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Good to show appreciation

It sometimes seems that traditional values such as loyalty and dedication aren’t encouraged any more. We’d all like to believe that our hard work will be rewarded, but we are realistic enough to realize that we live in an era when employee buyouts are more prevalent than retirement parties.

All too often, we sacrifice experience for the bottom line.

That’s why we were pleased to hear that the Argyle school district had decided to reward some of its longtime educators. Members of the Argyle school board recently approved a raise for school district teachers, counselors, nurses and librarians with 27-plus years of service who did not receive a pay increase in July for the 2012-13 academic year.

The board approved an additional step in the district salary schedule to give employees with 27 or more years of experience in Texas an additional $595, which will be a pay increase of about 1 percent.

The top step on the district’s salary scale had been 26 years of service, and district officials said that 11 educators employed by Argyle were on the scale’s maximum step prior to the current school year.

“It was the right thing to do,” board President Kevin Faciane said after the 6-0 vote to approve the raise.

We agree, as long as district officials are satisfied with the educators’ job performance.In our view, such salary increases should always be based on merit, not just years of service.

District officials said the additional step would cost $6,550. In July, the board approved the 2012-13 salary schedule and a 1.5 percent increase for all employees not on the scale. The result was a pay increase for all staff members below the 26-year step.

Superintendent Telena Wright said that, to her knowledge, no step progressions had been added to the salary scale in the past and that she was pleased with the school board’s decision.

“I believe it’s a very positive action,” Wright said. “They’re career educators in the truest sense of the word, and they’re the heart and soul of the instructional process.”

We congratulate the Argyle trustees for approving the salary increase. We believe they’ll find it’s a small price to pay for a lot of goodwill.

The 11 educators who qualify for the pay hike will appreciate the extra dollars, but there’s more than money involved here.

Everyone wants to feel like they’re appreciated, and this is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.