Frank Ceja opens up about family and fatherhood

Frank+Ceja+opens+up+about+family+and+fatherhood

Photo courtesy of Frank Cejas; Design by Zoey Batres

From high school mischief to zipping around town on a motorcycle to breaking his bones and almost losing an eye, Frank Ceja has lived a full life—but importantly, as a dedicated father and husband. 

Ceja is a second-year teacher at La Quinta High School, where he leads the Information Technology Academy program. 

Prior to teaching, he was director of technology for Coachella Valley Unified School District, an information technology manager for Red Earth Casino, and network administrator for College of the Desert.

Now, in a different stage of his life, Ceja is transferring his 20 years of experience in the information technology field and imparting that knowledge to his students. 

When he left Coachella, Calif. to attend DeVry University in Industry, Calif. for his bachelor of science degree in telecommunications management, Ceja described himself as adventurous and a risk-taker with ambitions of “jumping out of airplanes, going on a boat by myself across the ocean,” he said. “You know, that kind of stuff.” 

And yet despite all that he has accomplished, when he looks back on his life, it was a series of moments that changed his life forever: meeting his wife and subsequently becoming a father. 

“[It was] the day that my wife told me that we were pregnant,” he said, “and the day that my baby girl was born and I held her in my hands.” 

The birth of his first child changed his whole value system, he said. 

As he held his newborn baby, his first thought was “that this little person is now relying on me.” His ambitions changed, and all he wanted to do was to be a good dad for all his kids and to be there for every single moment of his children’s lives—not wanting to miss anything. 

Ceja and his wife now have four kids: a 25-year-old daughter, a 23-year-old son, a 20-year-old daughter, and a 17-year-old son at Shadow Hills High School. 

His biggest struggle with parenting is constantly worrying about them hoping that they are safe, especially during the pandemic because they are out and about working, going to school, or even going out for groceries. 

When asked if it was harder to raise the boys or the girls, Ceja chuckled and said felt like he was being put in the spotlight… 

“It’s weird because that almost works out equally because my first child was my daughter, and she was a great kid, great baby,” he said. 

“My next child was my son and he was a horrible baby—just absolutely horrible,” he said with a laugh, “but he grew up and he became a real good man. So see, it kind of evens out.”

Ceja hopes for his kids to be happy and to enjoy life. “I hope they have good values and treat everyone with respect,” he said. “I hope my kids remember that you always stand up for yourself and to always be true to your values.” 

“I tell my kids that they will not know how much I love them until they have their own child,” he said. 

Being a parent has caused him to appreciate his mom and dad even more so. 

“I look back and say, ‘Wow, my mom and dad loved me a lot,’ Ceja said. “They say you don’t know until you are in that position—until you have a child.”

Humans of La Quinta High School is an ongoing series featuring Blackhawk students and staff.