Faculty and Staff

Administration

Kevin J. McCloskey
President

Kevin J. McCloskey is president of Direct Learning Systems, Inc. (DLS), a Lehigh Valley, PA, based distance education publishing company, which he founded in 1999. DLS owns Modern Gun School (MGS) which is approved by the Delaware Department of Education as a private business and trade school and provides an Internet-based distance learning curriculum. MGS is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, Washington, D.C. and regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools CESS, Philadelphia, PA.

Kevin’s previous experience includes over 15 years in senior management. He was Vice Chairman and managing partner of NLKK, Inc. the former operator of K12 owned Keystone School, a nationally accredited Internet-based secondary school with an enrollment of over 15,000 students. In 2000, he orchestrated the sale of NLKK, Inc. to KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., a publicly-traded firm. Prior to that time, he held various senior management positions in the medical equipment field. Kevin was primarily responsible for marketing, sales, business development and strategic planning throughout this period. He holds a BA degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Professionally, Kevin is active within the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), served on the Business Standards Committee (Vice Chairman), and was Chairman of the International Marketing Workshop of the DEAC in 2000. Other professional affiliations include the Pennsylvania Restaurant Association, the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, and the Pennsylvania Association of Private School Administrators. He has also served on the school board of St. Thomas More School as fundraising chairman.

 

Zeke Stout
Director

Zeke Stout is a certified firearms specialist with IFSA (International Firearms Specialist Academy). He has served as an executive at a large conglomerate of businesses in Nashville, TN where he honed many aspects of marketing to different demographics. He then started one of the most popular podcasts in the firearms industry, expanding his pre-existing gun knowledge. He then went on to help build one of the largest online gunsmithing schools in the nation as an Executive Vice President. In that role, he was certified as a Higher Education Professional in leadership through the DEAC and became an armorer in several platforms, including the 1911 and Penn arms grenade launcher.  He was also the host and gunsmithing subject matter expert for the Discovery channel show Master Of Arms.

Zeke Stout brings his expertise in firearms and business to Modern Gun School. Mr. Stout is a strong leader that is also a visionary for the school’s future. Responsible for maintaining the creative consciousness of MGS, and ensuring that it blends well and in proper coordination with other companies in the firearms industry. In keeping with accreditation standards, he will recommend changes to the curriculum, delivery methods of the same, and recommend which firearms programs will best benefit the industry as a whole. Mr. Stout will create marketing campaigns and implementation methods, with the input from students and staff, while maintaining a consistent reputation and standard that Modern Gun School is striving to achieve.

 

Valerie L. Behrle
Director of Education

Valerie L. Behrle, holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Masters’ Degree in Education from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. She has 20+ years of teaching experience with more than 15 years in distance education. As the Director of Education, she oversees the internal and external instructors and is responsible for program research, editorial revisions and branded marketing strategies relating to gun repair. In addition, she develops and edits new programs in conjunction with MGS’s master gunsmith/instructor, Skip Walters.

Faculty and Staff

Harry “Skip” Walters III
Master Gunsmith/Instructor

A graduate of the Pennsylvania Gunsmith School, Skip has worked as an engineer, Technician, Model-maker, and Gunsmith for over 30 years. In addition to his role at MGS, Skip also works as a gunsmith for Sarco, Inc., one of the world’s largest suppliers of gun parts, kits, and accessories.
With his extensive education and real-world, experience, Skip provides MGS students with unique insights into what it takes to be a successful gunsmith. Have a question about your course or the firearms industry? Skip’s experience and expertise in the firearms industry is an invaluable resource.

Donnita Fisher
Accounting/Finance Manager

Donnita is the Accounting/Finance Manager and joins DLS with over 25 years of experience. She graduated from Franklin University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a Minor in Finance. Her professional experiences and educational background in Accounting, Finances, and Human Resources enable her to coordinate the financial needs and human resources development at Direct Learning Systems, Inc.

She is a member of the National Association of Certified Accounting Paraprofessionals (NACAP), Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA), and the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). In addition to being certified in desktop QuickBooks and QuickBooks online, she is also a certified public notary.

