Students Surprised By Sudden Closure Of Beauty School

Photo courtesy Capri Website

  BRICK – Barnegat resident Sarah Lavroff began her skin care specialty licensing program at Capri Institute back in September but her hopes and dreams are in peril as the facility unexpectedly closed and the transcripts provided to her and her fellow students by Capri are useless.

  Officials at the facility informed students and staff that the Brick location was “temporarily closed” for 30 days. Four other centers including Capri’s Paramus based headquarters are listed as permanently closed.

  Teachers said they haven’t been paid in the last two weeks at the Brick facility, according to Lavroff, who told The Brick Times that her last day of class was December 1. “We were told during class to come into the clinic area for an assembly. That is when we learned from the teachers that they hadn’t been paid and that the school was closing for 30 days.”

  Lavroff said her teachers didn’t sound hopeful that the facility, located at 268 Brick Boulevard, would reopen noting poor interior conditions within the building and their status of not having paychecks.

  Lavroff and a friend went to the school to see if they could get their transcripts that document their hours with the program as well as a printout of their contract to get reimbursement. They went a few days after their last class despite it being closed to students to see if that would be possible and saw Dean Maggy Guevara and a teacher of cosmetology in the office. “They ignored us until we knocked on the window and asked for what we needed.”

  Lavroff recorded the interaction on her phone’s video app which showed that Guevara told them the school was closed and they would call the police if they didn’t leave.

  “My friend said, sure call the police her father is a member of the department. We just wanted what was owed to us. Several police cars showed up and they told us we should seek out an attorney and there was nothing we could do but we did get a printout of our contract,” Lavroff said.

  A few days later Lavroff and her fellow students were provided transcripts but they learned afterwards when speaking to other cosmetology schools, that the transcripts were useless. “They weren’t signed or stamped so they can’t be used to transfer to another school.”

  Capri had been founded in 1961 by Helmut Muenster who died in 1983. His daughter Anne Muenster of Lavallette then became the owner of the institute that has several locations including Paramus and Kenilworth.

  The Brick Times reached out to Mrs. Muenster, 80, but two phone numbers listed on a real estate website were no longer in use. A voicemail at Capri Institute in Brick noted that the facility was closed. A message was left but at press time no response had been received. Calls were also made to the locations in Paramus, Clifton and Kenilworth but facilities were closed.

  Lavroff, 26, is a single mom said she completed half of her training hours. “Since they claim they are ‘temporarily closing’ we are also unable to use any financial aid elsewhere, unless we ourselves withdraw from the program.” She added that when students and staff were told about the 30-day closure they made vague reference to the school being closed for COVID reasons but she doesn’t believe that is true.

  Lavoff was to have graduated from the program on February 21, 2022. “I called the State Attorney General’s Office, a state office on accreditation and my credit card company as well as every single Capri School to get some satisfaction.”

  For now the true status of the Brick facility and why students were issued improper transcripts that can’t be used remains a mystery along with whether staff there have been paid.