Michael R. Lutz Family Center – Lakeview
About The Michael R. Lutz Family Center

Located at the corner of Sheffield and Grace, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood
Ages 15 months – Grade 6
Quality early childhood education, after school care programs and summer day camp.

As an organization committed to the education and development of children, our goal is to create a place where children are treated with respect and love in an educational environment that is challenging, creative, exciting and fun. JCYS is an all-inclusive school that welcomes families of all faiths and backgrounds. We celebrate Jewish tradition and holidays and observe Shabbat every Friday.

Our highest priorities for your children are providing quality, age and developmentally appropriate programs that enhance their self-esteem, socialization, problem solving skills and multi-cultural awareness.  With our emphasis on process over product, we show children that working through problems and activities is more rewarding than the final result – fostering a love of learning at all stages of their development.

Our Staff

We are proud of our dedicated teaching staff that continues to provide quality childhood education year after year, with some of our most tenured teachers reaching over 15 years of service with JCYS!  We also believe that consistency and friendly, familiar faces are necessary in a child’s emotional and behavioral development, as well as a great benchmark for how far they’ve come!

Jean Sellmyer Losek, Director of Chicago Operations
jlosek@jcys.org  |  (773) 281-2533
After receiving her BFA degree at Illinois Wesleyan University, Jean relocated from downstate Illinois to Chicago.  Joining JCYS in May 1993, Jean currently oversees the operations of JCYS Chicago programs including the Michael R. Lutz Preschool, Sunflower and Big City Day Camps, After School Care and TEAMcorps.  A testament to the care of JCYS, Jean’s daughter Maggie grew up in the programs of JCYS from the age of two and continued after high school and college as a camp counselor and assistant teacher here at the Michael R. Lutz Family Center.  Jean is committed to running great programs that serve our children, families and community.

Debbie Heifitz Porter, Michael R. Lutz Family Center Director
dporter@jcys.org  |  (773) 281-2533
Debbie has a long history with JCYS!  At 16 years old, Debbie was an arts & crafts counselor at Camp Henry Horner when JCYS was still Young Men’s Jewish Council.  It was in 1996 that she joined JCYS in her official capacity as Center Director.  Debbie received her formal education from National Louis and Spertus College of Judaic studies and is a member of the Educational Advisory Board for Truman College.  She and her family belong to JRC synagogue where Debbie volunteers and is often asked to teach Sunday school and her children attended JCYS preschool and our Big City Day Camp.  Debbie is passionate about early childhood education and working to fulfill the JCYS mission of providing educational and recreational programs for children!

Gene Lee, School Age Supervisor
glee@jcys.org | (773) 281-2533
Gene has been working with JCYS since Fall of 2001, starting at the JCYS Newberry Elementary After School Program.  He now oversees all of our school age programs including our After School Program, the Holiday Program as well as the Winter and Spring Break Camps.  During the summer, Gene works as a Unit Head for Big City Day Camp.  Gene received his formal education from Northeastern Illinois University and Truman college.  On his off time, Gene enjoys table tennis and spending time with his wife Jessica, his family and friends.

Download our Parent Handbook to learn more about the programs at Michael R. Lutz Family Center.

Learn more about JCYS Family Center policies online.

We look forward to working with you and your child this year!