James receives ‘Make A Difference’ award before his death.

Ardent school supporter and Andover Coalition for Education co-founder Anthony “Tony” James passed away last week after a long battle with cancer, but not before receiving the Service Club of Andover’s “Make A Difference” award in honor of his contributions to the local schools.

James, 72, served two terms on the School Committee up to 2009. During that time, he teamed up with then-member Art Barber to create the Andover-based educational foundation ACE, paving the way for continued financial support of the town’s schools, according to Tina Girdwood, an ACE board member.

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