This is the story of four teachers who transformed a little Catholic high school into a creative experience by making learning fun. But they went too far. To save a colleague’s job, they joined the teachers’ union. With the Bishop’s blessing, the new principal abolished tenure and fired these tenured teachers, all of whom had several years of experience.
The teachers took the battle to the school board, the pastor, the media and even the nun’s convent. Parents and students joined in to picket the Bishop’s mansion. After 100 days of turmoil, from March to June, the teachers finally lost after they were literally banned from the Catholic Mass.
Inspired by one teacher’s vision of starting a teacher-run school, they had only three summer months to plan a new school with eleven students. Maybeck High school began without a location. The first day of classes, 21 students followed the faculty into empty classrooms on the University of California’s campus in Berkeley. After staying at several temporary school sites that first semester, Maybeck eventually settled on a United Methodist building for a year and a half, moved to Berkeley, expanded to 100 students and was recognized as the best high school in the East Bay in 2008. Maybeck celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2012.