With a kickoff event on Wednesday of last week in Jefferson City, the Constitution Project has been re-launched in Missouri after being absent since 2018.

Originally founded in Houston in 2011 by former associate circuit judge Doug Gaston, the Constitution Project gives high school students a hands-on opportunity to investigate and report about a mock crime scene and eventually try “suspects” in a mock trial, all under the mentorship of local professionals in the fields of crime scene investigation, journalism and trial advocacy. 

Rep. Bennie Cook speaks with HHS Constitution Project team members Owen Wells and Shaun Buck during a kickoff event last week in Jefferson City.

After tuning up in their home communities, participating schools’ teams are pitted in a competitive environment until a state champion is determined.

“The hands-on experience that the Constitution Project offers from industry professionals is second-to-none,” said HHS squad sponsor Jeff McNiell. “I couldn’t be more excited to not only see it revived, but for our students here in Houston to have the opportunity to learn, grow and compete as participants this year. It will be the type of experience that shapes who they are and for some, who they become. And for that, I’m absolutely thrilled.”

McNiell said the Houston team will begin training soon and be competing within a week or two.


•Crime Scene Investigation: Marietta Burton, Shaun Buck, Carli Cummins, Elliot Greiner, Tyler Kelly and Owen Wells.

•Journalism: Maddison Holt, Christian Royer, Lee Skaggs, Stuart Smith and Hudson Volk.

•Trial Advocacy: Brody Adkison, Adyson Dailing, Arianna Flores, Gracyn McNiell and Riley Reed.

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