Maybeck High School is named after the regional architect Bernard Maybeck (1862-1957), whose work represents imagination and excellence and provides a model for the school's vision of education. Founder Stan Cardinet taught history and social studies for seven years at Saint Elizabeth’s High School in East Oakland. In 1972 Stan and a small group of teachers from St. Elizabeth’s left and began their own school, Maybeck High School, with 17 students in a church building near MacArthur Blvd. and 35th Avenue.

This small but passionate group of students and teachers formed a school around Stan’s core beliefs about education. Stan believed that education develops who you are, that experience is better than the lecture, that you will learn more outside of school than inside.

Maybeck High School soon outgrew the original location in Oakland and moved to 2362 Bancroft Way across from the UC Berkeley campus. Currently, Maybeck High School is located at 2727 College Avenue in Berkeley, California.