Press "Enter" to skip to content

Former University baseball player Eli Stokols takes a break from covering President Trump to receive prestigious award from Irvine Public Schools Foundation

University High graduates Eli Stokols and Garrett Atkins in front of the green monster at Fenway Park in October of 2007, when Atkins, a former teammate of Stokols at University High, was playing for the Colorado Rockies against the Red Sox in the World Series. Stokols, who was working as a newscaster for a television station in Denver at the time, wrote a story for Irvine World News about it. Photo courtesy Eli StokolsEli Stokols in front of Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base following President Trump’s trip to the United States Coast Guard Academy Commencement Ceremony at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London Connecticut, May 17, 2017. Photo by Doug Mills The New York TimesShow Caption of Expand
Eli Stokols, a former University High baseball player, focuses much of his energy these days on covering the daily news happenings of President Donald Trump as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.
But in October, the 38-year-old Stokols took a break, at least for one night, to accept a Spirit of Excellence Award from the Irvine Public Schools Foundation at a gala in Irvine.
“I was surprised and honored by the award,” Stokols said in an interview. “There are so many people from Irvine doing impressive and interesting things, so it was humbling to be chosen. And the gala was a lot of fun. I met wonderful folks, including the great Rod Carew and Janet Rome, whose husband, Jim, was an early influencer in the broadcast world. I loved listening to his radio show as a kid, as I told Janet.
“The best part was having an opportunity to stand on a stage and thank the people who have helped me along the way: a number of teachers and, above all, my parents (Dan and Jeanne).”
It’s likely those attending wanted to know what it was like covering President Trump.
“The Trump administration is so unlike anything Washington has seen before, and covering it is exhilarating but also very challenging,” Stokols said in the interview.  “This president just stirs up so much news. It’s never boring, but it’s a challenge often being in a reactive posture and also picking our spots, figuring out what really merits heavy coverage and what doesn’t. You do start to see some pretty consistent patterns after two years of covering Donald Trump.”
Stokols’ parents were at the gala event in October along with University Athletic Director Mark Cunningham. One of Stokols’ former baseball coaches at University, Mike Gerakos said in the video presentation that highlighted Stokols’ life that Stokols “should be proud of all your accomplishments.” The presentation also included a congratulatory message from MSNBC news anchor Brian Williams.
Stokols graduated from University High in 1997 and was a first baseman and pitcher on the Trojans’ Pacific Coast League championship team. Stokols later earned a bachelor’s degree in history and mass communications from UC Berkeley and a Master’s Degree from Columbia University in 2002.
Stokols’ first experience in newspapers was from 1995 to 1997.
“First job was writing for the sports department of the Irvine World News, when I was in high school,” Stokols said in an interview on Politico in 2017. “It was the only newspaper I’d ever worked for until winding up at WSJ a few months ago.”
Stokols was raised in University Park and attended University Park Elementary and Rancho San Joaquin Middle School. His interest in politics began to develop when he started following President Bill Clinton’s campaign in 1992 for a social studies class.
Before joining the Wall Street Journal in April, Stokols covered the 2016 presidential campaign for Politico, which included coverage of the Republican presidential race and later President Trump.
“Prior to that, I covered the 2016 campaign for Politico. And before that, I spent nine years covering politics in Denver for a television station, KDVR-TV,”  Stokols said.
“I always imagined getting to Washington and covering national politics; I just didn’t imagine it would look and feel like this.”
While Stokols said he has not had a sit-down interview with Trump, he has asked him questions at press conferences. Stokols, part of a five-person team that covers the White House for the Wall Street Journal, has often been seen during the televised White House press briefings. Stokols, who is also an analyst on MSNBC, lives in Washington, D.C.
The Irvine Public Schools Foundation event at KIA Motors American, attended by around 400, raised more than $720,000 which will help fund critical programs and classroom support for the Irvine Unified School District, according to the Foundation.
Source: Oc Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply