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Editorial

Laura Stoecker

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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Santa touched by S. Elgin special needs students’ unselfishness

Dec 17 2014 | 11:07 pm - Elgin school bus driver Greg Stout not only does he get to play Santa Claus, but he gets to share it with special needs students who are the epitome of unselfishness. "I like coming to the special needs class because these kids never want anything...

Algonquin shoppers treated to a TubaChristmas

Dec 13 2014 | 7:06 pm - Shoppers at Algonquin Commons were treated to the soothing baritone notes of 18 tubas and euphoniums during the second annual TubaChristmas concert hosted by Cambridge Music Outreach on Saturday. A constant ebb and flow of about 50 people stopped to...

Dickens in Dundee brings Christmas spirit to life

Dec 06 2014 | 7:10 pm - Dickens in Dundee: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in downtown East and West Dundee. 27th annual festival featuring Living Windows, family festivities, parade, Santa, petting zoo, crafts, Gingerbread Village and carriage rides.

Holiday spirit arrives in Elgin

Dec 06 2014 | 7:08 pm - Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland 12 to 5 p.m. 16th annual event features decorated storefront windows, roasted chestnuts, decorating cookies, carriage rides, holiday music and Santa’s live reindeer. Stop by Elgin Police Department open house,...

Families flock to 20th annual Elburn Christmas Stroll

Nov 29 2014 | 7:16 pm - As live music filled Elburn's Town and Country Public Library on Saturday night, families lined up alongside rows of books in the children's department to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Christmas Craft & Home Show returns to Marmion

Nov 29 2014 | 6:37 pm - The annual Marmion Christmas Craft & Home Show returned for the 24th year at Marmion Academy in Aurora on Saturday. The academy’s director of special events, Maria Thornton, said shopper turnout was strong. “We had a line out the door...

Holiday Homecoming kicks off holiday season in St. Charles

Nov 28 2014 | 11:35 pm - Bundled up tight in hats and scarves, families gathered in the First Street Plaza Friday evening for the annual St. Charles Holiday Homecoming. Mayor Ray Rogina spoke to the crowd, and choral groups from St. Charles East and North high schools...

Meet the 10-year-old actress who has her sights set on Broadway

Nov 28 2014 | 2:16 pm - Ten-year-old St. Charles actress Jayd Steinke has already decided she is Broadway bound. Bitten by the acting bug at age 6 in 2011, Steinke portrayed an orphan in the musical Annie, Jr. produced by the new Marquee Youth Stage theater group based in...

Thanksgiving Day run benefits Batavia food pantry

Nov 27 2014 | 3:14 pm - The18th annual The Fox and The Turkey Races in downtown Batavia raised more than $10,000 for the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry.

Swan’s Christmas Trees opens in 5 locations

Nov 26 2014 | 4:23 pm - Swan's Christmas Trees sets up at two locations in St. Charles, plus South Elgin, West Chicago and Naperville.

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