Phone: 201-945-4455


Degrees and Certifications:

B.a., Psychology Masters in Social Work Licensed Clinical Social Worker Substance Awareness Coordinator

Mr. Joseph Skunca

I serve as the School Social Worker, Student Assistance Counselor and Substance Abuse Counselor at Ridgefield Memorial High School. I am a member  of the Intervention and Referral Services program which is a multi-disciplinary team providing  assistance to students struggling with any factors which may be impacting their learning.
I have been a social worker for 27 years and have worked in a wide variety of different environments in the field of mental health. After receiving my bachelor's degree in Psychology from Montclair State University in 1992 I worked as a residential counselor in a group home for the Adult Chronic Mentally Ill at a program called Harbor House in Paterson. I wished to further my education and counseling skills so I pursued a Master's degree in Social Work part-time while I worked full-time. I received my Master's degree in 1999 and began working as a social worker in the High School. I had done an internship here at the school and loved working with the kids. I felt extremely fortunate that a position became available and I have been here ever since. I have also worked as a Psychiatric Emergency Screener and manager at 262-HELP, have done in-home-therapy with children and worked with the elderly.  I have a certification as a substance abuse counselor and am a Licensed Clinical Social worker- sometimes referred to as a psychotherapist. I have received extensive training in mental health crisis, trauma, grief, depression, and substance abuse.
My philosophy of life and work is grounded in  the beliefs of humanistic psychology and philosophy. I strongly believe in the principles of compassion and kindness and they are the values upon which I guide my work and my life. I have learned through many years of experience that so often when we judge others, we are wrong. I am available for any student in the school to see for counseling in relationship to any issues or problems they may be experiencing in their lives.
 Although my job can be stressful, I simply cannot imagine a better job. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work with students here. I care very much for the students I work with and  I look forward to coming to work every day.
One of the mottos that I live by and often tell students when they are being particularly harsh toward someone is. " Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle."