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All in the family: 11-year-old teaches classmates about stenography

Jake Nice shared information about the steno machine and stenographers in a presentation to his class in February, based on encouragement from his mother, Annie Nice, who works at Tucker & Associates. Jake is also the grandson of court reporter Diane Cromwell, RPR, of Boise, Idaho, and his uncle works as a legal videographer at Tucker & Associates.

“Jake’s first idea was doing a Disney presentation,” says Nice. “We sat down and started thinking about where to begin, and then I just had the random idea of court reporting. He instantly said yes! All three of my kids grew up in the office. I took them to work with me as babies, and over the years they have learned how to help in the office. When they have days off from school, they love coming to the office with me. I did the same thing growing up. I went to the office every day after school.”

Each of the kids in the class was required to do an informational presentation. Other kids in the class spoke about cars, spaghetti, and lions, says Nice.

“My suggestion for court reporting just came to mind because no one really knows about the profession, and it would be good for Jake to learn about the machine,” says Nice. The presentation included a steno machine from the 1940s (courtesy of Tucker & Associates) and a tri-fold with illustrations of the machine and the keyboard, as well as random facts about the profession.

“Jake and I did the project together. We didn’t really interview anyone because I have worked in the office for 18 years. I also worked with my grandmother and mom,” continues Nice. She notes that she was surprised by some of the facts that they used. “My mom, Dianne Cromwell, is a big proponent of Mark Kislingbury’s school for court reporting. I wasn’t even aware that he set the world record for ‘fastest court reporter.’ So I was learning new information as well.”

The presentation generated a lot of positive interest in Jake’s classmates and his teacher, who said they asked questions about how much reporters make.

“I was proud of how he did in his presentation and his board,” says Nice. “It’s funny because I wasn’t even thinking about showing anyone the project. I just sent the picture and video to my mom and she sent it to her friends. I think everyone in this industry gets excited when we can tell someone about our profession.”