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Together at the Top

"The power of Mark’s presentations cannot be overstated.  He inspires, motivates, and encourages with every word. Mark has built a loyal following through his candor, his insight, and his empathic approach. As one listens, we each hear the challenges that he has confronted with grace and dignity, applaud the courage that has enabled him to share his life’s experiences, and leave with a greater understanding of how one person can have an impact on so many lives. As a speaker, a poet, and a teacher, Mark Chartier is an incomparable force."

Faye Gibson,

Colorado Department of Education

"Mark is a motivational force. Not only did he inspire me with his positive attitude and humble humor, but the anecdotes he shared gave me insight into how I can better relate to my colleagues with disabilities. His accomplishments remind me that any obstacle can be overcome with the right perspective."

—Jenna Deason,
Conference Participant

"Mark Chartier is an exceptional speaker, educator, and motivator

for students.  He takes a great deal of pride in the challenges he has conquered and enjoys sharing his story with others. 

Mr. C, as he is known to his students, speaks openly with students and their families about not letting anything get in the way of his goals.  He is ambitious and inspires others to want to be their very best as well.  Mr. C. sends the message to never give up and never let anything hold you back."

—Claudette Trujillo,


“Mark Chartier’s poems show honesty and connection. His collection brings together the teacher with buoys students in a world forcing them to grow up too fast, heartbreaking confessions about the relationships that fail and save us, and the vulnerability that invites us to carefully look at mental health and disabilities. In these poems, we find letters to patience, persistence, and forgiveness that speak for the voiceless, those struggling with PTSD, the abandoned, and those dreaming of good times. Like tweezers removing a splinter from a squirming child’s hand, we are reminded ‘Nothing beautiful is ever easy.’” 


—Juan J. Morales,

Author & Professor

"Mark Chartier is a gifted public speaker, teacher and poet. He weaves his life stories into his public speaking and "puts it all out there", drawing the audience in. Mark shares stories about living with Tourette's Syndrome, growing up in a dysfunctional home, tales from the classroom, and hopes for the future.  He is not afraid to show his vulnerability and engages the audience, whether they be educators, students, or parents. I have heard Mark speak at various events at least 10 times, and every time I leave with tears in my eyes and more respect and love for Mark."

—Barbara Goldsby, Colorado Department of Education

"This was a dynamite presentation! "Mr. C.", a teacher with Tourette's Syndrome explained the mechanism of Tourette's and how it lends "inside info" to his teaching techniques. Mr. C. establishes great rapport with his students, fellow educators, and conference attendees who are so fortunate as to hear him. His sense of humor, in general, is spiced with personal anecdotes relating to how his Tourette's impacts his life. He is an excellent choice for a keynote speaker!"

—Bev Kirk,
Conference Participant

"Mark Chartier's poems, in the tradition of James Wright and Bob Hicok, tell stories of irreparable damage, but still praise the world as it is. They bear witness to difficult truths about illness, both the speaker's--due to a traumatic brain injury in his youth--and the students who surround him, many suffering from the same wounds of the body and the spirit. There are a few unforgettable poems here, namely "Comfortable," and "A Person in a Position of Trust," which deal with recognition as essential to the path of recovery. Like a scar, "Recovery is its own fingerprint," he writes, which strikes so true. Every injury is unique, but so is its healing, and so is each poem that, like a blotter, captures it in ink."

—David Keplinger,

Author & Professor

"The passion that resonates throughout the room when Mark presents is contagious. We all have struggles and see the world through different lenses, but to hear how Mark has overcome challenges and turned them into positive drivers, brings hope to how we should be kind to ourselves and others. Through stories and poems, Mark paints a picture of courage and perseverance that we all can learn from."

—Jimmie Pool,

"…It was like Mr. C. forged that class out of platinum for us. His class was to date the best class I have ever had. He got us to read well, put thoughts together. To say my life changed for the better is a colossal understatement. He did not stop there. In that time, my mind was challenged in other ways. One of the best poetry classes I ever took was with him. Boosting my self-confidence and setting me up for other achievements to take me to where I am now. He gave me the chance to strive for new challenges like chess. Every time I have to speak in front of people I reflect back to his class."

—John Beebe,

Former Student

"Mark is such an inspiration to listen to. He seems to know how to cater his speeches to his audience whether they be children, teachers, parents, etc. He uplifts his audience and opens their eyes and shows them a new perspective to a life with disabilities. I've seen those that have children with newly diagnosed disabilities and those that have had disabilities their whole life come up to him and praise him on how relatable his speech was to them. He truly gives hope to parents and those who feel defeated because of an adversity. He shows them it IS possible to be successful in this world as long as you work for it and keep trying even when you fall down or stumble. He is definitely a 10/10 recommend!"

—Tiffany Ott,
Conference Participant 

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