Hazlett is a strong believer in the power of outdoor education and said there are test scores to back it up. All Washington County fifth-graders - about 1,500 students - spend close to a week of instructional time at Fairview, staying overnight while there.
The first year the science portion of the Maryland State Assessments were given, two-thirds of Washington County fifth-graders had completed their instructional time at Fairview, while one-third had not. The students who had been to Fairview scored 20 percent higher on the MSA than those who had not yet been there.
Hazlett said the greatest reward of outdoor education for him is seeing "the light bulb go on" almost daily, where in a classroom setting, he saw it only occasionally.
"You get to watch the joy of learning," said Hazlett, who has two adult sons.
During the school year, student groups other than fifth-graders also go to Fairview for instructional time. In the summer, Fairview is one of 16 sites for the Maryland Summer Center, a program for gifted and talented students. Three years ago, it joined with the county's summer school program to allow Title 1 students one week at Fairview during the five-week program.
He said he's comfortable retiring because the outdoor school has a strong staff and the program is solid. He feels it's probably the best program in the state, in large part because it is valued by the Washington County Board of Education and county residents.
As one of four teachers, with three custodians, a secretary, a nurse and a cook, Hazlett said the staff feels like family, and it will be hard to leave.
"I'm a very small piece of the pie. Fairview's been open 30 years. All those years, all those people and the time they've invested it's true of every school is a product of the people who have been there since," Hazlett said.
Hazlett, who grew up near Pittsburgh, is an avid Steelers and Penguins fan. He enjoys cycling, kayaking and collecting antique artwork at auctions.
"This isn't really work. This is fun," Hazlett said. "I've been blessed. I really have. For 45 years, I've had the best job in the world."