Casey J. McCloskey
Manager of Business Operations

Casey McCloskey is the Manager of Business Operations. Mr. McCloskey graduated from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.) and a Master of Education in Counseling & College Student Affairs (M.Ed.). In addition to his two degrees, Casey also earned his Teacher Certification through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

Previous to his role at Direct Learning Systems, Inc., he worked in Higher Education within Student Affairs. This included working and collaborating with Orientation, Admissions, Housing & Residence Life, and Career Development. After several years in Higher Education, Casey shifted to the world of Business and worked in Sales. During his time in Sales, Casey exceeded his quota, earned Sales Rep of the month several times, and attained President’s Club.

Mr. McCloskey’s background in Secondary and Post-Secondary Education along with his experience in business brings strong leadership to manage and support a team in the operational functions at Direct Learning Systems, Inc. In his current role, Casey works closely with school directors in his oversight of day-to-day operations, budgeting, technology, student data, compliance, and academic operations to support our mission and help students reach their personal and professional goals.

Maggie McCloskey
Marketing Manager

Maggie brings several years of experience in Customer Service, Management, Brand Awareness, Marketing, Strategic Lead Generation and Administration to DLS. In 2015, she graduated from the University of South Florida, earning a BA in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. After graduating, Maggie spent two years at a law firm in New York City, working in account management & brand research. For the next three years, Maggie worked for Warby Parker, in their CX headquarters in Nashville, as a Customer Experience Lead—supervising a team of 15 advisors engaging with nationwide customers to provide solutions and seamless experiences. In her role at DLS, Maggie manages the day-to-day aspects of all DLS brand endeavors. She leads the collaboration of the DLS brand teams on various projects, from ideation and strategy to implementation and reviewing results, in an effort to achieve company growth goals.

Stacy Feifel
Director of Academic Programs and Compliance

Stacy has been with Direct Learning Systems since 2007 in various administrative and educational capacities. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Telecommunications from Kutztown University and a Masters’ Degree in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design and Technology from the American College of Education. Her responsibilities include assisting the Director of Education, leading the educational and development team to construct and revise various educational material for the school, and working with the school’s administration to maintain and comply with licensure and accreditation standards. She is also the administrator of the school’s online learning management system. Stacy also provides educational assistance to students with a special concentration on our veteran, military, and military spouse population.

Lori Ritch
Operations and Marketing

Lori’s career began at the Institute of Children’s Literature. As a recent graduate, she worked with upper management to build and implement marketing plans as well as budgets for cash flow and purchasing. While at the Institute, Lori held various positions including managing daily processes, operations, IT projects, print production, systems management, and communicating with students. Lori joined DLS in 2021, bringing over 30 years administrative and marketing experience. Along with coordinating creative designs, the annual market directories, and other administrative tasks, Lori is responsible for market research, implementation, measuring, and reporting results. Outside of work, Lori enjoys the great outdoors and spending time with her family.

Tammy Kromer
Student Services Representative / Mail Room Manager

Tammy has over 20 years of experience in customer service and began at Direct Learning Systems in the fall of 2001. As a Sr. Student Service Representative, Tammy serves as a mentor to the staff. Her responsibilities include processing student exams, assignments, and graduation documents. She also assures each student has their appropriate course resources. Tammy assists the General Manager in various duties including printing processes.

Jacque Irizarry
Graphic Designer /Student Services

Jacque is a graduate of SNHU where she majored in Graphics and Media Arts. At BCI, her responsibilities include: graphic + web design, IT projects with our programmers, and providing assistance to students through inbound and outbound calls, correspondence, and educational assistance. Jacque loves playing basketball, touring breweries, and volunteering within her community through various food and clothing drives. She also enjoys dabbling with photography, painting, and other forms of creative arts.

Matthew Schoch
Student Services Representative / Content Writer / Editor

Matt is a 2021 graduate of King’s College and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Professional Writing and Mass Communication. At King’s, Matt worked with the Scop Literary Magazine, The Crown campus newspaper, held an internship with The Daily Caller, and also served as a captain for the cross country and track and field teams. At Direct Learning Systems, Inc., he focuses on internal operations and assists the Development Team in curriculum updates. In his free time, Matt likes to run, play disc golf, watch sports, and spend time with friends and family.

