning of my schooling. However, I am proud to say that I am better with this now. There is absolutely no way around this; court reporters must practice. What we learn is a skill and must be used often.
  7. What motivated you to complete the program?
    While I give those closest to me a lot of credit for their support during my education, I believe my biggest form of motivation came from within myself. I struggled more towards the beginning of the program than towards the end. Once I realized that I was the only one responsible for my lack of improvement, I was able to buckle down and get serious about speedbuilding. I knew what I wanted, and I knew what I had to do to get it done in the quickest time possible: practice, practice, practice! People often say that court reporters all share common personality traits. I believe this is what sets us apart from everyone else. We possess the determination and drive it takes to complete such a demanding program.
  8. What advice would you give to other court reporting students?
    The best piece of advice I can offer is to stick with it. No one really knows what a court reporter goes through unless he/she is a reporter or is training to be a reporter. There were many times during my schooling that I literally could not see myself accomplishing my goal. Although it is tough to work at something that seems so far away, the feelings of accomplishment and success at the end justify all of the long hours spent on the machine.
  9. Do you currently have a job? If yes, what do you do?
    Yes, I do. I am an Official Court Reporter for the Sixth Judicial Circuit in Illinois. I work in Decatur, Macon County. For the first six months of my career, I have been assigned to a control room and am in charge of monitoring the digital recording system throughout the ten courtrooms. After I am well acquainted with the court procedures and my six months are up, I will be put in a rotation with the other court reporters.
  10. How did you find your current job?
    In my state, Illinois, it is possible to work as an official reporter before passing the CSR. This becomes possible after the reporter passes the A Exam, which is dictated at slower speeds than the CSR. The reporter can only take the A Exam once he/she has been offered a position as an official reporter. Once the reporter has passed this exam, he/she works with a restricted license. This means that he/she can report for any courthouse that utilizes a digital recording system as a form of back up. I was unaware of this procedure until my mentor made the suggestion during my internship. She thought it would be a good idea for me to apply to several courthouses in our area that were hiring. At my first interview, I ended up meeting a nice girl named Jaclyn. She later advised me that her courthouse, Macon County, was looking to hire a new reporter. I applied for the position, interviewed, and then passed my A Exam before beginning my new job on October 1, 2012.
  11. What are your future plans? What certifications do you plan on earning?
    Since the beginning of my education, I have viewed the position of an official reporter as my ultimate goal. I was and still am completely astounded that this happened so quickly for me. I plan to work as an official until my retirement. Because there are pay raises for realtime certification, I would like to obtain this as well. I have not yet passed the skills portions of the CSR, so that is first on my list. I am scheduled for the April exam, so I hope to see positive results then! In addition to the CSR, I plan on acquiring the RPR. After the RPR, I want to try for the CRR.
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  • Guest
    Lisa Morton Tuesday, 26 March 2013

    I am so proud of you, Jade! You finished school in 10 semesters. That is just outstanding! And, you jumped right into your new career. Good luck on your CSR exam!! I know you will pass that too. :)

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Guest Sunday, 15 December 2019

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