Olysha is a Democrat running for Florida State Senate, District 8, which covers Alachua County, Putnam County, and a part of Marion County. Olysha has devoted her life to education and advocacy. As your State Senator, she will fight for public schools, clean water and land conservation. Olysha favors home rule on these issues. She’ll keep Tallahassee out of local decision making.

Olysha currently works remotely from Johns Hopkins University as an instructional designer. She has taught in and fought for public schools. And she knows Florida education. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Florida, as well as a Master’s of Arts in Media Studies from The New School. As a mother and educator, she understands the challenges that regular citizens face when dealing with government. But she has hope.

Olysha says, “Here’s the thing. We have to do better. If we, the people, don’t try our hand at running our state government, then who will? If it’s not now, then when? That is why I decided to put my values into action by running for state senate against Keith Perry in 2018.

As your State Senator, she will fight for education, clean water and land conservation, and to keep Tallahassee out of local decision making. You can read more about the issues key to her campaign here.


Olysha was raised in rural Ohio by a preacher and a teacher, who taught her the importance of community and taking care of your neighbors. Her family understood how important education is for everyone and that it is equally important to care about the community and provide opportunities for all to live the American Dream.” 
Olysha says, “I believe that quality public education is key to building a strong community especially in preparing our students for the 21st century workforce. I also understand the importance of vocational education and providing opportunities to all types of learners. Florida needs an experienced educator to help shape smart education policy in Tallahassee.”
Olysha devoted her career to the field of education. She worked for the School Board of Alachua County as a substitute teacher, an aide in an ESE classroom, and a classroom teacher. She was a member to the Alachua County Education Association (ACEA). She moved into higher education and worked at University of Florida and Santa Fe College, where she brought her love and passion for teaching to the faculty at these institutions.
Olysha Magruder is a longtime resident of North Central Florida. Both she and her husband, Jim, are proud Gator alumni. They met in an art class on the UF campus and the rest was history go Gators! Jim and Olysha own a home in the Porters Community of Southeast Gainesville. They have a three-year-old son, Jules, and two dogs and two cats. 


Olysha and her family spend long afternoons at Depot Park, cooling off at the Dwight H. Hunter Pool, and visiting the beautiful natural parks and springs in North Central Florida. 


*The views stated in this communication are Olysha’s and do not express the position or views of The Johns Hopkins University.