Editorial

Laura Stoecker

Senior Staff Photographer
  • Phone(630) 728-8287
  • Emaillstoecker@dailyherald.com
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Laura Stoecker is a staff photographer covering Kane and McHenry counties. She has been in the field since 1994. She attended Columbia College Chicago where she earned a bachelor's degree in photography with a concentration in photojournalism.

During college, she freelanced for weekly suburban newspapers, an online prep sports magazine and other businesses. She had several internships including the Chicago Mayor's Office of Special Events and the United Way, before joining the Daily Herald in 1998.

Laura has received several awards from the National Press Photographers Association and the Illinois Press Photographers Association for her work over the years. The one she is most proud of is a 2005 Peter Lisagor Award for her four-part feature story on Luke and Zach Branson of North Aurora, twins with spastic cerebral palsy. Laura worked on the series for three years covering their daily lives with their family, as well as hyperbaric oxygen treatments in Florida, medical treatments, surgeries to help them walk, their road to recovery and seeing them walk with the aid of braces and a walker. She both wrote and photographed the story.

Nine months after Hurricane Katrina hit, Laura traveled with a reporter to Mississippi to cover restoration efforts of a church youth group on their spring break. Images from that project are still among the favorites in her portfolio today.

Beyond her work for the Daily Herald, Laura tries to make a difference in the communities she covers. She volunteers her time to many organizations in the Tri-Cities area, including Field of Dreams Horse Rescue and Adoption in St. Charles, the Autism Society of Illinois and Water Street Studios in Batavia. After doing a story on animal rescues from high-kill shelters, Laura now devotes time to helping find dogs and cats new homes.

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Lifelong Elgin man credits barbershop singing with enhancing his life

Jul 27 2015 | 6:13 am - Back in 1953, Elgin High School senior Carl Missele joined a barbershop quartet. Fast forward 62 years and about 15 quartets later and the lifelong Elgin resident is still singing to his heart's content.

Huntley PAWFest celebrates 28,000 adoptions

Jul 18 2015 | 6:09 pm - Animal House Shelter in Huntley hosted PAWFest Saturday in celebration of their more than 28,000 adoptions to date and as a way to raise funds for the animals at the shelter.

‘Day in the Park’ brings together kids of all abilities in St. Charles

Jul 15 2015 | 4:54 pm - Kids playing together and having a good time is what the "Day in the Park" was all about. Hosted by the Fox Valley Special Recreation Association and St. Charles Noon Kiwanis Club, the event brought together more than 700 campers -- with and without...

Elgin book release event for Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’

Jul 14 2015 | 7:34 pm - Gail Borden Public Library’s A Toast to Harper Lee book release event for Lee’s new book “Go Set a Watchman” attracted about 30 people Tuesday night in Elgin. Some came to check out a reserved copy of the novel, while...

‘Weeding party’ at Geneva’s city hall gardens

Jun 19 2015 | 5:52 pm - About a dozen volunteers gathered to spruce up Geneva's city hall gardens Friday in prepartion for next week's Swedish Days festival.

Elgin 5K raises awareness for esophageal cancer

Jun 13 2015 | 9:18 pm - Bob Geier died of esophageal cancer in 2011, but The Smiles 4 Bob 5K has been raising money since 2012 when daughter Kayla, who is now 27, was helped by her mother Jan, brother Lucas, and sister Meghan in organizing the event. "I wanted to find a...

Scratching up bargains at Kane County Flea Market

Jun 06 2015 | 4:34 pm - Hundreds of dealers come to the Kaen County Fairgrounds 10 months a year to sell their wares, provide a place of unique items and even more unique bargains.

United Methodist Women rummage sale benefits local charities

Jun 05 2015 | 4:55 pm - United Methodist Women host a rummage sale at First United Methodist Church in Elgin through saturday.

U-46 Book Bus gives kids summer reading choices

Jun 04 2015 | 4:31 pm - The U-46 Book Bus stopped at McKinley Elementary School in Elgin Thursday to encourage students to read this summer. The Book Bus is a mobile giveaway book exchange for U-46 students where they can get books, give books, and trade books.

Kids at Hanover Park school flip over Jesse White Tumblers

May 07 2015 | 4:30 pm - The Jesse White Tumblers performed for students at Ontarioville Elementary School Thursday in Hanover Park. The performance was a reward for students earning an honor in the Elgin Area School District U-46 summer reading program last year.

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