Anthony Germani
Student Services Representative / Sales Development

Anthony is a Penn State graduate where he majored in Education. Professionally, he has worked in education and as a sales representative. At Direct Learning Systems, Inc., he is responsible for continuously evaluating and developing our processes in order to grow our business and provide quality experiences to attract and retain our students. Outside of work, Anthony enjoys spending time with his family and enjoys playing/watching sports (especially basketball and golf).

James McCloskey
Admissions Advisor / Student Services Representative

James brings his experience in management, communications, and sales to the DLS team. After studying Communications & New Media at Coastal Carolina University, James started his career in an industry he’s passionate about: pro-golf management. James served as a leader at five country clubs in four different states, gaining a vast knowledge of excellent customer experience, sales, management structures and team building skills. In 2020, he left the golf industry to work in the mortgage industry. As a loan officer at AmRes Mortgage Company, James worked with insurance companies, banks, and title companies to ensure mortgagees were taken care of. In his role at DLS, he manages day-to-day prospect relations, collaborates with marketing to enhance long-term strategy & communications, and drives the optimization of the admissions department.

Jamie Klaum
Student Services Representative / Content Writer / Editor

Jamie graduated from Kutztown University with a degree in English/Professional Writing and a minor in Criminal Justice. She has work published in Shoofly Literary Magazine and she wrote for the Keystone Newspaper for two years. Jamie interned at the Rohrbach Library Archives where she designed and published her own research magazine. At Direct Learning Systems Inc., she works in the education department developing, editing, and writing content. Outside of work, Jamie enjoys hiking—so much that she lived in a converted bus while traveling the country to hike in National Parks. She is also an avid reader and is slowly building her own home library.

Christine Molnar
Student Services Representative

Christine is a graduate from Southern Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication. She has over 20 years of customer service experience starting out in the retail sector. Christine’s main role is to assist prospective, current, and former students, answering administrative questions as well as providing guidance with lessons. In addition to spending time with her family, Christine enjoys photography, running, crafting, and savoring the great outdoors.

Shannon Jacobs
Student Services Representative / Social Media Coordinator

Shannon is a 2021 graduate of Kutztown University with a bachelor’s in Social Media Theory & Strategy with a minor in communication studies. She also earned an associates in graphic design from Lehigh Carbon Community College (LCCC). Shannon’s role in her internship at WebFX in Harrisburg was a social media specialist – account manager. There she managed multiple client accounts, created content designs, brand awareness, content calendars, and social media strategies. In Shannon’s free time, she enjoys the gym, listening to music, painting, and spending time with friends.

Cameron Kilpatrick
Student Services / Shipping Associate

Cameron is a graduate of Lehigh Carbon Community College with an associate degree in Liberal Arts. Currently working on his bachelor’s degree at Bloomsburg University, he is studying to be an Anthropologist. Professionally, he has worked at Staples, Inc. in both sales and customer service. At Direct Learning Systems, Inc., Cam’s administrative role includes processing student exams, assignments, proof of education, and student surveys. He also assists in the mail room, processing student shipments and letters. Outside of work, Cam enjoys camping and exploring nature, specifically geology, minerology, and herpetology.

Denise Di Bernard
Digital Production & Print Specialist

Denise studied Elementary Education at West Chester University and later pursued an Associates degree in Graphic Design at Delaware County Community College. She has many years of experience in print and design. At DLS her duties include printing student learning materials, maintaining warehouse inventory, shipping and receiving. Denise enjoys cooking, craft beer, kayaking, biking, running, and gardening and also volunteers as a trail steward with the National Park Service.

Antonio Smith
IT Systems Technician

Antonio graduated from the trade school Lehigh Career & Technical Institute with a computer and networking technology degree while attending high school. Afterward, he pursued his associate’s degree at Lehigh Carbon Community College as a computer specialist in networking technology while working in the field of IT. At DLS, his role is to manage all IT systems and foresee all future IT projects and roles, ensuring that DLS has superb technology systems in place and working properly. Outside of DLS, Antonio likes to play video games and spend time with his friends and family.