Capitol was started here in Omaha in 1923 by Mrs. Kamreth.
Originally the school was located on Capitol Avenue in downtown Omaha, and was the namesake for the school. Mrs. Kamreth, the original owner, was ahead of her time in her thinking and desire to provide the best education possible. With this philosophy she was able to maintain an unmatched reputation for quality education. Due to the war effort, enrollment slowed during the late 30’s and early 40’s. At the end of World War II enrollment was back on track as our country recovered and looked forward to better times ahead.
In approximately 1957 Mrs. Vi Stehno and Ms. Audrey Hunt purchased Capitol from Mrs. Kamreth. The school was moved to a new location, with new facilities and equipment. Mrs. Stehno and Ms. Hunt continued the legacy started by Mrs. Kamreth in providing an outstanding education.
In the late 60’s Mrs. Stehno and Ms. Hunt started a nationwide search to find a person that would take their facility to new height of quality and education. Surprisingly, their search ended in their own backyard of Nebraska. Here they found an up and coming individual named Lyal McCaig.
At that time, Lyal and his wife Judy had already become quite successful in the industry. They owned the fabulous Lavender Carouse salon in North Platte, Nebraska and Lyal had become the youngest Styles Director that the National Hair Fashion Committee had ever had. Lyal and Judy agreed that Capitol was a natural fit with their expertise and long term goals. In 1969 the McCaig’s purchased the school and the next stage had begun. The school remained at the 16th and Harney location until 1987 when they opened in West Omaha, at 125th and West Center. This location served its purpose for 23 years, but was closed in May 2010 when Capitol moved into our new state of the art facility.
The McCaig’s worked together at Capitol for many years, with Lyal continuing to achieve locally, nationally and internationally in the beauty industry. Some of his many achievements were induction into the National Cosmetology Association (NCA) Hall of Renown, National Styles Director for National Hairdressers & Cosmetologists Association (NHCA) numerous times, Olympic Team trainer for NCA, America Board of Hair Colorists, Team YES and Team NXT Director, just to name a few.
Judy was at the forefront of skin care education here in the US. In the early 70’s she created additional courses in Esthetics for our Cosmetology students to attend. This additional course was very well received by both students & local salon owners.In 1994, Judy McCaig & Tanya Serefko presented documentation to the Nebraska State Legislature that ended up creating a 600 Hour Esthetics License here in Nebraska. This fulfilled the needs of hundreds of individuals seeking education focused directly on corrective skincare & spa services & procedures.
Sadly, in June of 2007, Lyal left his family, coworkers and countless friends in the beauty industry after losing his fight with cancer. Words cannot do justice to the legacy that his life, his love and his guidance to literally thousands of people that he touched in so many ways in the beauty industry.
Today, Capitol continues to proceed ahead in producing the best graduates in the beauty industry. This continuation of quality and progress is only made possible by the unparalleled staff that Lyal and Judy put together.