Alumni Spotlight Archive
Triton's a Tradition for the Caira Family
Since the 1970s Triton College has been the preferred place of learning for the Caira family.
Frank Caira Sr. and Frank Caira Jr. have been attending or teaching classes in the Automotive Department at Triton College for almost 40 years. In May of 2010, Frank Caira III graduated from Triton in the top of his class with degrees in Automotive Technology and Auto Service Department Management, and received certifications in many other automotive areas. The fourth Caira to attend Triton College is Peter, Frank Jr's youngest son. Peter has already received certifications from Triton and plans to graduate with an associate's degree from the Automotive Department next August.
The eldest Caira, Frank Sr. has been on Triton College's Automotive Advisory Board since 1973. Shortly after opening the Elmwood Park-based Caira Super Service in 1962 , he and his son started attending classes at Triton to learn more about changes in their industry. Frank Jr. was on the 1977 Presidents List for his outstanding grades.
Frank Jr. went on to teach in Triton's Automotive Department and continues to teach and attend classes at Triton today. "I would be lost without Triton College," Frank Jr. said. "I have learned so much there over the years, and I continue to learn new things every day. I still reference my old notebooks from Triton, so that says something about how valuable the education was for me. I also hire employees from the program and work with them to hone their skills."
When asked about taking classes taught by their father, Frank III and Peter (also employed at the family automotive repair shop along with their mother, Janine) noticed that they did not receive any special treatment. "If anything, he made me work harder than anyone else," Peter said. "If I was a stranger, my classes probably would have been easier."
Chase O'Connell, the son of Triton automotive instructor Bill O'Connell, also works with the Caira family. "I enjoy working here," Chase said. "I learn how to do something at Triton and then I can come here and apply what I learned instantly. It makes for great service."
"When I hire a new employee, I'll send them to Triton College for classes." Frank Jr. said. "Triton has the most affordable tuition in the area and when you see a lot of kids coming from different schools, it's easy to see that Triton's students have an advantage. I'm not saying this because I teach there; it's easy to say because it's true."
Frank Caira Jr. continues to teach classes at Triton, including a night class that is at full enrollment this semester.