Houston High School students participating in the 2017 Constitution Project are busy getting ready for upcoming regional competition –– and a chance to return to the state level competition.

A total of 12 schools are in the field this year. Houston’s four-team region includes Mountain Grove, Nixa and Poplar Bluff.

The Constitution Project was founded in Houston in 2011 by Texas County Associate Circuit Judge Doug Gaston. The project has two primary goals: To give students exciting, hands-on experience in possible future careers that are integral to the U.S. Constitution and the nation, and to provide participants with a greater understanding of and love for the U.S. Constitution, through personal experience in the constitutional system, including concepts such as freedom of the press, due process and the right to trial by jury.

HHS alternative school teacher Maggie Jadwin is the school sponsor for the third year. Participating students perform duties on one of three sub-teams: Crime scene investigation, journalism and courtroom. Houston’s CSI group is mentored by former Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell.

The journalists are guided by Houston Herald Editor Jeff McNiell and the judicial team by attorneys Lynsie Gabel-Upton and Bo Anderson.

The CSI team and journalists will be in regional competition Wednesday, Oct. 18 in Mountain Grove. Houston will host regional trial competition on Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The state finals are set for Wednesday, Nov. 8, in Jefferson City.

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