Arlene Poncelet

Executive Director, SD Council on Developmental Disabilities

Began at Teachwell:


Why did you choose this field?

I believe it chose me.  I accepted a position as support staff for the Council and a few years later was asked to apply for the Executive Director position.  Helping children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families has become my passion and my career.

What was your favorite subject in school?

I’ve always liked history.  I would recommend Parallels in Time to learn more about Disability History.  

What did you think you were going to be when you grew up?

I didn't know what I would do, but I was going to work in an office.

What keeps you motivated?

Knowing that there are more people with developmental disabilities who haven’t yet achieved their dreams and goals.

What lessons has your work life taught you?

Worrying over things not in your control does no one any good. .

What is your background? Experience, degrees, skills, etc.?

Two years of college and 29 years with the Council on Developmental Disabilities. I'm organized. I can see the big picture but still realize all the small things that have to be done to reach the big picture.

How do you hope to make a difference?

I hope that I have helped adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities live as independently as they can by providing resources and encouragement to them and their families.