The appointment is effective June 18, Chief Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler said in a written statement.
Christensen will replace current Clerk of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Sheila T. Reiff, who is retiring after 43 years with the courts at the county and state levels.
“We look forward to working with Sam in his new role and want to recognize Sheila for her many accomplishments and years of dedicated service. Clerks of court are responsible for many of the vital business functions of the court system, including record-keeping and calendaring. Their work keeps our courts running smoothly on a daily basis,” Ziegler said.
Christensen was first appointed Racine County Clerk of Circuit Court in 2015. He was elected to that post in 2018 and re-elected in 2022. He previously worked as both administrative deputy clerk and deputy clerk in that office, where he started in 2002.
Christensen is vice president of the Wisconsin Clerks of Circuit Court Association and former president of the Wisconsin Juvenile Clerks’ Association. He serves on a number of court-related boards and committees, including: the Board of Bar Examiners; the Board of Administrative Oversight for the Office of Lawyer Regulation; the Committee to Improve Interpreting and Translation in the Wisconsin Courts; and the CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs) Steering Committee. He is also an adjunct instructor in the Department of Social Science at Gateway Technical College in Racine.
Christensen holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and master’s degree from Cardinal Stritch University.
Before being appointed Clerk of Supreme Court in 2018, Reiff had served as Walworth County clerk of circuit court since 1995. At the time of her transition to Clerk of Supreme Court, Reiff also served in the capacity of Walworth County’s register in probate, probate registrar, probate commissioner and clerk of juvenile court. She had previously worked in Walworth County as deputy court clerk and as a court calendar clerk, beginning in 1980.
Reiff led the transition of Walworth County Circuit Court from a paper-based filing system to electronic filing (eFiling). She also helped guide the development and implementation of eFiling programs at the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
Reiff has served on a number of committees that provide input and guidance to the Director of State Courts and the Supreme Court, including: Making the Record, Records Management; Bridging the Distance (video conferencing); CCAP (Consolidated Court Automation Programs) Steering, Making the Record, and the Committee to Improve Interpreting and Translation in the Wisconsin Courts.