"We were hoping we wouldn't have this meeting but the board moved forward," said parent Jim Ross.
But some, like Ross, weren't looking forward to Milton's meet and greet during the Little Rock Schools Superintendent search. It's a fact Milton was aware of.
"My arrival here has evoked disdain for some, curiosity for others, and outright controversy," Milton said. "Some of you have tried to define me through social media. But I am here today to introduce you to the real me."
Opposed parents like Ross have organized on Facebook, starting a petition two weeks ago to have Milton removed from the interview process, which didn't occur. According to them, the questions they have about Milton as a leader make them doubt his abilities. The headlines he's made in other school districts, they say, are for the wrong reasons.
Milton's been accused of hiring a child molester. In a ream of paperwork he offered to the public, he provided an acquittal document to prove the man had been found not guilty, and Milton claimed having no knowledge of the man's past, despite recommending him for the position.
Milton was accused of leaving a New York district in disarray, possibly using a district credit card for personal use.
Milton explained that the audit that revealed these issues was politically motivated, retroactive, and then provided a letter from his lawyer to that effect. He also noted that while the credit card was in his name, any number of employees had opportunity to use it.
"There is either a vast conspiracy against Dr. Milton or he has made a series of bad choices across three districts. I think the latter is more logical," Ross said in response to Milton's documentation.
Milton contends he isn't the person the newspapers make him out to be.
"A lot of things were falsely written about me," he said.
He wanted the crowd to see him for who he believes he is, a champion for closing achievement gaps, an advocate for students with disabilities, and a leader willing to bridge the divide between districts and parents.
"I have the desire, and I have the energy," he said. "Critical financial issues and student achievement issues are the conversations I would really like to have with parents."
And for some in the crowd, that message hit home. Some parents think Milton could be an innovator who has simply rubbed too many people the wrong way.
"Maybe he's just different from other people and they're trying to cast judgment on him when there isn't anything to judge him for," said LRSD parent Darren Merriweather.
But parents like Ross said they can't get past Milton's past. Still, they plan to be around, to see him stay or go.
"It's our schools -- we're not going away," said Ross.
Milton's meet and greet marked the final public interview for the district's finalists. The board will move forward on making a decision of who to hire, that decision could come as early as Tuesday.